Is there passive form to the expression "run over"?

Is it this form:

"someone can be run over"

  • 1
    It's actually pretty difficult for a learner to look up whether a particular prepositional passive can be formed. Compare: *He was taken after by his son. *She had been curried favor with. (CGEL p.1434) Why are some okay but not others? How would you look this up? (Corpus evidence is a good start, but it can be difficult for learners to spot errors in corpora.) – snailcar Dec 3 '15 at 20:21
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    @snailboat - I agree that it can be very hard for a learner to figure out whether the passive makes sense, but in this case, where the learner has already figured out "to be run over", it takes about five seconds with Google to see that yes, it is a commonly used form. – stangdon Dec 3 '15 at 20:45
  • @Assiduous Yes, you can make a passive like in your example. Just be aware that get is often used instead of be with run over, so there's more than one way to make this particular passive. (Ideally dictionaries would answer your question, but for whatever reason most dictionaries don't include this information.) – snailcar Dec 4 '15 at 4:16

Billy ran over Bobby in his car.

This is the active sentence because the doer of the action (Billy) is also the subject.

Bobby was run over by Billy's car.

In this one the passive sentence because the receiver of the action (Bobby) is the subject.

And by the way that is the definition of what a passive sentence is.

So in short, the passive form is this.

(Subject) was run over by persons car.

  • Fixed that but is there something wrong with the rest of my answer? – Sam Harrington Dec 3 '15 at 20:04
  • Otherwise OK, -1 removed. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 3 '15 at 20:06
  • @SamHarrington You can use a get passive in Standard English, so you didn't have to change got to was. You do have to get the form of run right, though, so your edit is a definite improvement :-) – snailcar Dec 3 '15 at 20:23
  • Passive voice is { conjugated form of to be } + { past participle } - to run's past participle form is run (it's an irregular verb). See verbix.com/webverbix/English/run.html – LawrenceC Dec 3 '15 at 21:30

The passive form is "Someone can be run over."


One can run over someone, and one can get run over.

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