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They turn out to cost more than they originally seemed to.

I think the above sentence is in passive voice, though it does not follow the rules which the other passive constructions follow, i.e there is no subject followed by auxiliary verb and past participle form of verbs. I think, they originally seemed means other people thought that they would have cost less than they actually did. Am I right? Please name the list of verbs that express the idea/thinking/feelings in the way passive construction of a sentence expresses. It seems to me that turn out is also such kind of verb which works in the way passive construction works. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I would appreciate it if anybody suggest me a better way of rewriting the sentences which I have written above to explain my query, if he/she think that my sentences are awkward, unnatural, and they should be improved.

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    Suggested reading: Practical English Usage by Michael Swan: 609 verbs with both active and passive meanings. – Damkerng T. Jan 10 '16 at 13:51
  • They ended up costing more than was originally thought. – Msfolly Jan 10 '16 at 14:01
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    Nope, that is not in the passive voice. What's the subject? They. And what did they do? They turned out to (do something). As for the "they seemed to", that's active too, because it's they seemed. Here's a trick for figuring out if something is in the passive voice: can you add "...by a bear" to the end of the sentence or phrase? For example, "The meal was quickly devoured by a bear." That works, because it's in the passive voice. "They turned out to cost more by a bear"? That doesn't work. Or "...more than they seemed to by a bear"? That doesn't work either. – stangdon Jan 10 '16 at 14:17
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Msfolly's comment makes for an excellent answer to your question:

"They ended up costing more than was originally thought."

Also please note stangdon's comment, which explains in detail why your original example is not stated in the passive voice:

"What's the subject? They. And what did they do? They turned out to (do something). As for the "they seemed to", that's active too, because it's they seemed. Here's a trick for figuring out if something is in the passive voice: can you add "...by a bear" to the end of the sentence or phrase? For example, "The meal was quickly devoured by a bear." That works, because it's in the passive voice. "They turned out to cost more by a bear"? That doesn't work. Or "...more than they seemed to by a bear"? That doesn't work either."

Do you require additional information?

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I do not think the sentence you are suggesting is passive in any way, either in terms of meaning or structure.

There are, however, verbs that do seem passive in meaning though not in form. For example, the verb "open" in the following sentence is not passive:

The door opened and Darla came in

Although "opened" is not passive, it is still understood that the door was opened (by Darla).

Such verbs are known as "ergative verbs".

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