You are on page 1of 107


The focus of the present thesis is the passive voice, perceived from a semanticosyntactic point of view. My primary aim is to explore the use and functions of the
passive voice in English, examining the reasons which motivate an author to prefer the
passive form to the active one. Secondary interest is devoted to the function and the use
of the passive voice in Czech. As research material I have chosen the short stories by the
American writer O. Henry and their Czech translations by Stanislav Klíma. The reasons
why I have chosen the genre of a short story are that it is noted for the unity of time,
place and action. I believe that due to this fact, the results of my research will give
higher evidence of the use of the passive voice since the basis for comparison is unified
and compact contrary to, for example, a novel. For the same reason of evidence, I
explore just the translations of one translator, since everyone has his/her personal style
and different way of thinking and understanding of original text.
I am interested in the issue of information packaging, especially in the different
ways of expressing one and the same reality in the two languages: when both active and
passive versions are formally permitted, what factors favour the choice of one over
other? The passive voice is a phenomenon which is involved both in English and in
Czech but in unlike extent. As far as I know, the passive voice is a favourite means of
expression in English whereas in Czech its usage is not so popular. In view of this fact, I
suppose that the results will work this way.
The thesis is divided into two main parts which are interlinked, and complement
each other. The first part deals with the theoretical knowledge about the passive voice in
English as well as in Czech, whereas in the second part I investigate the applications of
the passive voice in concrete short stories. In addition, the text is divided into five


In the first chapter, I delineate the theoretical background of the use of the
passive voice in English. This information is summarized from the professional
literature and both from a syntactic and a semantic point of view. The same research as
for the use of the passive voice in Czech is concerned, is performed in Chapter 2.
Further, in chapter 3, I present the data for an analysis. It comprises two tables in which
I make an incidence statistics of the passive expressions in the English fiction and in the
relevant Czech passages. Chapter 4 analyses the frequency data and the different ways
of translation of the passive forms, summarized in the preceding tables. The last, fifth
chapter, focuses on the functional and semantic analysis, it looks at individual instances
of the passive voice’s usage, trying to find out its practical circumstances and
conditions. It compares the theoretical facts with my own findings and draws
conclusions about the similarities and differences in the use of the passive in the two
After I have gone through some of my resources, I have found out that the term
passive voice covers various phenomena and can be expressed in several different ways,
especially in the Czech language. That is why I decided to restrict my field of
exploration in English only to the passive voice proper. This one is realized through the
auxiliary verb to be + past participle of a lexical verb. The auxiliary verb may take
different tenses and may occur in progress as well. The range of the passive as a means
of functional syntax is wide, although not as much as that of the active voice.
To specify the interpretations of the passive voice, let me consider one basic
example. The passive sentence: The man was bitten by the dog shows that the subject of
the sentence receives the action expressed in the verb, in other words the subject is, in a
passive manner, acted upon. The agent performing the action may appear in a “by the...”
phrase or may be omitted. The dog here obtains the full amount of reader’s attention.


One of the results of the use of the passive voice is the production of an indirect and
wordy utterance, which can be rhetorically effective in given situations. My aim is to
draw out the situations in which the passive voice is preferred, for example, when an
author wants to emphasize some participant of an action other than the subject.
Regarding the critical approach that I am going to employ in my diploma thesis,
I will compare and contrast my own conclusions about the use of the passive voice in
English with those found out about this use in Czech. Further, I will compare my own
results about the types of usages of the passive voice in English and in Czech with the
theorems. This will distinguish those more appropriate and practically applicable ones
from the rest, and I also hope to discover maybe a few specific usages of the passive
voice which are not mentioned in the books.


(Quirk et al. 4 . 1. One and the same idea can often be expressed in two different ways. The notion of voice is defined variously in the literature.2 Formation of the passive The English passive is formed with an auxiliary. Concerning the passive auxiliaries. The active voice is considered as the unmarked member of the pair. generally be. by means of an active. they exist and must be taken into account (Miller 1985: 193). The names active and passive derive from the role of subject-referent in clauses which express an action: it will standardly be the actor. but often also get or become. since this particular feature of the passive voice is the most useful and indeed utilized one. and by means of a passive construction. or active participant in the unmarked version. The English language 1.1 Introduction In spite of the fact that the syntactic and the semantic structures form their own categories. get is a serious contender of be. I have adopted the way as it is defined in A Grammar of Contemporary English: “voice is a grammatical category which makes it possible to view the action of a sentence in two ways. which is my concern here. the get-passive is avoided in formal style. The differences may be ‘mere’ matters of perspective and orientation. 1974: 801). The passive form of the verb phrase thus contains this pattern: be + past participle. however. however. without change in the facts reported” (Quirk et al. or passive participant in the marked version (Huddleston 1984: 438). and the patient. there must be links between the two. and the past participle of a full verb.1. The basic rule says that differences in syntax indicate differences of meaning (Miller 1985: 193). its application is “usually restricted to constructions without an expressed animate agent”: *The boy got given a violin by his father. 1974: 802) Apparently well-founded.

Huddleston and Pullum (2002: 1428) refer to the agent as to an internalised complement. cited in Huddleston 1971: 64-5). Pullum 2002: 1428). Such clauses (as above) are alike as far as the ‘type of process’ and the ‘participant roles’ are concerned: the difference has to do with such matters as information focus (Halliday: 1967. the participant Tom is traditionally called the agent as it is aligned with the active role. As Leech notes. and it is therefore not superfluous for a language to have both turns. Leech treats them against the background of thematization (i. often enhanced by modification with more and more.” (Quirk et al. Biber et al. The premier was hated by most members of the cabinet (Huddleston. (1999: 477) argue that the get-passive is “a recent innovation in English and is [therefore] found almost exclusively in dialog in fiction”. “an active sentence has a different meaning from its passive equivalent. However. In ‘John was beaten by Tom’ the participant John or generally the subject of the passive voice is typically called the patient since it is associated with a passive role. for they do not want to confuse the term with the name of a semantic role. etc. increasingly. In the active. in which case it is equivalent to become which is used to “express gradual change. but in the passive it is internal to the verb phrase (Huddleston. 1974: 803). although in conceptual content they seem to be the same” (Leech 1981: 19). Pullum 2002: 1427). e.g. it is common as a resulting copula.e.On the other hand. ‘Tom beat John’ (active) and ‘John was beaten by Tom’ (passive) means essentially the same thing. The thematic meaning of an utterance is 5 . and yet they are not in every respect synonymous. By contrast. Tom is the subject and hence external to the verb phrase. the roles in question are sometimes called by more relevant names of experiencer and stimulus. in clauses which do not express an action.“the process of organizing the elements of the message so that weight and emphasis fall in appropriate place”) (Leech 1981: 195). Furthermore.

” (Leech 1981: 19) The clauses are different in respect of thematic or discourse organization. which implicitly suggests that the fact of a donation of the first prize by someone is known to us. possibly from the context or from a previous mention (Leech 1981: 19). focus. which typically affect the order of elements in the sentence and the intonation and rhythm (or punctuation). Certainly these two parallels have different communicative values and call for different contexts: in (i) we know who Mrs Bessie Smith is and the issue in focus is the fact of donation of the first prize. Leech concludes that the change of an overall meaning (communicative value) of an utterance caused by a change of the thematic meaning is inevitable in each active -> passive transformation. For example. thus we can ask “What did Mrs Bessie Smith donate?” Whereas in (ii) the focus of our attention is drawn to the agent who is unknown to us. This basic schema of the formation of the passive is often extended by an agentive phrase added to the elemental structure be + past participle. (i) (ii) Mrs Bessie Smith donated the first prize. and emphasis. The first prize was donated by Mrs Bessie Smith. Leech speaks about transformational rule that operates on syntactic structures with their associated semantic content as follows (Leech 1981: 196): 6 .“communicated by the way in which a […] writer organizes the message.. The thematic dimension involves such matters as foregrounding or emphasis. Leech claims that the semantic difference between an active sentence and its passive transformation can be seen in the layers of different types of meanings. distinction between ‘given’ and ‘new’ information etc. in terms of ordering. thus we can ask “Who donated the first prize?”.

3 Which verbs allow the passive? The basic category in verb genus is the active voice. referring to them as the pre-passive subject and the concord subject.Passive rule …Sa VP [active] (…) Ob … → …Sb VP [passive] (…) (Adverbial Phrase) by Noun Phrasea (where a and b indicate the corresponding arguments in the semantic representation). that is why I have chosen them. since there are various terms and notions in the books. The former “is defined on the phrase-markers which represent the structure of the sentence immediately before the passive rule applies” (Huddleston 1971: 62). I have chosen to conform to the conceptions defined by Rodney Huddleston. (Leech 1981: 197) Before I proceed on to discuss the different kinds of verbs which allow passive transformation. John was said to be a nice man 1). Examples of verbs which are wholly restricted to the passive would be repute and rumour (Huddleston. e. who – for my purpose here distinguishes two subject functions. in other constructions it occurs freely in the active. 1 Say cannot occur in the active with an object + infinitival complement. The concord subject can also be called ‘post-passive’ subject. Pullum 2002: 1435-6). This latter type corresponds to the traditional notion of ‘grammatical subject’. I consider these labels transparent enough. and has broader range of meanings than the passive voice. very easily comprehensible. It can be formed in all verbs (there are verbs which form only the passive voice.g. 1. I have to state clearly which terminology I am going to follow in this work. but their number is very limited. This rule provides a “device of linear organization on the syntactic level” (Leech 1981: 196) and its function is to “assign different thematic meanings to sentences which convey the same conceptual meaning”. 7 .

Active transitives with no passive counterpart In the first place there are transitive actives with no acceptable passive equivalent (Huddleston 1971: 93). With transitives. 2 The by-adjunct is often referred to as the ‘agent’ – this term is quite different from ‘agentive’. 8 . we do not normally find reflexive agents: John knew himself to be in the wrong but *John was known by himself to be in the wrong. passivization is optional. if it is applied the pre-passive subject and the direct object become adjunct (with by as the governing preposition)2 and subject respectively at the post-passive. “This constraint does not hold if there is contrastive stress on the reflexive agent: cf.passive levels is exemplified in: (i) (ii) a John killed Peter b Peter was killed by John a John died b *was died by John With intransitives. Halliday`s (1968: 189) he was supervised by himself with himself as agent (we are not of course concerned with the ‘on his own’ interpretation)” (cited in Huddleston 1971: 94).and post.e. and be + en is introduced into the auxiliary. In some cases there may be a quite general explanation for the absence of a passive. In the simplest cases the relation between the structures at the pre. not all agent noun phrases derive from underlying agentives (Huddleston 1971: 93). passivization cannot occur and so there will be no difference in structure at the two levels (Huddleston 1971: 93). or concord. as the name of a ‘case’` in particular. though even these verbs do not form the passive voice in some cases which I will discuss later. level. Passivization does not normally take place where: a) pre-passive subject and object are identical – i. This is the general oversimplified account of voice in English.The passive voice can essentially be formed from verbs that have an object.

The constraint is absolute only for one of the two main uses of have. Mary) is unacceptable if there is not contrastive stress on her – and indeed rather marginal even if there is. do not normally allow passivization (Quirk et al. *at what time have you dinner?. Similarly. require and so on (Huddleston 1971: 94). inherently reciprocal verbs. It is the use where do is required that allows passivization – compare at what time do you have dinner?.The same principle applies where: b) the pre-passive object contains a possessive determiner that is coreferential with the subject: Mary`s briefcase was lost by her (i. etc. The two uses I have in mind are distinguished by whether or not the auxiliary do is required in the interrogative. at what time can dinner be had?. versus how much money does John have?. Halliday`s Mary isn`t resembled by any of her children. are perfectly normal (Huddleston 1971: 94). *how much money is had by John? (Huddleston 1971: 94-5). Thus *‘house’ is meant by ‘maison’ or *nine is equalled by three squared are ungrammatical whereas that isn`t what was meant and the world record was equalled by Smith. c) statal verbs like in Mary hated/liked/loved/preferred/wanted John to play the piano hardly allow passivization with John as concord subject – in contrast to similar clauses containing expect. so-called equative verbs. 1974: 803). the acceptability of passives with symmetric verbs seems to be subject to some degree of dialectical variation (cf. intend. although its meaning ‘to posses’ is necessarily active and the verb ‘posses’ itself can occur in the passive. 9 . However. negative. for we can attest passives like dinner can be had at any reasonable time. 1967: 68) (cited in Huddleston 1971: 94). d) the verb have is marked as an exception that blocks the passive rule. request. the last word was had by Mary. with non-symmetric meanings of the same verbs.e. how much money has John?.

1974: 804). The constraints can be divided into two spheres. the first being determined by abstract/concrete distinction and the second by the degree of cohesion between the verb and its preposition. Chomsky (1965: 105-6) observes that with the ambiguous John decided on the boat passivization is not possible if on the boat is locative (‘John was on the boat when he made his decision’). 1. Pseudo-passives are typical of the construction in which the prepositions are determined by the verb or verbal idiom rather than being contrastive and lexically meaningful – though as far as constituent structure is concerned they are nevertheless bracketed with the noun phrase.g. John called on the man) or phrasal-prepositional verbs (e.4. but is possible where on is non-contrastive (‘John chose the boat’). not the verb. prepositional verbs (e. 10 . not all pseudo-passives are of this type: the preposition is in some cases lexically contrastive. John called up the man).g. as Chomsky`s proposal would imply. which are phrasal verbs (e. However. it is obvious that the underlying relationship of the boat to decide is quite different in the two cases..g.4 Special types of passive formation Verbs can be divided into single-word verbs (e.1. John called the man) and in multiword verbs.g. and this difference may well reflected in different bracketings at the pre-passive level. 1974: 811). John put up with the man) (Quirk et al. ‘Pseudo-passives’ is the term used by Huddleston for the construction where the “concord subject derives not from a direct object but from the object of a preposition” (1971: 95).1 Prepositional verbs Prepositional verbs cannot occur in the passive so freely as the in the active (Quirk et al.

1974: 805) prepositional verbs can take the passive. the possibility to form the passive in verbs with preposition depends on the type of relation between the verb and the preposition. Also Quirk et al. 2. 1974: 804). Even phrases containing a transitive verb with its object followed by a preposition may be thus turned into the passive: The original purpose was gradually lost sight of ( Jespersen 1933: 123). If the government is loose and the preposition represents nongovernmental addition. Jespersen claims. It follows that only “highly cohesive” (Quirk et al. 11 . in which case the government is not loose and it is of objective nature (Dušková 1988: 251). Such prepositional verbs accept the passive only in the figurative use (Quirk et al. laughed at may be called a transitive verbphrase having Jim as its object. laughed is intransitive. No decision has been arrived at. e. However. (1974: 804) emphasize the degree of cohesion in relation to the formation of passive. one and the same collocation can have also abstract interpretation. They arrived at the railway station. In this way. agree with.g.. Compare: 1. Jespersen (1933: 123) proposes even different view of the issue of the ‘pseudopassives’.According to Dušková (1988: 251). it may suggest something concrete and the passive is not formed. Other similar passive sentences are This must be looked into. Namely if the free addition is of an adverbial nature.. But the whole may also be analysed in another way. In such a sentence as Everybody laughed at Jim. (concrete) They went into the hall. (abstract) The matter will be gone into. Jim is “governed by” or as it may also be termed “the object of” the preposition at. The bed had not been slept in. we come to understand how it is possible to turn the sentence into the passive: Jim was laughed at by everybody. the passive cannot be formed: *She was agreed with.

*a couple of hours were read for. manner. sit on.. Huddleston further suggests that we are more likely to accept the bed had been slept in than the village had been slept in. In these constructions. *the rain was remained indoors because of. With regard to a deep structure of the sentence that bed has been slept in Huddleston distinguishes two roles that the expression that bed fills: affected and locative. to say that a bed has bee slept in may suggest that the sheets need changing and so on” (Huddleston 1971: 96). but with some place and perhaps instrumental prepositional phrases. ? this blade has already been shaved with twice. *enthusiasm was sung with. 12 . the chair is rarely sat on” ( Dušková 1988: 251). sleep in. reason. etc. duration. the bed has not been slept in. like for example in to live in. Another view of the matter is the one proposed by Huddleston. cannot become the concord subject of a passive: *the first day of term was eloped on. passivization does seem possible: that bed hasn`t been slept in for years. sit on a chair = occupy” (translated from Dušková 1988: 251). the passive voice is formed very rarely according to her: “the house does not seem to be lived in. sleep in a bed = occupy/use a bed.1.2 Verbs with adverbial preposition Dušková (1988: 251) marks off when a preposition has an adverbial meaning. (1971: 95-6) He thinks that the acceptability of a passive with a locative phrase depends in large measure on “whether the action not only occurs at the stated place but also affects that place: a cup that has been drunk out of needs washing. More precisely the locative role would deal with in that bed and it would then be the affected role that was relevant to passivization (Huddleston 1971: 96).4. that chair musn`t be sat on. this cup has been drunk out of. Nevertheless the passive transformation is sometimes possible and she accounts for it in terms of “interchangeability of a word with preposition by one-word transitive verb: live in a house = inhabit. who says that the object in prepositional phrases of time.

However. “Of the three types: a) John was given the money b) The money was given to John c) The money was given John the first two are a good deal more usual than the third – Halliday explains this in terms of the comparative rarity of someone gave John the money in the reading where John 13 . the other is retained as such. Along with Jespersen’s conclusion. if in the active there are two objects. in other words. externalised.3 Ditransitives Ditransitive verbs are verbs with a direct and an indirect object. which naturally led to the placing of the indirect before the direct object. ditransitive actives have two passive counterparts. The version with the direct object externalised is called second passive. These terms are based on the linear position of the relevant object in the active construction. e.e. If it is the indirect object that is externalised they call the thus created passive as first passive. But which of the two objects is made the subject of a passive sentence? Huddleston and Pullum (2002: 1432) argue that in principle.1. Her husband left her property → Property was left her by her husband. a passive verb can have an object. i. Huddleston (1971: 97) claims that it is normally the indirect object that is mapped onto the concord subject in the passive. But during the last few centuries there has been a growing tendency to make the indirect object the subject in the passive (Jespersen 1933: 121). Indirect object as the subject of passive construction Jespersen (1933: 121) records that originally only the direct object could be thus used. It can be seen in the active They offered the butler a reward. He proposes an explanation of this tendency in the fact that the greater interest started to be felt for persons than for things.4.g. only one of them can be made the subject in the passive. consequently the order in the passive becomes: The butler was offered a reward.

ditransitive verbs can have a double passive construction in English because the subject of the passive voice can become either of the two objects. Another case when the subject of a passive construction can only be the former indirect object is found in Dušková.. etc.. for example. so that we must allow for two passive versions of (someone) gave John the money.carries the tonic stress and is thus the focus of new information” (cited in Huddleston 1971: 97). provide. she was promised that the offer would remain open till her return (Dušková 1988: 252). present. Huddleston (1971: 96) argues that with three-place verbs like blame. where there is a choice as to which underlying preposition is deleted to yield a direct object. nowadays. Dušková (1988: 253) summs up simply that the choice of the subject of the passive construction of a ditransitive verb is in line with functional sentence 14 . However. *her office was envied her. we were told to come at three. and in which only the indirect object may become concord subject: she was envied her good looks. However. there are several restrictions as for the various types of predicates are concerned. The case b) derives from (someone) gave the money to John: in accordance with the previous observations it is the only passive version of that clause (which is not ditranstive). It is when a direct object is expressed via infinitive or subordinate clause. I was given to understand that…. it is “only the noun phrase whose preposition has been dropped that may become concord subject of a passive” (Huddleston 1971: 96) – compare: a) b) c) d) e) f) He blamed the error on John The error was blamed on John He blamed John for the error John was blamed for the error *John was blamed the error on *The error was blamed John for Further on Huddleston (1971: 97) singles out a group of verbs like envy. All in all. where there is never a preposition at the pre-passive level. c) is not ungrammatical.

Some objective relations. 15 .g. 1. express other semantic relations and then. the offer was turned down (Dušková 1988: 251). We encounter this phenomenon in the cases when the verb’s meaning approaches the meaning of a copula and when the nature of an object borders on an adverbial. For example: the scheme was given up. the losses have been made up for etc.4.4. e.perspective. 1. an enjoyable time was had by all for after the concert we invariably played poker till all hours (Dušková 1988: 258). their business relations have been broken off. inefficiency must be done away with. such conduct cannot be put up with. or phrasalprepositional verbs. this means that the subject is the former object with less degree of communicative dynamism. if an object participates in the verbal action in such a way that the action passes over to it or which is somehow affected by the action. even a transitive verb does not form the passive voice. For example: John has been awarded the first prize – the first prize has been awarded to John.4 Verbs with adverbial particle The passive voice is formed also from verbs with adverbial particle.7 The verb “have” Have and get allow for the passive voice only in the infinitive.4. 1.6 Summary As has been mentioned above. however. if they are transitive. (Dušková 1988: 252). Marginally the passive voice occurs in the examples as Besides. cf. for example the proposal bill will be given consideration to (Dušková 1988: 253). The passive voice occurs also in transitive verbs which are tied to an adverbial particle and a preposition. there was nothing to be had/to be got. the formation of the passive is in principle allowed in transitive verbs. She adds that also an indirect inanimate object (not only animate) can become the subject of a passive construction.

3 where I discuss the active verbs which do not have any passive counterpart. the subject is both the place of verbal action and at the same time the possessor towards an object. in which the subject expresses the site where the intransitive action takes place. Passive main clauses always contain either be or get (Huddleston. the passive voice cannot be formed 16 . along with Dušková (1988: 259).000 copies.8 Bare passive As opposed to be-passives and get-passives. in which the English. Since the verb is in the past participle form. cf. He saw Kim mauled by our neighbour’s dog. oil leaks from the car. cf. 1. In the following. Pullum 2002: 1429-30). is also susceptible of a subject construction (Dušková 1988: 255).Have does not form the passive voice since it represents a transitive copula (a possessive relation can often be transformed to an attributive relation. we encounter the non-formation of the passive voice in the examples of locative and locativo-possessive subject. which are called expanded passives there is also the notion of a bare passive defined in the literature. she has blue eyes – her eyes are blue. the book has sold over 100. 1. he got a watch = he was given a watch (Dušková 1988: 258). such clauses are always non-finite and thus restricted to subordinate position. cf. is the subject in a possessive relation towards the object. as opposed to Czech.g.5 Non-formation of the passive voice Except for the cases mentioned in chapter 1. These cases do not allow for the passive voice because in principle they represent intransitive actions with an adverbial.4. Further. the car leaks oil. These are the passive constructions which do not contain any auxiliary verb. like e. in case of get the impossibility to form the passive voice follows from its semantics of “to obtain or receive”: the subject has the same role as in the passive voice. In the sentences as he burst a blood-vessel.

Such objects are reflexive object. for the following objects it is impossible to make them the subject of the passive voice.5. they don’t know each other. suit. ‘lucrative’ means ‘profitable’. during the operation in reverse direction. it cost five pounds – the price was five pounds. the sample was weighed and measured and the like. the passive voice is formed in these meanings. Fundamentally. this hat does not become you. how long did it last?). reciprocal and possessive object: he excused himself. as Dušková (1988: 258) enumerates. any weekday suits me equally well – any weekday is equally suitable. 3 If the verb has as well transitive meanings. the hall holds two hundred people. become (“befit”). equal. measure. Inanimate objects in these verbs border on adverbials (we ask: how much does it cost /measure/weigh?. fit. last. cf. The fact that the verbs semantically relate to copular verbs can be manifested by the possibility of use of a periphrastic construction by means of a copula. hold3 (“contain”). it was meant as a compliment. and in cases like he groped his way. verbonominal bonds of the following type: she gave an impatient sigh. two plus two equals four. weigh. In addition to the restrictions following from the verbal semantics. she shrugged her shoulders. the passive voice cannot be formed in the following verbs: cost. we walked ten miles (Dušková 1988: 259). mean. there are also certain restrictions as for the nature of an object is concerned. 17 . it weighs two pounds – the weight is two pounds. he lacks experience. 1.2 Object restrictions Generally it is valid that the subject of the passive voice can be transformed to the object of the active voice.5. 1. she resembles her mother – she is like her mother. lack. they escaped punishment. the room measures twenty feet. the dress does not fit me. the supplies will last three weeks.1 Verbs which do not allow the passive voice Further. the conference will be held in May. nevertheless. resemble. there are some restrictions put into effect. escape and some others in the following cases and suchlike: it cost a lot of money.

in Czech by means of instrumental or genitive with od (Dušková 1988: 253).Furthermore. Dušková notes that expression of the agent is obligatory in the passive voice in situations like the following: the cart was pulled by a horse. the subject of the passive usually cannot be any non-finite clause (Quirk et al. Although the relation between the active and the passive voice can be considered as an instant of syntactic synonymy. e. such as an infinitive object and participle object. Linguists agree on the assertion that in a vast majority of cases the agent is unexpressed because it is either unknown.g.6 Relation of the active to the passive voice The relation between the active and the passive voice is best visible in action verbs bearing a direct object. he admitted having acted thoughtlessly. 1974: 805-6). In the passive voice only patient is obligatory and is construed as a subject. in real language expressions of their functional differentiation occurs. The agent is ordinarily optional in the passive voice. or is not relevant to the conveyed content from the point of view of the speaker. possibly the absence of an agent can compensate for other adverbial. if it is expressed. I hate to contradict you. This differentiation follows predominantly from the facultativity of an agent in the passive voice. for example the state provides free education on all levels – free education is provided on all levels (by the state). the 18 . 1. In addition. the agent is construed as a subject and the aim of action (patient) as an object. he was brought up by his aunt – he was brought up with great care but never *he was brought up (1988: 253). In the active voice both participants in the action are obligatory. If the agent is expressed. it has the form of agentive adverbial by means of prepositional phrase using by. that such a possibility exists has been suggested before (Dušková 1988: 259). for instance. (not *the cart was pulled). cf. finite clauses occur rarely in the passive.

passive voice enables different linear arrangement of the action’s participants. Semantic relation of the subject to the action is unambiguously determined only in the passive voice. Such cases are similar to the passive constructions and we speak about an active with a passive meaning or about an unmarked passive voice (Dušková 1988: 253-4). The distinction between actional (or dynamic) and statal (or stative) passives can be drawn artificially by different sufficient and necessary conditions. In the active voice the semantic relation of the subject to the action expressed by the verb is more varied. cf. Pullum 2002: 1436-7). the subject can be not only the doer of the action but also its bearer or can be somehow affected by the action.1 Actional versus statal passives English passive constructed by means of the auxiliary verb be does not distinguish in between the expression of an action and the expression of a state. Statal passives Jespersen (1931: 92-3) makes a distinction between ‘conclusive’ and ‘nonconclusive’ verbs. in English the active or stative nature of the verb follows mostly from context. which explicitly communicates that the subject is not the doer. all our effort is wasted – much effort is wasted on things like that. The different layout of the sentence can accommodate the purposes of the functional sentence perspective. This division can also be accounted for in terms of adjectival versus verbal passives since adjectival passives always have a stative interpretation (Huddleston. my things are packed – my things are always packed by my wife (Dušková 1988: 262). 19 . As a consequence of the change of syntactic functions. with the former the “action is either confined to one single moment. the agent and the patient interchange their positions in the passive voice. where an action and a state are indicated by different aspect. 1. As contrasted to Czech.6.

praise. especially if a sentence is lifted out of context.g. see. Huddleston (1971: 98) makes a primary division between ‘dynamic’ and ‘nondynamic’ verbs instead of Jespersen’s distinction of conclusive and non-conclusive verbs. Contrastively. Huddleston proceeds to comment on the passives of dynamic verbs.e. they are “actional” for the passives of becoming and “statal” for the passives of being. etc.g. hear.. the statal passive reading on the other hand expresses the result of a past action: he (or someone) has paid his bills. blame. Dynamic verbs “express actions or processes” and non-dynamic verbs express “states or relations”. However. in which he tries to structurally depict the distinction between actional and statal type. as defined above. with no reference made to aim or aimlessness of a situation expressed by the verb. catch. the passives of being describe the state resulting from an action. Semantically. states of mind. if any such is implied. his bills are paid. such as (i) a The wall was painted by John. Curme (1931: 443-7) uses other terms to name the same. With conclusive verbs he goes on to distinguish two kinds of passive (1931: 98-9): a passive of becoming and a passive of being. is not begun in order to be finished. rather than the action itself (Biber et al. or implies a final aim. there may develop an ambiguity as for the type of the passive implied. 20 .g. b John painted the wall. e. statal passives. the structures of (i)a and b are alike in that John is subject and the wall is direct object before the application of the passive transformation. 1999: 936). construct”. as e. He asserts that in case of an actional passive and its active counterpart. As examples can be mentioned love. In case of actional passive interpretation this corresponds to the active (someone) pays his bills.. hate. the activity. Huddleston’s concept differs in that it focuses only at the difference between actions and states. whereas non-conclusive verbs denote “feelings.

The adjectival properties are the potentiality for a) 21 . Dušková no longer considers to be a passive at all.unlike actional. have no direct active counterpart. it can be seen that what is considered by Huddleston and Palmer as a typical statal passive. Huddleston (1971: 99) proposes one more test to distinguish actional from statal passive forms and that is the possibility of substitution for the participle of a statal passive by means of the pro-form so. Quasi-passives This borderline category “represents a ‘mixed’ class whose members have both verbal and adjectival properties” (Quirk et al.g. 1974: 809). They were married when I last saw them (Palmer 1965: 68). E. On the other hand. According to Huddleston and also Palmer. They are verbal in having active analogues. They would analyze this sentence as “containing lexical (i. These motions are generally directed towards the plane but are not entirely so. the two merge.g. Thereafter we talk no longer about the passive. but about copular construction be + adjective. e. the past participle borders on an adjective and in some cases. Therefore. so is not a possible substitute with actional passives: *the first liquid was heated and the second was so too (Huddleston 1971: 100). This is the point when a subject cannot operate as an object of the active voice. non-auxiliary) be plus a past participle functioning as adjectival complement” (Huddleston 1971: 99). e. as Dušková (1988: 262) says. The category of the statal passive is rather ambiguous and. are you drunk or something?. The statal reading of his bills are paid with the finished meaning does not correspond to any active counterpart. statal passives have essentially the same structure as copulative sentences with adjectival attributes. for example John was interested in linguistics can be turned into active Linguistics interested John. his tone was annoyed etc. his expression was surprised.g.e.

what would have 22 . 1974: 809). he was surprised. rather. The members of this class are grading into be + predicative adjectives with stative meaning (Biber et al. more. as is the (2) example. it is “the person deliberately carrying out the action described” (Hurford. Also for Biber et al. too etc. I am very pleased. rather. 1999: 475). he was pleased. depending on the context. cf. However. the changes are marked (1) (adjective). copular be plus adjective and passive voice. you look exhausted. i. where the term ‘passive’ is used in extended and derivative sense. she was extremely upset. The pre-passive subject of a passive sentence. cf. Dušková (1988: 262) states that sometimes the quasi-passives are not conceived of as passives at all.. the work exhausted him (Dušková 1988: 262) and that is the reason why I will include these cases into my analysis. c) replacement of be by a lexically ‘marked’ auxiliary (Quirk et al. (2) the changes are marked (on the margin) (past participle participating in the passive parallelism). which is usually a noun phrase following the preposition by (Leech 1991: 331). To confuse it a little bit more. etc. Heasley 1983: 220). adjectival past participle can have both transforms. amused. because the participle can be modified by very. b) adjectival modification with quite.coordination of the participles with adjectives. he felt rather flattered etc. Huddleston and Pullum (2002: 1431) distinguish between proper verbal passive. for example: I am tired / exhausted.e. e. it is enough to label an expression as adjectival participle if it allows modification by very (1999: 937). much. annoyed.6. the journey tired her. 1. More specifically. satisfied and the like.g. more. and adjectival passives (1). in all these cases a subject of the passive voice can function as an object of the active voice.2 Agent If we want to mention who does the action of a passive verb. which enables the coordination with an adjective and the use of another copular verb. we add the agent.

). the preposition by need not always introduce an gent phrase but has numerous other uses as well. the passive constructions without an expressed agent are called agentless or short passives (ibid. 1999: 475). Huddleston and Pullum (2002: 1428) observe that the short passives have no exact active counterpart as for example the sentence Someone rejected his plan is the active counterpart of His plan was rejected by someone and not of His plan was rejected. Instrumentals In case there is a by-phrase. an active subject must be supplied. There are two types often distinguished: instrumental versus agent. For example. Where the by-phrase has been given an instrumental interpretation (by=with). is regularly indicated by means of the preposition by: The city was destroyed by the French. In addition. cf. the internalised component is omissible”. Huddleston and Pullum (2002: 1428) note that “with a small number of exceptions. Similarly. [People in many countries] have replaced coal by oil (Quirk et al. Coal has been replaced by oil. just as it does in the active They achieved this result by dubious means (Huddleston. for example: Dinner was preceded / followed by several speeches. 1974: 808) or long passives (Biber et al. The passive constructions with an expressed agent are also called agentive passives (Quirk et al. This result was achieved by dubious means where the by-phrase functions as a means adjunct. The exceptional cases where it is not omissible include those with precede or follow used in temporal sense. Fillmore (1968: 25) contrasts John opened the door and the key opened the door and finds the syntactic difference between John and the key demonstrated by 23 .been the subject if the idea had been expressed in an active form. Pullum 2002: 1428). 1974: 808-9). there can occur a problem of determining whether it does in fact derive from the pre-passive subject.

“most passives have no agent phrase” (1991: 332). and they are trained. However. in most clauses the subject refers to the ‘doer’. In the vast majority of cases the choice of the passive turn is due to one of the following reasons: (I) The pre-passive subject (i.the fact that they cannot be coordinated. There are two basic types of the passive voice and each of them has different functions. 1. the passive form allows us to put someone or something that is not the actor first. agent. yet can be combined non-coordinately: John opened the door with the key. cf. or ‘actor’ of the action of the verb (the cat chased the mouse).e.g. if the ‘actor’ is not important or is not known: “The post office has been robbed!” “Who did it?” “I don’t know!” In fact. The passive without agent allows us to omit the ‘actor’ if we want to – e. and therefore the verb is in some cases put in the active. As a rule the person or thing that is the centre of interest at the moment is made the subject of the sentence. in the position of subject (the mouse was chased by the cat). in others in the passive. whereas in the passive voice the doer or agent is different from the subject. Also Dušková thinks that the “primary function of the passive voice is to express a verbal action without any doer or actor” (translated from Dušková 1988: 259). what would be the subject if we had chosen the active turn) is unknown or cannot easily be stated: 24 . the subject is the “doer”. or other generator of the verbal action. In the active voice. 1.7 Why is the passive turn chosen? The verbal voice determines the syntactico-sematic relation that the participants of verbal action bear towards the action itself (Dušková 1988: 253). As Leech (1991: 330) states. they train. as Leech claims.

(in writing more frequently than in speaking): You will be required to fill in the form. I was tempted to go on. E. It was painted by Van Gogh. Pullum 2002: 1446): The solution was drained under a hydrogen atmosphere. This is useful: (VII) If the ‘actor’ is the most important piece of new information. (IV) The short passive can be used to avoid identifying the person responsible for some situation (Huddleston. (III) The active subject is self-evident from the context: He was elected Member of Parliament for Leeds. because they present no interest to the speaker.Her father was killed in the Boer war. Pullum 2002: 1446): Mom! The vase got broken! (V) There may be a special reason (tact or delicacy of sentiment) for not mentioning the active subject. (II) In the doctor was sent for neither the sender nor the person sent is mentioned. the reason being the more objective flavour of the texts without specific reference to the writer (Huddleston. (VIII) If the ‘actor’ is described by a long phrase which could not easily be the 25 . Here the most important information is the name of the painter. 2. thus the mention of the first person is often avoided.g. This painting is very valuable. The passive with agent allows us to save the ‘actor’ to the end of the clause. (VI) It is well-known feature of scientific writing that it has a higher proportion of passives than most registers.

as in: It is said that the president will come. Since one of the major functions that the passive voice provides us with is the omission of the agent. “this type can be described formally by the familiar agent-deletion transformation.g. to specify the agent for each would involve a degree of repetition that is generally regarded as stylistically undesirable. This factor is likely to have favoured the selection of passive rather than active voice.subject. His son was run over by a car. Ad 1. The school will always be remembered and supported by the boys and girls who received their education here. the writer. which suppresses by + NP provided the latter is a pro-form” (1971: 104). or to refer to. Here the agent is a long noun phrase (underlined). I will give here the reasons why now. the writer is reporting a series of actions carried out by the same person. E. (IX) Where it is indicated (“converted subject”) the reason why the passive turn is preferred is generally the greater interest taken in the passive than in the active subject (Jespersen 1933: 12 ): The house was struck by lightning. (X) The passive turn may facilitate the connection of one sentence with another: He rose to speak. Thus the closest active version 26 .) A second large class of instances involves the generalized human ‘one’ or ‘people’. therefore there is large number of the passive clauses which do not contain any by phrase. and was listened to with enthusiasm by the great crowd present. (The covert agent is understood to be. As Huddleston claims. In many examples it can be argued that there is an agent understood: no specific mention is made of it because it is assumed to be recoverable from the context (linguistic and/or situational).

The implied doer can be other identifiable or unidentifiable person or entity. the present study was originally undertaken in the hope of finding a satisfactory explanation for the difference between the uses of the expanded and non-expanded verb-clusters in English (Dušková 1988: 260). the actor is an author of an article. for say belongs to the class of verbs that must have a human subject at the pre-passive level. cf. The type of the passive voice that implies a general human doer is used above all in professional jargon. and are in some cases with these sentences interchangeable. The passive here contains no less information than the active. the explicit expression of which is not relevant to the conveyed message or the speaker intentionally avoids its expressing. ‘people’ or ‘man’. these sentences with unexpressed general doer are in narrow relation to the sentences with expressed general doer. that sort of man cannot be trusted/ you can’t trust that sort of man (Dušková 1988: 259). the connection has been cut off. As 27 . since in this jargon the attention is turned to the subject of the message whereas the author’s personality is backgrounded. According to Dušková (1988: 259). it is believed that the method yields safe results. For example. something). described work etc. In English the method of passive voice’s usage that implies a general doer to some extent compensates the lack of a widely used means of expressing a general human doer (as it is known from German – man. i. For instance: As has already been stated. book.would be something like People say that the president will come. Quite frequent type of the passive with unexpressed doer is the so called authorial passive. for example several systems have been devised and tested. In colloquial style the passive voice very often alternates with the active formulation. our team was beaten. or from French – on).e. sometimes the implied doer is indefinite (somebody. The use of authorial passive is also characteristic of the professional jargon.

28 . a He opened the door. since they suggest an ergative organization of the clause (one where a one-place verb. She claims that such constructions approach the intransitive constructions which sometimes develop into the coexistence of the passive and the active (intransitive) relation. b The prisoners marched. cf. Verbs which do not imply a human agentive at a deeper level present more of a problem in the passive. the originator of an action of a verb is not always known.e. a verb combining with a single noun phrase. without any substantial difference in their meanings. takes an ‘affected’ element as subject. the village is situated/lies on the bank of a lake. i.g. which do not imply any doer since no agent suggests itself. genes are arranged in fixed positions (Dušková 1988: 260).e. b The door opened. In some cases the only plausible explanation for the absence of an agent is that there is no corresponding participant involved in the process. This is often the case with natural sciences. i. there is no agent understood. speech and thought are developed/develop simultaneously. (1971: 65-6) Dušková’s attitude to the passive constructions without an expressed doer. while a two-place verb takes a ‘causer’ as subject and an affected element as object) rather than a transitive organization (one where a one-place verb takes an ‘actor’ as subject and a two-place verb an actor as subject and a ‘goal’ as object). For example His eyes were firmly imbedded in his face. is simplier. a He marched the prisoners. b The book sold quickly. Huddleston calls such verbs as ‘ergative’ verbs.some examples show. e. The active and the passive voice are in these cases more or less free variations. Huddleston (1971: 107) considers helpful to consider such constructions with regard to ergative verbs: (i) (ii) (iii) a They quickly sold the book.

he was worried/ he worried about his brother. e.g. he counts/is counted among the best. e. or even in types with an expressed doer. he was treated by antibiotics (the doctor treated him by antibiotics). Other examples of nongentive passive are for example more than money is involved. The passive with an expressed doer is.g. Such adverbials are. the two forms are distributed evenly ( Dušková 1988: 260). which follows from the main function of the passive voice and this is the suppression of the actor associated with the verbal action. Sometimes the adverbial with the preposition by is ambiguous in a passive sentence. If there is an implied animate doer. (2) subscripts indicate the order of the elements. substantially rarer. Ad 2. The inaminate adverbial with the preposition by in a passive sentence does not always represent a doer corresponding to an active sentence. the changes of verbal voice do not affect them (it is the same as in the case of 29 . since in an active sentence there can be both as a subject (doer) or as an adverbial (means) corresponding to it. e. the passive with expressed doer enables a preverbal positioning of a patient and a post-verbal positioning of an agent. e. this is the question of adverbial of means. the plain is exposed to northern winds.g. which can be made use of as a tool of functional sentence perspective.g. this difference was examined by statistical methods (we/the author examined the difference by statistical methods). but occurs also in types implying a doer. external. An adverbial with the preposition by can also be local or temporal. in comparison with the passive with an unexpressed doer. with regard to the relations between the active and passive voice. In English.She notes that the free variation in between the active and the passive construction is not limited only to nonagentive passive voice. the order of the elements is indicated by subscripts: (1) the author indicates the order of the elements by subscripts.

the need for more highly educated man power is reflected generally in the foundation of new universities (Dušková: 1988. with particular attention to word order. an agreement was reached/ they reached an agreement by midnight. 1. He defines communicative dynamism (CD) as “an inherent quality of communication and manifests itself in constant development towards attainment of a 30 . with regard to the relation between an active and a passive sentence. Sometimes in the passive voice there is even the animate doer constructed with a preposition different from by. Note: Also the prepositional phrase with a preposition different from by can be ambiguous in a passive sentence. He examines the relation of theme and rheme to syntactic components. Jan Firbas in his book Functional Sentence Perspective in Written and Spoken Communication discusses the distribution of degrees of communicative dynamism over sentence elements and how this determines the orientation or perspective of the sentence. the relative frequency of the two forms is shown in Table 1: (1) the author shows the relative frequency of the two forms in Table 1 (adverbial).7.g. The inaminate doer can be introduced by means of another preposition. she isn’t interested in sculpture (sculpture doesn’t interest her).g. e. The choice of preposition is then determined by verbal regimen. cf. (2) Table 1 shows the relative frequency of the two forms (subject) (Dušková 1988: 262).the adverbial of means when there is an expressed or implied agent). I am surprised at her attitude (her attitude surprises me). e. 262). which is concerned with the distribution of information as determined by all meaningful elements.1 Communicative dynamism Communicative dynamism is a central feature of the Prague School theory of functional sentence perspective (FSP). this fact wasn’t known to me. e. she was seated/sat by the open window.g.

In many cases. In accordance with it English puts the subject before the predicative verb and the latter before the object. in Czech it is played by the FSP linearity principle. Further he even suggests that “the element towards which the communication … is perspectived tends to occupy the final position” (Firbas 1992: 8). In addition to that. which manifests itself in that the sentence position of an element is determined by its syntactic function. The second is the principle of emphasis or as it is also termed the emotive principle. The first is the grammatical principle or as he later modifies its name. respectively. This is due to the fact that the same words can appear in an order that does not create such an impression of unusualness. and is on this sense marked (Firbas 1992: 118). Further he asserts that “in comparison 31 . he distinguishes two basic principles which can be related to active and to passive sentence arrangement. it orders the elements in accordance with a gradual rise in CD and induces the sentence to display the basic distribution of CD (Firbas 1992: 118). If asserting itself to full extent. the principle of FSP arranges the sentence elements in a Theme – Transition – Rheme sequence. As Jan Firbas (1992: 119) claims. towards the fulfilment of a communicative purpose” (Firbas 1992: 7). The unusual order fulfils an additional communicative purpose not served by the usual order. FSP linearity principle. in other words. the actual linear arrangement of sentence elements is in agreement with a gradual rise of CD. Firbas (1992: 8) claims that the CD of an English sentence often shows alignment with sentence linearity. Further.communication goal. This principle orders the words in a way that strikes the recipient as more or less out of ordinary. Mathesius has shown that while in English the dominant role in the system of word order is played by the grammatical principle.

with Czech. English is less ready to observe the Th-Tr-Rh sequence. In spite of it. 32 . The passive construction is one of the means of the English language which is employed to arrange the sentence elements in a Th-Tr-Rh sequence (Firbas 1992: 120). This is because the grammatical principle renders English word order less flexible. English shows a strong tendency to render the grammatical subject thematic” (Firbas 1992: 119).

Dušková (1988: 250) elaborates that the formation is similar to English only in monotransitive verbs. but it has restrictions as well. She suggests that the adjectival past participle can answer the question “What is it like?” (Rusínová 1996: 526). i.e. Compare some details have been omitted with Czech některé podrobnosti byly vynechány (Dušková 1988: 250). Rusínová proposes a test to distinguish between the two meanings. that is also the reason why it is called periphrastic passive. It is formed by the auxiliary verb be and the past participle. The Czech language The passive voice in Czech is defined under the same conditions as in English. Formal analogy of the passive voice in English is the periphrastic passive in Czech. The periphrastic passive in present-day Czech coalesces with predicate constructions which consist of an adjective and a verbal element (Rusínová 1996: 324) This happens when the final state can be viewed as a quality of the subject: Byt byl zapečetěn / zapečetěný x V továrně jsou zavedena / *zavedená přísná ekologická opatření. which facilitates their proper usage as well.2. which besides this has the reflexive passive at its disposal. we talk about the passive voice if the actor of an action does not stand in the position of grammatical subject (Trávníček 1949: 739). Particularly this situation is to be found in two cases: with or without the grammatical subject. There is a similar way of formation of the periphrastic passive in Czech and English. The subject of a passive construction is then the object of an active construction. I am going to deal only with the two parallel passive voices now. verbs that take direct object. Thus Jaký je byt? – 33 . “The past participle can be formed solely in transitive verbs with expressed object” (translated from Rusínová 1996: 323). since their structure can be subject to comparison.

In sentences in which the auxiliary verb be is in present tense. further Rusínová admits that it is very difficult sometimes to find the difference between the two meanings (1996: 526). In such cases the periphrastic passive is the only possibility: Byl jsem pochválen ředitelem. b) sentences with imperfective aspect In these sentences the periphrastic passive has ordinarily active meaning. whereas one of the most decisive factors is the verbal aspect: a) sentences with perfective aspect In sentences in which the auxiliary verb be is in past or future tense. this kind of passive voice can be in Czech used only in verbs which require an object. besides it is used predominantly in perfective verbs and its stylistic value is more or less literary and formal (Rusínová 1996: 525). an agent cannot be expressed: Byt byl uzamčen dva měsíce. In sentences with active meaning an agent can be expressed.zapečetěný x Jaká jsou opatření? . Only exceptionally such sentences with periphrastic passive have stative meaning: V Bibli je psáno. Sentences containing periphrastic passive can have either active or stative meaning (unlike reflexive passive). 2. However. 2. In sentences with stative meaning. že si lidé mají odpouštět (Rusínová 1996: 526). the periphrastic construction can have both meanings: active or stative: 1.*zavedená. 34 . However these are literary constructions which are perceived as affected style of speaking: Trávník je pravidelně stříhán (Rusínová 1996: 526).1 Periphrastic passive As has been mentioned above. expressing a certain state as a consequence of previous action. the periphrastic passive has always the meaning of resultant state: Byt je uzamčen.

it is in most cases possible to express an agent. often corresponds to Czech verb with genitive and dative relation or with prepositional case. She concludes that in practise it is not usual to come across sentences where the agent is specified through personal pronouns I and you: Syn byl mnou potrestán. What language is spoken there? – Jakým jazykem se tam mluví? (prepositional case) (Dušková 1988: 250-1). In verbs which make it possible to bear an object in the second or in the fourth case.g. 2. Tebou o tom bylo rozhodnuto (rare) (Rusínová 1996: 524). e. This instrumental construction corresponds to the English by-phrase in most Czech translations (Dušková 1988: 250). Jak se to nazývá? (instrumental relation).g.1 Agent in periphrastic constructions As opposed to reflexive passive forms. The aim has been reached – cíle bylo dosaženo (genitive relation). In individual verbs there are differences in government: an English verb. What is it called? – Jak se tomu říká? (dative relation). some linguists overall distinguish between personal and impersonal passive in periphrastic constructions: Vilém Závada byl jmenován zasloužilým umělcem (personal passive). both passive types is grammatical: města bylo dobyto and město bylo dobyto. which is coded usually via instrumental: Byt byl zajištěn policií. except for the instrumental. The genitive relation is sometimes joined via preposition od in Czech. e. Byl pokousán od psa.Havránek and Jedlička (2002: 105) state that the periphrastic passive in Czech can take different cases. projektu bylo využito are instances of impersonal passive.1. whereas examples like pevnosti bylo dobyto. This preposition is preferred if the agent is non-human. 35 . cíle bylo dosaženo. According to Rusínová (1996: 524).

e.2. an opportunity is given to everyone – příležitost je dána každému. For example.2.g. e. cases when the verb and preposition create a new semantic unit). 36 .2 Ditransitive verbs – which object will be transformed into subject? Ditransitive verbs (verbs with a direct and an indirect object) have a double passive construction in English because the subject of the passive voice can become either of the two objects. Such a construction does not exist in Czech: S touto možností se počítalo. reckon with behave in the same way as a one-word verb as for the formation of the passive voice is concerned. in Czech. Concurrently there occurs the passive with indirect object without to: a reward was given to him/given him. On the contrary. The prepositional object (with this possibility) remains the same as in an active reformulation and the passive is formed as non-subjective passive (Dušková 1988: 251). 2.1 Idioms In English idiomatic collocations of verbs and prepositions (i. everyone is given an opportunity – každému je dána příležitost. the subject of the passive voice can become only the direct object. The choice of construction depends a great deal on individual verbs (Dušková 1988: 252). The subject of a passive clause is again the object of an active clause and the preposition remains stuck to the verb: This possibility has been reckoned with.2. he was assigned an important task – an important task was assigned to him byl mu přidělen důležitý úkol.2 Special cases of the passive formation 2. Dušková (1988: 252) notes that an indirect object often bears to in the passive.

without any change of syntactic construction. In both languages then. e. the passive is the same as in English. Performance in particular subjects can be considerably affected by attitudes towards a teacher. the subject is both the place of verbal action and at the same 37 .3 Czech word order stands in for English passive voice In English the passive with expressed doer enables a pre-verbal positioning of a patient and a post-verbal positioning of an agent.000 copies. the Czech equivalent té knihy se už prodalo přes 100.4 Non-formation of the passive We encounter the non-formation of the passive voice in the examples of locative and locativo-possessive subject. In the following. In Czech such a change can be reached via mere change of a word order. in which the subject expresses the site where the intransitive action takes place. 2. more frequently.000. which can be made use of as a tool of functional sentence perspective. Výkon v jednotlivých předmětech může být značně ovlivněn postoji k učiteli (Dušková 1988: 261). namely when the doer is animate. As a medical student I was impressed by the discipline in the operating theatre. Když jsem studoval medicínu. zapůsobila na mne kázeň v operačním sále. cf. is the subject in a possessive relation towards the object. An active construction with a changed word order is usually a counterpart of an English passive with expressed doer.2. the basic distribution of communicative dynamism is the same. which in turn. In the sentences like he burst a bloodvessel praskla mu céva. Also an inanimate doer can be in Czech constructed as a subject after an action verb. with theme at the beginning and rheme in the end position. the book has sold over 100. the car leaks oil. However. cf.2. expresses in the Czech by means of adverbial construction.g.2. Compare In some animals the protection of the young is carried out by the males.

As contrasted to Czech.2. These syntactic constructions serve as basic means of secondary diathesis which is characterized by the removal of an agent from its subject position (Grepl. bylo oznámeno. 2.7 Non-subjective (impersonal) passive The instances of impersonal passive. cf.(Hladká. my things are packed – my things are always packed by my wife (Dušková 1988: 262). as they are mentioned by Rusínová (1996: 524) or by Havránek and Jedlička (1981: 236) merge with the non-subjective passive as it is defined by Trávníček (1949: 740). 167) 2. where an action and a state are indicated by different aspect. cf. These cases do not allow for the passive voice because in principle they represent intransitive actions with an adverbial. oil leaks from the car. Tento problém nemáme dosud vyřešen. 168). as opposed to Czech.2. It occurs relatively rarely. The former case can be altered into 38 . all our effort is wasted – much effort is wasted on things like that.2. Karlík: 1986. is also susceptible of a subject construction (Dušková 1988: 259). Karlík: 1986. for example: Problém zůstal nevyřešen. 2.time the possessor towards an object. which contain expressed indirect object of perfective action. in English the active or stative nature of the verb follows mostly from context. partly in similar cases without an object.6 Other auxiliary verbs in periphrastic passive In Czech as well as English the periphrastic passive can be formed also by means of other auxiliary verbs than the basic verb be. in which the English. partly in cases like města bylo dobyto. Pavel dostal vynadáno (Grepl. It is characterised by the absence of grammatical subject in a periphrastic construction. Karlík 2004: 391).5 Aspect of the Czech passive voice English passive constructed by means of the auxiliary verb be does not distinguish in between the expression of an action and the expression of a state.

Against Czech monominal sentences in English there are binominal ones with the expressed subject which corresponds to various Czech cases (except for nominative and accusative): the command was obeyed (Dušková 1988: 265).g. i. though merely implicit. In the sentences with reflexive passive. 2. If the reflexive passive is conveyed by means of time or place adverbial. it is impossible to express an agent. except for the case when the agent is represented by the semantic notion “place” or “time”. The reflexive passive has certain restrictions on its use: 1. On the other hand sentence containing the reflexive passive largely imply the general human agent. contains a subject. e. Monominal passive like the non-subjective passive rozkazu bylo uposlechnuto does not have analogy in English. is a relevant semantic feature of this type of clauses (Dušková 1999: 177) 39 . Štícha in his essay directly suggests calling the reflexive passive as reflexive deagentive (in Hladká.e. The English passive is always binominal. We say that the reflexive passive bears de-agentive function (Rusínová 1996: 324). Karlík 2004: 391). it can hold the shape of instrumental or adverbial case: Nová ústava Parlamentem / v Parlamentě schválena hned napoprvé (Rusínová 1996: 524).3 Reflexive passive This passive construction is formed by means of a verb shaped as in active-like shaped verb plus the reflexive pronoun se. Hence agency. Also Dušková (1999: 177) claims that the reflexive passive may be called nonagentive since in the events involved the question of agency does not arise. Havránek and Jedlička (2002: 105) argue that the subject of the reflexive passive is ordinarily material rather than personal. and then it takes the form of place or time adverbial: Na dráze se zavedly nové typy jízdenek.subjective variant by use of nominative case instead of the genitive (Trávníček 1949: 740). noviny se tisknou (Daneš 1955: 58).

4 Functions Generally the shift in between the points of view with respect to active (point of view of an agent. In such case it is possible to use only the periphrastic passive: Malá Janička je umývána (maminkou). There are many motives that can inspire a speaker or writer to remove agent from its position of the subject of a sentence. especially in imperfective verbs (Havránek. This means that it is impossible to use this construction if the patient is the speaker or addressee and in majority of cases even if the patient is a human person: Maminka umývá malou Janičku →* Malá Janička se umývá. 3. The reflexive particle se acquires then the function of an object and expresses that the agent and patient are the same person (Rusínová 1996: 524). The agent is displaced from the subject position and its placed is taken up by an element with the role of a patient (Grepl. That is why the reflexive passive is preferred (grammatically and also stylistically) in imperfective verbs which imply some agent: S tím se počítalo již dávno is more appropriate than S tím bylo počítáno již dávno (Rusínová 1996: 525). Sentences with reflexive passive have meaning of an action. Karlík 1998: 133). for example. experiencer) voice is included in the term de-agentative transformation (translated from Grepl. Sedí se tam dobře (Rusínová 1996: 324). Reflexive passive is limited to the third person. 4. 2. actor.2. In case of intransitive verbs the phenomenon in question is not the passive voice but anonymization of an agent. More concretely this is the question of de-agentization of the type agent – patient. doer. Karlík 1998: 133). Jedlička 1981: 237). performer) and passive (point of view of a patient. And in texts the various motives often 40 . Otherwise a homonymy with the sentence containing predicate in the active voice can occur.

špatně. The reflexive passive containing modal verb chtít is used. “Experiencer” – Spalo se mi dobře. This can be reached by means of reflexive passive: Před ale se píše čárka or less frequently. snadno which characterize the intensity of the experience. or when the speaker does not know the agent (or does not want to know). Moje motorka se opravovala asi týden. As for the different semantic role than agentive is concerned. This can be reached only by means of periphrastic passive. “Intentionality” – Petrovi se chtělo spát. this is the domain solely of the reflexive passive which make the agent remove from its subject position into a dative position which consequently results in the weakening of its agentive nature. The enumeration of reasons given by Rusínová (1996: 528) includes anonymization. For these purposes both passive forms can be used: Moje motorka byla opravována asi týden. Anonymization of an agent means that it is unexpressed in any sentence position. 2. an agent can be backgrounded which means that it is not expressed in the hierarchically highest position in a sentence. lehce.combine. Generalization of an agent differs from anonymization only in the incentive leading to non-expression of an agent which is the fact that the agent can be anybody who comes into consideration with regard to the action described by the verb. generalization. which occurs due to its unimportance and irrelevance for the given situation. 41 . by periphrastic passive: Toho nařízení není dbáno (Rusínová 1996: 528). Thus other natures come into foreground: 1. First of all. The emphasis put on the experiencing of the agent shows through the expressions like the following: dobře. secondary attention paid to an agent or emphasis on different semantic role of an agent than agentive.

Since the use of this passive form is limited to the third person of both numbers. To sum it up. hledá se (zařízený pokoj). where it really has the meaning of “passivity”: the subject is able to passively receive given activity and submit to it.5 Stylistic differences between periphrastic and reflexive passive Solely periphrastic passive voice is used in constructions like být chválen. Solely reflexive passive is used in expressions like prodá se (dům). Rather on the contrary. the used construction is not a representative of the passive voice and the past participle nastoupena has “validity of an adjective here and in connection with the verbal element byla it does not form verbal expression” (translated from Daneš 1964: 222-3). in the former case. Such a sentence unambiguously indicates that the action happened not on purpose. However. the possibility of choice between the two passive constructions is available (except for the above mentioned cases) only in case of a third person. If an emphasis is focused on the activity itself and an agent is unexpressed we use the reflexive passive: 42 . He points at the fact that the verb in question is intransitive and thus it is impossible to form the passive voice. jmenován. 2. as Daneš draws to attention. Periphrastic passive is used always if we wish to express an actor. trestán. if it is required to express oneself about a first and second person we have to use periphrastic passive: byl jsem přeložen na jiné pracoviště. zvyšuje se (nájemné). Daneš (1964: 222) sticks at the phrases like for example Četa byla nastoupena. “Non-agentive” – Petrovi se rozlilo mléko. it is analogous to the type of sentences as strom je rozkvetlý. Also intransitive verbs (verbs which take an object in a case different from the fourth) construct the passive voice exclusively by reflexive form: vypráví se o tom v celém městě. rybník je zamrzlý. In comparison with a very similar sentence Četa byla napadena the two sentences look alike which would suggest the passive voice.3. odsouzen etc.

1955. 43 .svetry se nosí za špatného počasí. The same is valid for sentences with impersonal subject: říká se. In such instances it is replaced by reflexive passive which maintains the actionality of a situation to the full. Thus periphrastic passive voice is a part of strongly or even fully stative phraseology and that is why it is not suitable for narrative style or news reporting (Novinářský studijní ústav. The use of periphrastic passive is to a great amount connected with professional style because in passive generally the actionality is strongly reduced and the view of a situation as a state resulting from previous action is stressed and foregrounded (especially in passives of perfective verbs): přehrada byla postavena. 59). hovořilo se.

3. or when it is unclear whether the agent is human or non-human (e. for example the verb play is distinguished from the perfective play out by separate analysis.g. attached via the preposition with or by means of any other preposition which is then stated in the respective column). Individual entries are reserved for verbs which function as idiomatic expressions. I include an infinitive form as one of the “Tense category”. for example the verb arrange presupposes a human actor. Finally the information about the formal aspects of a passive phrase is ended by demonstration of the presence of negation in the phrase. which is usually conditioned by the nature of a concrete verb. The abbreviation “Imp (hum)” stands for a situation when the human agent is unexpressed. when the agent cannot be thought of and created with the given verb (e. the window was opened – by wind or by somebody?). generalized human doer. nevertheless it can be deduced either from the previous verbal context or the agent is represented by. the old restaurant is gone). specification of an agent (attached via by-phrase: here I distinguish between human and non-human agent. present.” (continuous) following after the appropriate tense.g.g. Attention is also paid to the tense of the passive voice. his eyes were firmly imbedded in his face). future” with the expression “perfect” added behind if it is the case. The analysis includes the indication of an agent. what is called. the basic tenses are marked by words “past. The fact that the passive voice has been expressed in progress is indicated by the abbreviation “cont.Henry. 44 . Unknown doer completes the possibilities as for an agent is concerned by accounting for all cases when an agent is unexpressed owing to the fact that it is unknown at all (e. Tables The following Table 1 provides a summary of the occurrences of the passive voice in the twenty explored short stories by O.

I do not include the statistics concerning the incidence proportion of the passive as a percentage of all (inc. past 2x. past inf. The various colours are applied when there is more than one occurrence of a same verb in the texts and where an ambiguity would otherwise arise.The presence of a value is marked via number 1 (if not specified further). inf. The differentiation of the colours and their assignment to individual instances is rather intuitive and does not need further explanation. inf. inf. 1 Table 1 Verb Passiv e accompany accomplish administer admit allow 1 1 1 1 4 arrange arrest ask assign awaken back up balk bark bear begin believe beset bless blockade bog book break up buck build up burden button cage call carry charge churn close 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 By By With (hum) (Nonhum) Other prep. inf. Imp Uknw. present 2x past past inf. future. active) verbal occurrences since it is a wellknown and well-proven fact that the way of expression by means of the active voice is preponderant in language. past perfect present perfect past past present 2x. past perfect 1 1 1 . present future past past perfect past perfect past inf. past past present past. present present perfect past 2x present past past inf. (hum) doer 1 1 1 1 4 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 1 in 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 1 1 1 ½ 1 1 3 1 1 1 45 Tense Neg. 3.

past present. present. Imp Uknw. (hum) doer Tense Neg. present. past present inf. inf. past past perfect past. past past past past past past perfect past past perfect past inf. past past past past past past past present. past past present past present past 2x. present past 3x Inf. past perfect past perfect past.. past perfect past inf. present past past perfect present 2x. past past perfect inf.Verb Passiv e compare complete connect consider consume corner cover dash deal with declare defeat deliver demolish deny descend from direct discover dismiss dispatch dispossess dispute do 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 drag draw dress drive away embrace end enter entrance erect escort examine expect feed fill find finish fire fix flag flank flutter force forget forgive frown gather give go hale hang 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 3 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 2 2 By By With (hum) (Nonhum) Other prep. 1 1 1 . past past 1 1 1 1 1 2 on 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 from 1 1 from 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1+1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 3 1 2 46 1 1 1 past perfect future past past. inf. present past inf. 1 1 inf.

present inf. 1 inf. 1 Imp Uknw. 1 1 past future past past past. (hum) doer Tense Neg. past inf. 2x. past past. future present perfect present past past 1 ½ ½ in 1 1 1 1 present present present perfect present past 2x past perfect past present perfect past past past 2x past past.have 1 Verb Passiv e heap hear hedge hem in hold hold up house imbed import 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 impress include inform instruct intend intermix interrupt introduce jar keep in kidnap knock down lay leave light light lose make 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 2 1 1 2 3 make up manufacture mark mean miss mistake 1 1 1 1 1 3 name 4 need occupy open order overcharge overcome overpower paint patrol pay 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 peel 1 1 By By With (hum) (Nonhum) Other prep. past.. present perfect. past. past past past past past past past inf. present past perfect 1 past 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 around 1 1 1 1 1 1+1 1 1 1 1 from 1 1 1 1 3 4 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 47 1 1 1 . inf. past perfect past perfect present present present inf. future past 2x present past present.

perform permeate 1 1 play 2 play out 1 Verb Passiv e precipitate prey proclaim prompt pull quench raise realize rebuff receive re-christen recognize record recruit refill request restore reveal rouse say scatter scuttle season seat see sell serve set sew shoot shove show shrink situate smooth spend step on stew store stray stretch sub-let supply 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 past past 2 present. 1 1 1 1 1 1 . 1 1 By By With (hum) (Nonhum) Other prep. (hum) doer 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 in 2 1 1 1 2 1 1 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 48 past perfect Tense past present present inf. past Neg. inf. past cont. future. past perfect past past past past past perfect past.. past past past 2x past present perfect past past 2x past present inf. past past past 2x inf. past past. past` present present past perfect past perfect past past 2x past present past past. inf. past perfect past perfect present present present past inf. Imp Uknw.

present past perfect inf. past past to 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 49 past past present perfect past 2x past past perfect past past.suppose suspend tag take tattoo tear away tear down tell 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 3 tempt think 1 1 Verb Passiv e tie tie down torture trample transfer trim tuck in tug typewrite use waken wash wear whistle wipe out witness worship wreck write 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1+1 1 1 By By With (hum) (Nonhum) Other prep. past inf. 1 2 . inf. (hum) doer Tense 1 past present inf.. present perfect present past 1 Neg. inf. past perfect present past past perfect present. 2x inf. past. inf. future inf. Imp Uknw.

in bold are pointed out passages which correspond to the English passive constructions. 82) Toho nemohlo býti dosaženo […] (HT. (p. 124) This could not have been accomplished […] (p. 75) Úder měl stejný účinek jako vstup učitele do třídy. p.3. whereas the first letters of the highlighted passive construction’s lexical verb are considered as determinative. p. 393) D Why am I not allowed to accept this […] offer? (p. 53) HT stands for the short stories’ collection called Harlemská tragédie a jiné povídky. 25) With the effect of a schoolmaster entering the play-room of his pupils was that blow administered. In parallel. p. The abstracts are numbered in order to serve as examples in the following analytical part. 397) 2x […] you were admitted […] to dine. The English abstracts are ordered alphabetically. 5 50 . 408) 4 […].2 Table 2 Each instance of the passive voice entered in the Table 1 is illustrated by an appropriate example in Table 2 which cites the relevant passages containing the passive expression in English. p. the correspondent Czech translations of the excerpts are offered for comparison. regardless of the used voice or form. nebýt toho. p. 88) Proč nesmím přijmout nabídku […]? (HT. The passive construction in English is marked off in bold letters including the highlighted agentive preposition if there is any. (VŠ. že je provázela […] marnivost (HT4. had they not been accompanied by […] vanity (p. (p. 1 2 3 4 5 […]. In Czech translations then. (VŠ5. 93) […] směli jste pojíst. By letter “D” placed in front of a passage I chose to mark a direct speech periscope. VŠ stands for the short stories’ collection called Vrtkavá štěstěna aneb jak se Gladys činila a jiné povídky.

107) […] byla zimní sezóna v plném proudu. 249) […]. 160) […]děvčat. vyvolané čumily. 223) D […] tenants should be allowed to use […] (p. 79) 26 […] the Spaniard was bearded again in recapitulation. 408) Smín na ni počkat […] (ZH6. p. 76) […] než by vydobyl sůl […] (VŠ. 85) Ochotný vedoucí ukázal účastníkům jejich místa. 125) I was born a yellow pup. 249) D Every hour […] is arranged for days in advance. že jsme se tam 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 6 […] budou sloužit nájemníkům jako […] (HT. 325) D He was blockaded in a tangled mess of vehicles and horses. p. 333) D […] girls […] who will in time be allowed to accept […] (p. 6) […] se přihodilo. 23) […] a soustřeďujíce na sebe pokřiky nadějných taxikářů […] (VŠ. 261) The merry top-riders had been assigned to their seats by the gentlemanly conductor. p. (HT. p. p. co […] (HT. p. p. p. 276) […]. p. abych vám jej odevzdal. 71) […] it was backed up by the muzzle of a breech-loader. (ZH. (HT. naši agenti vás zatknou. (p. 79) […]. (ZH.D But I’m allowed to meet her […] (p. 91) ZH stands for the short stories’ collection called Zpověď humoristova. (p. kterým bude časem dovoleno přimout […] (HT. 74) […] the roads […] are beset with “pitfall and with gin”. 51 . 216) Keogh was booked for a passage […] (p. […] setkání provázely posměšky na adresu Španělů. 7) Keogh si zamluvil místo pro […] přeplavbu. (p. (p. p. 251) […] that little Alice is bogged […] (p. 107) […] situaci jistila hlaveň zadovky. (p. 213) 27 D […] we happened to be born there. že se malá Alenka zabořila do bahna […] (VŠ. (HT. p. 87) […] pokud bylo možno věřit zdání […] (VŠ. (p. (HT. (p. kolik jsem nezažil od doby. 223) D […] you will be arrested by one of our agents. 406) D […] I’ve been blessed with since […] (p. p. 224) The sidewalk was blockaded with sightseers […] (p. p. (VŠ. yet will his prowess be balked when he comes to wrest salt […] (p. 53) […] byli probuzeni […] výstřelem z pistole […] (VŠ. 108) Byl zablokován v klubku povozů a koní. 250) Na chodníku došlo k tlačenici. 395) Každá hodina […] je zadána dny předem. […] (VŠ. (HT. (ZH. 110) Kolem cest […] jsou ‚nástrahy a gin‛ […] (HT. p. 27) […]. […] (VŠ. (p. 50) […]. p. 324) […] winter season was well begun. to be barked at by hopeful cabmen […] (p. (p. p. 84) Narodil jsem se jako žluté štěně. […] (p. p. p. 408) D […] here’s a note I was asked to hand you. 53) Byl jsem požádán. p. 251) […] they had been awakened […] by the noise of a pistol-shot […] (p. 127) […] if countenances are to be believed […] (p. p. p.


(p. 178)
D The madam was broken up worst of
all. (SR7, p. 50)
D […] rules […] couldn’t be bucked
for a yard by a team of tenmillionaires. (p. 223)
D Now, that business could be built
up. (p. 374)
D […] baggage […] with which his
flight was burdened. (p. 75)
His shabby coat was buttoned high
[…] (p. 295)
Thus an animal […] acts when it is
caged […] (p. 294)
D I’m called the Llano Kid in the Rio
Grande country. (SR, p. 48)
[…] hummed what is still called a
chanson […] (p. 395)
The black-and-tan was called
It was charged that not only had he
given away […] (p. 133)
D […] or the thing in which it was
carried […] (p. 71)
[…] wit that can be churned out of
California claret. (p. 397)
½ […]; but the majority of the doors
belonged to business places that had
long since been closed. (p. 259)
Nothing could be compared with
them […] (p. 310)
[…] picture was completed […] (p.
[…] its cause was connected, […],
with the slowly moving hands of the
time-piece. (p. 247)
D I told him it was considered a
faithful likeness. (p. 297)
Tons of brew have been consumed
over theories […] (p. 177)
[…] a cur that is cornered by his
tormentors. (p. 295)
[…] and […] his paper is covered! (p.
The walls […] were covered with
original sketches by the artists who
[…] (p. 393)


narodili. (VŠ, p. 21)
Nejvíce ze všeho to ale postihlo paní
domu; […] (ZH, p. 186)
[…] zákony […] nelze zvrátit ani
desetispřežením milionářů. (ZH, p. 250)
Dal by se z něho vybudovat docela
slušný obchod. (VŠ, p. 46)
[…] nebo cokoli, co by mu ztěžovalo
útěk. (VŠ, p. 111)
Ošumělý kabát byl zapnut na všechny
knoflíky […] (ZH, p. 215)
Takhle si počíná zvíře, když je lidé dají
do klece (ZH, p. 213)
V kraji kolem Ria Grande mi však
říkají Llano Kid. (ZH, p. 185)
[…] si pobrukovala něco, čemu se
dosud říká […] chanson. (VŠ, p. 90)
Černožlutýmu říkají Cukrouš. (VŠ, p.
Tvrdilo se, že nejen udělil […] (HT, p.
[…] či ta věc, v níž měly být uloženy
[…] (VŠ, p. 106)
[…] důvtipem, vyvolaným
kalifornským červeným vínem. (VŠ, p.
Většina dveří však patřila obchodním
podnikům, jež byly už dávno zavřené.
(ZH, p. 82)
[…] se s tím nedalo nic jiného
porovnat. (HT, p. 46)
[…] obraz je hotov […] (HT, p. 92)
[…], že neklid nějak souvisí s
ručičkami časoměru, pomalu se
pohybujícími. (ZH, p. 303)
Řekl jsem mu, že to je věrná podoba.
(ZH, p. 217)
Při pátrání […] byly již zkonzumovány
tuny várek různého druhu. (VŠ, p. 19)
[…] psa, kterého pronásledovatelé
zahnali do kouta. (ZH, p. 215)
[…] a […] papír je popsán! (VŠ, p. 85)
Stěny […] byly pokryty původními
kresbami umělců, kteří […] (VŠ, p. 88)

SR stands for the short stories’ collection called The Skylight Room and Other Stories; all the other
unmarked abstracts are taken from my main source 69 Short Stories.




[…] his breast was covered […] with
croses, […] (p. 125)
They […] were dashed on the crest of
a great human wave of pleasure madseekers […] (p. 329)
[…] and one who was not to be
carelessly dealt with […] (p. 72)
[…] Thanksgiving Day was declared
[…] (p. 309)
But I am not defeated. (p. 397)
[…] it would be delivered to him. (p.
His pictures […] were demolished. (p.
It cannot be denied that […] (p. 323)
Humans were denied the speech of
animals. (p. 215)
[…], Virginians who weren’t
descended from Pocahontas, […] (p.
[…] that had hitherto been directed at
Aileen alone. (p. 279)
By reference to the almanac a large
amount of territory will be discovered
upon which its rays also fell. (p. 180)
D A police captain […] was dismissed
from force […] (p. 373)
A sailor had been dispatched for the
missing cargo. (SR, p. 47)
Colonel Emilio Falcon […] was
dispatched from the capital upon this
important mission. (p. 70)
[…] ghost that had been dispossessed.
(p. 372)
Goodwin was not to be disputed. (p.
[…] up-hill charge that was disputed
[…] by the Spaniards and afterward by
the Democrats. (p. 323)
D It’s done, […] (p. 298)
[…] when wrong or harm was done to
one of them. (SR, p. 46)
[…] the ranchman was dragged away.
(p. 407)
The shades were drawn, […] (p. 248)
He was dressed all in black, […] (p.
[…], but were driven away by the
military, […] (p. 133)


[…] byla jeho hruď poseta […] kříži,
[…] (HT, p. 83)
[…] a na hřbetu mohutné vlny
poblázněných návštěvníků prahnoucích
po zábavě byli unešeni […] (HT, p.
[…] a mužem, s nímž se nedalo
lehkomyslně jednat […] (VŠ, p. 107)
[…] Den Díkuvzdání je vyhlášen […]
(HT, p. 44)
Nevzdal jsem se však. (VŠ, p. 93)
[…] mu bude bezpečně doručen. (VŠ,
p. 18)
[…] ničili jeho portréty. (HT, p. 94)
Nelze popřít, že […] (HT, p. 105)
Lidem není dopřáno dorozumívat se se
zvířaty. (VŠ, p. 8)
[…], lidi z Virginie, kteří neodvozovali
svůj původ od Pocahontas, […] (VŠ, p.
[…], který do té doby šetřili výlučně
pro Aileenu. (VŠ, p. 27)
Podle jednoho kalendáře jeho paprsky
dopadaly současně na další rozlehlé
území. (VŠ, p. 11)
[…] policejní kapitán […] byl […]
propuštěn ze sboru. (VŠ, p. 45)
Poslal plavčíka pro chybějící náklad
[…] (ZH, p. 184)
Touto důležitou misí byl pověřen […]
plukovník Emilio Falcon. (VŠ, p. 105)
[…] jako nějaký vypuzený duch. (VŠ,
p. 44)
O Goodwinovi nebylo třeba
pochybovat. (VŠ, p. 112)
[…] útoku do kopce, který byl […]
kritizován jak Španěly tak později
Demokraty […] (HT, p. 105)
Hotovo, […](ZH, p. 218)
[…] kdykoli bylo některému z nich
ublíženo, […](ZH, p. 182)
[…] rančer byl vlečen pryč, […] (HT, p.
Žaluzie byly staženy […] (ZH, p. 304)
Byl celý v černém […] (HT, p. 45)
[…], byly však odehnány vojskem,
[…] (HT, p. 94)


Not even Aileen herself had been
publicly embraced […] (p. 278)
[…] the inquiry was ended […] (p. 76)

Ani samotná Aileen nebyla veřejně
objata […] (VŠ, p. 27)
[…] vyšetřování je u konce, […] (VŠ,
p. 113)
[…] negotiations […] had been
[…] došlo k […] jednání […] (HT, p.
entered into […] (p. 133)
If the transients were entranced by the Jsou-li občasní hosté Aileenou
fascinating Aileen, […] (p. 277)
okouzleni, […] (VŠ, p. 24)
In every town he caused to be erected V každém městě dal postavit své
statues of himself […] (p. 125)
pomníky […] (HT, p. 83)
[…] the prince had been escorted to
the door by the butler […] (p. 372)
Two or three who were thus examined
[…] (p. 71)
A yellow dog […] mustn’t be expected
to perform any tricks […] (p. 213)
D Now, while you are fed and […] (p.
The benches were not filled; […] (p.
Her soul was filled with a […] joy. (p.
The hallways were suddenly filled
with sound. (p. 363)
D When it was finished […] (p. 297)
D […] when the shot was fired, […]
(p. 73)
[…], tablets were fixed […] (p. 125)
But at Webb, […], where it was
flagged to take on a traveller, […] (SR,
p. 46)
[…] whose steps were flanked by two
green lights. (p. 373)
The boarders on the steps were
fluttered. (p. 181)
[…] they are forced to seek […] (p.
[…] Tommy Tucker, who was forced
to hand out vocal harmony for […] (p.
D I wanted to be forgiven, […] (p.
[…] he had discovered that one of the
necessaries of life, […], had been
forgotten. (SR, p. 47)
[…] space for […] a chair was not to
be found. (p. 125)
But beneath hard the crust […] is
found a delectable and luscious food.
(p. 182)

[…] princ byl komorníkem vyveden ze
dveří […] (VŠ, p. 43)
Dva nebo tři z těch, kdož byli takto
vyslýcháni, […] (VŠ, p. 106)
Od žlutého psa […] nelze očekávat
žádné zázraky […] (VŠ, p. 6)
Tak a teď, když jsme se dobře najedli a
[…] (VŠ, p. 90)
Lavičky nebyly obsazené; […] (ZH, p.
Její duše byla naplněna […] radostí.
(VŠ, p. 92)
Chodba byla pojednou plná hluku. (HT,
p. 7)
Když byl dokončen […] (ZH, p. 217)
[…], když už jsem byl za výstřelu […]
(VŠ, p. 109)
[…] byly desky […] (HT, p. 83)
Když však vlak zastavil ve Webbu,
[…], aby přibral cestujícího, […] (ZH,
p. 182)
[…], u jejíhož schodiště zářila po
stranách dvě zelená světla. (VŠ, p. 45)
Nájemníci na schodech se vylekali.
(VŠ, p. 12)
[…] jsou nucena vyhledávat […] (HT,
p. 160)
[…] Tommy Tuckera, který byl nucen
rozdávat vokální harmonii za […] (ZH,
p. 216)
Chtěl jsem, aby mi bylo odpuštěno.
(ZH, p. 304)
[…], když zjistil, že byla zapomenuta
jedna z jeho životních potřeb, […] (ZH,
p. 184)
[…] ani nezbylo místo pro […] židli.
(HT, p. 84)
Avšak I pod tvrdou korou […] bývá
lahoda! (VŠ, p. 14)

p. (VŠ. p. 255) D The old restaurant is gone. p. 184) […]. (p. p. p. (ZH. 155) D I’ve been held up for my story with Už jsem byl dvacetkrát nucen vyprávět a loaded meal pointed at my head za dobrou večeři svůj příběh. 132) (HT. 372) […] (VŠ. 295) přičítána k tíži. 309) […] (HT. 252) […] thus a caged man acts when he is […] podobně jedná polapený člověk. p. 294) když je uzavřen v džungli nejistoty. p. p. […] (p. 215) […] overriding of all tenets […] that […] potlačování […] zásad were held by his caste […] (p. 47) 99 […] near which were gathered […] some twenty […] girls. (p. […] (ZH. 217) They were not to be had in Pension V penziónu paní Murphyové sice Murphy. p. p.45s are frowned upon by town marshals. 296) 216) D […] while the cab was hemmed in. p. 10) Rita se už skoro zbavila kašle. 44) His clothes were imported […] (SR. (ZH. p. […] (VŠ. kterého vybral z řady […] the line […] (p. 261) 85) D […] bank account was gone […] (p. 52) People are more impressed by a Na lidi udělá větší dojem fotoaparát 55 . (p. 410) 100 […] cats […] saw reason to give thanks that prehensile claws had been given to them. 410) (HT. že se Kid dopustil hlouposti […] (ZH. jak jsem je přehlížel. (p. (VŠ. 217) 101 Rita’s cough is almost gone.97 98 […] it was found that the Kid had committed an indiscretion. […] (p. 225) zablokována. 56) It was to be hung in the National Obraz má viset v Národní galerii […] Gallery […] (p. p. […]. Stará restaurace je pryč. p. zjistilo se.45 […] (ZH. (p. 56) Kočky […] div že si neukroutily krky z toho. p. zatím co drožka byla (p. p. 176) pozornost v zábavném parku na Coney Island. 44) […]. […] (SR. (HT.u nichž postávalo […] asi dvacet […] děvčat. 92) D […] certain amount of cleanliness […] jistá dávka čistoty mu nebude will not be held against him. (ZH. protože městští strážníci nelibě pohlížejí na revolver ráže . […] peníze už byly z banky pryč […] 297) (ZH. p. p. 17) She was hedged. 12) […] guest who had been haled from […] hosta. p. […] (SR. (p. Oděv byl z dovozu […] (ZH. (p. twenty times. […] (p. 380) 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 […]. 93) His eyes were […] firmly imbedded in Jeho oči byly […] pevně zasazené do […] (p. p. 295) (ZH. p. p. 189) p. 181) nebyly k mání. 213) Below it was hung a […] canvas […] […] pod ním byl upevněn plakát […] (p. housed in a jungle of doubt. 181) […]. 215) The great bulk of the Captain […] was Mohutná kapitánova postava […] heaped against the arm of the bench opírala se sklesle o opěradlo lavičky […] (p. (VŠ. 396) Byla omezována. for […] . p. 43) […] and he will be heard from next […] a v létě prý na sebe strhne summer at Coney Island. 330) dodržovaných jeho kastou […] (HT. […] (VŠ. (ZH.

409) 139 Yet not all was lost. p. […] (VŠ. 16) […] Newyorčana. 311) 123 […]. 179) 126 D […] whom I have not been introduced. p. 179) 136 As soon as the cigars were lighted. že další fakta jsou vám už známa. ale on tu musil zůstat jako školák […] (HT. p. 124) 133 They will be laid before you tomorrow […] (p. p. p. 218) Soudím. 154) Pěst […] dopadla […] a vyvolala mé zmlknutí. 74) 137 D Is it lit? (p. p. 53) 135 So I was left with the would-be periwinkle. 128) 119 D All that’s included in the fall. (VŠ. p. 86) […] tolik lidí přijde o život. (HT. (p. p. p. 179) 131 […] men […] were knocked down […] (p. kterého unesli nějací afgánští bandité […] (VŠ. kdyby onen genius nebyl prostoupen jinými vlastnostmi. p. 130) 142 I desire that everything be made plain […] (p. […] (p. 22) […] kteří mi nebyli představeni. 279) 141 […] that it was made of paint. aby vám všechno bylo naprosto jasné […] (HT. 177) 128 But here he was kept in like a schoolboy […] (p. 54) Všechno však nebylo ztraceno. p. p. p. když hoří divadlo? (HT. (VŠ. 327) 134 D What was left of you they’d feed to alligators. (p. […] (HT. as a dog was intended to do. p. 76) 122 Speech was intended. (p. 298) 120 D I suppose you have been informed of the subsequent facts. […] (p. byl založen na charakteristice […] (HT. (p. 28) […] záležitost pěkně urovnal. (HT. 153) […] Pat…byl unesen […] (VŠ. 82) Budou vám předloženy zítra […] (HT. 111) Je zapálená? (VŠ. že je namalován barvami. 151) Co z vás zbude. 28) […]. 406) 56 […] (HT. (p. p. 179) 132 […]. (p. 392) 138 D […] many lives are lost when a theatre catches fire? (p. 82) Moje meditace byla přerušena rámusem náhle vzplanuvší rvačky […] (VŠ. 215) 124 […]. p. […] (VŠ. was laid around the characteristics […] (p. 112) […]. 183) 130 D […] New Yorker who was kidnapped […] by some Afghanistan bandits. 189) A tak jsem byl opuštěn s rádoby koňadrou. p. (p. p. 7) […]. p. p. p. (SR. 88) Toto vše patří k mému pádu. (ZH. (ZH. 111) Já jsem […] dostal příkaz. měl to být projev. (p. p. […] (p. 328) 129 D […] Pat was kidnapped […] (p.kodak […] (p. (p. 75) 121 D […] I am instructed to pursue […] (p. 21) […] muži […] padali na podlahu […] (VŠ. 91) Snažím se. 280) 140 […] reparation had been made. předhodí krokodýlům. 124) 125 My meditations were interrupted by a tremendous noise and conflict […] (p. (VŠ. 51) . p. (HT. 19) […]. p. p. (VŠ. 328) 127 The fist […] banged […] and I was jarred into silence. 47) […] jako správný pes […] (VŠ. p. abych sledoval […] (VŠ. had not that genius been intermixed with other traits […] (p. 22) […]. 22) […] jakmile byly zapáleny doutníky.

50) […] neoloupané brambory. p. p. 130) 164 […] most of the […] paths are patrolled by their agents. p. jmenovat se Mary. 375) […] jako by bylo zhotoveno z jednotlivých příspěvků účinkujících ve sboru muzikálu. 294) 161 […] they were almost overpowered by a great clapping of hands […] (p. (p. místu. 75) […] přirovnání. p. 90) […] s povzdechem.143 […] as if it had been made up from individual contributors from the chorus of a musical comedy. p. Rushmore Coglan […] (VŠ. 363) 157 The broad jalousies were opened wide. p. […] (p. p. 394) 159 Stuffy Pete was overcharged with the caloric […] (p. (VŠ. 183) 152 D After him would the bye be named. (ZH. 177) 162 Artists had been paid more for portraits. (VŠ. (p. […] (VŠ. chystané k snídani. 176) 155 Her services were needed at once. […] (p. 54) Náruč měl plnou balíčků. (p. 51) 151 D […] Pat he would be named. (HT. p. 183) 153 […] it was […] a daring thing to have been named Mary. (p. p. 253) 150 D […] I’m mistaken in my man. p. p. (p. (VŠ. p. (HT. 213) […] budou přehlušeny velkým potleskem […] (VŠ. […] (VŠ. (p. 409) 145 […] a point that is marked by no monument […] (p. 15) […] to byla […] odvážná věc. p. o kterém se nebudeme dále šířit. 15) Hošík by se jmenoval po něm! (VŠ. 394) 154 My cosmopolite was named E. Rushmore Coglan […] (p. […] (SR. 19) Umělcům už bylo zaplaceno víc za portréty. 127) 163 He is to be painted as Jupiter […] (p. 91) Splnil svou povinnost. 253) 147 […] not a chance must be missed. 47) […]. p. (p. 302) […] se vyrábějí […] kostýmy. (p. (ZH. 90) […] většina […] pěšin je hlídána agenty. (VŠ. 72) 158 The dinner was ordered. jak si jej spletli se zlodějem. p. neoznačenému pomníkem. […] (HT. pak se ve vás mýlím. p. 44) Pomalu setřásl neklidnou náladu. p. abych ho namaloval jako Jupitera […] (HT. (ZH. 89) Můj kosmopolita se jmenoval E. 406) 165 […] potatoes which were not yet peeled for breakfast. […] (p. (p. 47) 146 […] a comparison that is not meant to go further. 85) Chce. 7) Široké žaluzie byly otevřeny dokořán […] (VŠ. (p. (p. p. p. který byl mylně vykládán jako […] (HT. 82) […] nesměla […] propást jedinou příležitost. (VŠ. p. (HT. p. 55) […]. (VŠ. (p. p. 112) . 108) Hosté si objednali večeře. 394) 148 […] with a sigh that was mistaken for […] (p. 187) 57 Byl by se jmenoval Pat. 395) 166 His duty was performed. p. 83) […]. 17) […] její služby byly žádány okamžitě […] (HT. […] (p. 246) 144 D […] the costumes […] are manufactured. (VŠ. p. 408) 156 His arms were occupied with bundles. p. 309) 160 By and by the restless mood was overcome. 89) Buclík Pete byl přeplněn kaloriemi […] (HT. (p. 311) 149 […] about having been mistaken for a burglar.

(p. 8) 168 When “Dixie” was being played […] (p. […] (VŠ. p. (VŠ. 260) (ZH. p. 82) 178 Loud voices and […] uproar were Hlasy […] nabývaly na síle a rozruch raised […] (p. […] (p. nikdy offensively. 46) 174 […] he must be prompted to do his […] je nutné ho pobídnout. p. jak bude přijat. (VŠ. (p. (VŠ. 372) […]. p. 44) 176 […] a fire that was seldom quenched. p. zda bude přijat he will be received […] (SR. p. (ZH. (HT. od našeho. 19) 172 […] every creature on earth is preyed […] pozemští tvorové se rádi navzájem upon by some other creature. […] (p.167 He was permeated with the curse of domesticity. knihovny. (SR. 10) 175 His hat was pulled low. 76) 113) 177 He and I were raised here in New York Vyrostli jsme spolu v New Yorku […] […] (p. 47) 187 The Gentle Riders were recruited Vznešení jezdci byli rekrutováni z from the aristocracy […] (p. 52) […] (ZH. p. p. (HT. 132) 93) 190 […] order was restored. 184) vzrůstal. 248) však hrubě. p. 133) […] byl obnoven pořádek […] (HT. p. (p. p. 76) 113) 185 […] on […] face was recorded a little Do tváře […] byla vepsána malá library of […] thoughts […] (p. (ZH. p. p. 114) 189 The artist had been requested to […] Umělec byl pozván. (VŠ. realized. (p. (p. s kloboukem hluboko naraženým do čela […] (VŠ. 105) 188 The glasses were refilled. (p. […] (VŠ. 95) 58 . p. […] (SR. p. 311) Už je tam znali. 52) 188) 183 […] and was at once received in the […]. “Beelzebub” […] (p. 81) 186 They were recognized. 323) aristokracie […] (HT. […] (p. […] z toho. 187) 182 […] as to how he would be received. p. 310) všechny. (p. p. p. aby konal duty. (ZH. p. p. 303) 181 D […] and is waiting to know whether […] a čeká na zprávu. 252) knihovnička […] myšlenek […] (VŠ. […] zřídkakdy uhasitelný oheň. 177) 169 I will tell you how it’s played. 76) Sklenice byly znovu naplněny. (HT. (HT. 274) 170 […] the game of Fox-in-the-Morning […] „hon na lišku“ skončil. že byl často odmítnut. p. 364) svou povinnost. 188) 180 He was often rebuffed but never Stalo se. p. 79) 173 […] this day […] is well proclaimed Tento den […] je požehnáním pro nás to each of us. a byl okamžitě uveden do library. p. (VŠ. která se možná nevyplní. (p. 19) Povím vám. our table. 251) pozorují. (ZH. 16) 179 […] any hopes that may not be […] naději. (p. aby[…] (HT. 364) Vyzařoval prokletí zdomácnělosti. p. had been played out. 51) […] (ZH. jak se to hraje. 177) p. 232) Když hráli „Dixii“. p. (p. 252) 184 Blythe had been re-christened Blythovi říkali „belzebub“ […] (VŠ. (p. 71) 107) 171 Expression on these subjects were Popud k rozuzlení těchto problémů precipitated […] by the third corner to přišel od třetího stolu. p.

(p. 180) 201 D He was seen once afterward in Texas. p. p. p. 11) Jednou prý byl viděn v Texasu. 111) […] se to ocitlo na stole. 94) Vyprávělo se. it was thought. p. 324) 199 […] he was seated at her side. p. že jsem pana Kiplinga nachytal na švestkách. p. 44) Bogleova restaurace je situována na oné dálnici […] (VŠ. 47) Až bude určen den vašeho sňatku. 87) […] a odráželo se na něm umění klenotníků. 52) 193 And my glee was roused because I had caught Mr. (HT. p. it was said. p. […] (p. p.jak se vyprávělo -[…] (HT. 372) 211 Bogle’s is situated in that highway […] (p. 133) 195 It was said that […] (p. 279) 208 The greatness […] was shown by the fact that […] (p. 57) […] Murray zachumlán v ošumělých a potrhaných šatech […] (VŠ. 295) 203 Dinner was served to Goodwin […] (p. (p. 55) […] dny […] připadly na běžné přípravy. 133) 209 She was shown directly into his private office. […] (ZH. p. 94) Okamžitě byla uvedena do soukromé kanceláře pana Vydry. že po ní někdo střílel pistolí. 186) Až bude prostřena večeře. p. […] (p. p. (ZH. 306) Knoflíky. 125) 197 D His ship has just been scuttled. (ZH. 107) […] tak se […] posadil vedle ní. vydávaných za rumové pralinky! (HT. 252) […]. 410) 210 Murray […] was shrunk into his dingy and ragged suit […] (p. který nebyl zvyklý na […] alkohol. 309) 207 Even Aileen had not been shot at with a pistol. […] (ZH. že […] (HT. 18) […]. Kipling napping. p. 311) 205 D […] when your marriage day is set […] (p. které mu […] přišily […] pečlivé prsty Armády spásy. (p. 213) Večeře byla Goodwinovi […] naservírována […] (VŠ.191 D You’re to be restored to favor. 48) […] zármutek. (HT. 225) 198 […] who was not seasoned to […] liquids. 128) 215 […] and the wiles of jewellers had not been spent upon him in vain. (p. p. 59 Budeš rehabilitován! (VŠ. 50) 202 D By the time dinner is served. 189) Moje radost byla vyburcována přesvědčením. (VŠ. (SR. 409) 214 […] days […] were spent in preliminaries. p. p. 153) Skupina nájemníků seděla na schodišti […] (VŠ. […] (p. (p. 125) 196 […] portraits were scattered […] (p. 176) 194 […]. 27) […] velikost se projevila skutečností. (VŠ. p. p. (p. p. 275) 212 […] the line […] was not smoothed away. 250) 206 Buttons that had been sewed upon […] by kind Salvation fingers […] (p. (HT. p. 247) 213 D […] the money for which brandy balls are sold. […] (HT. (p. pp. 83) Zrovna mu potopili loď […] (ZH. […] (ZH. p. 303) […] peněz. 328) 200 A group of boarders were seated on the high stoop […] (p. (HT. 189) . p. p. 74) 204 […] they could be served. (HT. že […] (HT. 375) 192 […] sadness that was revealed in their deep shadows […] (SR. 44) Ani Aileen by se nemohla pochlubit tím. p. odrážející se v hlubokých stínech […] (ZH. (p. […] (SR. 83) […] portréty byly rozptýleny (HT. p. p. (p. p. (p. 23) […] vráska se neztratila.

[…] (VŠ. p. (p. […] (p. p. 177) 233 He was once seen in Texas. (VŠ. 45) Potom budovu zbourali. 16) […] plandaly šnůry s rodinným prádlem. 130) 230 A useless strip […] was tied beneath her chin. p. (VŠ. but […] (p. 23) Rodiče se domnívali. (p. p. p. p. (HT. […] (p. na kterou někdo šlápl […] (ZH. p. (p. 93) Když chlapec. 50) 224 D […] the sentence was suspended. p. 93) Měl utržený límec. 132) 227 That week’s wash was not taken in for two years. p. p. (p. p. které by vždy měly být připojeny ke všem příběhům […] (VŠ. p. 21-2) […] uvolňování zábran rezervovanosti. p. 91) Pod bradou měla uvázanou zbytečnou stužku […] (VŠ. (VŠ. p. 45) […] antiklimaxy. 17) […] příběhům. 155) . p. 187) Jsem v pokušení […] (HT. 50) 229 I’m tempted to […] (p. (VŠ. 333) 222 The needs […] were supplied by two waitresses […] (p. 53) 217 D I’m stewed. 324) 218 In that vault are stored the anticlimaxes […] (p. zopakujeme-li. (ZH. p. p. 179) 232 […] when reserve is thawed. p. 50) 234 Will it tire you to be told again […] (p. […] (ZH. 81) Mne nepoutá nic. p. kterého jsme nikdy neměli. p. p. co by nemělo alespoň 12 756 km v průměru. 82) Hudba […] vyluzovaná z žesťů […] (HT. p. Remsen. p. (p. se ztratí […] (VŠ. 184) 220 […] clothes-lines were stretched. 259) 239 Music […] that could be tortured from brass […] (p. 329) 60 […] jako žábu. (p. 24) Sochař z Mauch Chunk mne kdysi poučil. Remsene. […] (SR. že […] (VŠ. 393) 228 D On the back of the boy’s left hand was tattooed a flying eagle carrying a spear in his claws. 393) 221 D […] of houses should not be sublet. 93) Usušené prádlo tam pak viselo dva roky.000 miles in diameter. (p. […] (ZH. 160) Potřeby […] uspokojují dvě číšnice […] (VŠ. 373) 238 D It was torn down then. (ZH. (p.52-3) 216 D […] like a frog that had been stepped on. 373) 225 […] anticlimaxes that should have been tagged to all stories […] (p. […] (VŠ. 189) Jsem nadrátován. (VŠ. p. 276) 223 He was supposed to have stowed himself away among the banana bunches on a fruit steamer. 186) […] byl odsouzen podmíněně. p. že se ukryl mezi trsy banánů na parníku. 93) […] byl […] překvapen. 19) Jednou prý byl viděn v Texasu. 397) 226 […] he was taken by surprise. […] (SR. it was thought. p. (VŠ. p. (VŠ. 87) […] v domech nebudou pronajímány […] (HT. […] (SR. že […] (VŠ. na světě vyprávěným. 186) Nebude vás nudit. (p. p. 28) V tom trezoru jsou uloženy antiklimaxy. 87) Hoch měl na levé ruce vytetovaného letícího orla s kopim v drápech. 252) 231 D I’m not tied down to anything that isn’t 8. 397) 237 His collar had been torn away. (SR. 176) 236 […] the stories that have been told in the world. 276) 235 I was told by a sculptor from Mauch Chunk that […] (p. 397) 219 D If the bye we never had is strayed […] (p.

[…] except by unimportant people […] (p. 215) […]. […] (p. p. p. 178) 253 […] this […] scene can be witnessed every evening […] (p. 89) Konečně si svékla rukavice. 19) […] čapkou. p. if the comparison be used here […] (p. 106. 47) 249 His face and hands had been recently washed […] (p. ve které by mohl být uctíván. 73) 243 It had been neatly typewritten. (p. 177) 254 2x […] cap which could not be worn while automobiling except by a personage. p. 324. p. 325) 246 […]. 330) 252 D […] pride […] will be wiped out. […] (p. 392) 256 […] shoes were wrecked […] (p. napsaných […] mužem […] (HT. 328) 241 […] debt was to be transferred into the hands […] (p. p. 325) 248 D You’re wakened every morning by the sweet singin’ of red birds with seven purple tails. (HT. […] (HT. 109) […]. 108) Každé ráno vás probudí příjemný zpěv červených ptáčků s nachovým chvostem […] (ZH. p. 394) 244 Now her gloves are tucked in. p. […] (SR. 94) […] byl […] důmyslně vystřižen průhled […] (VŠ. p. (HT. 153) […] dluh má být převeden do […] rukou […] (HT. 21) […] tento […] výjev se odehrává každý večer […] (VŠ. 302) […] několika vět. pp. p. (VŠ. 108) […] svatyni. 295) 247 […] the Park is rarely used. 87) Boty […] byly rozedrané […] (ZH. 89) Pevné Remsenovy svaly přiměly […] pár […] (HT. […] (p. p. 58) . (pp. jakou by si nenasadil lecjaký motorista. 411) 61 Byl pošlapáván a postrkován […](HT. p. p. 255) 251 Their offences were wiped out. 184) Muž měl obličej i ruce čertsvě umyté […] (ZH. p.240 He […] was trampled upon and shoved forward […] (p. 394) 245 […] team was tugged […] by Remsen’s tough muscles. 84) Jejich provinění rázem vymazal. že jich muselo přijít pět […] (VŠ. […] (ZH. p. p. p. pokud mohlo toto přirovnání být použito I v tomto případě. 295) 250 D […] five cops had to be whistled for. 246) 257 […] a few words that […] were written by him […] (p. 156) […] bude […] namyšlenost […] smazána […] (VŠ. 325) 255 […] hall in which to be worshipped. 215) […] býval park ještě opuštěn. 109) Psal je vždy pečlivě na psacím stroji […] (VŠ. p. 133) 242 […] had been cunningly trimmed a vista. ale jen osobnost. (p. […] (p. (VŠ. s výjimkou několika lidí. (p. (p.

This shows that the passive voice is not only connected with semantics but also it is a matter of syntactic properties of individual verbs. find. fill. The most numerous figure of occurrences was found in the verbs allow (4 instances) and name (4 instances). for example deliver. which is the author’s peculiarity. they make nearly 18% (37 verbs) of all 208 verbs. In the rest of the repetitions which occurred in different short stories it can 62 . mistake. Nine verbs were repeated three times: call.g. say which were repeated only twice (see Table 1).1 The English language I have analysed altogether twenty short stories by the American writer O. occupy.4. which means that 18% of all verbs used in proper passive voice tended to reoccur in the passive and thus are inclined to passivization. There were also some others. Now I will classify the verbs with regard to their numbers in individual categories. In these. First of all. make. I detected 208 different verbs which were used in proper passive voice. Some of the repetitions can be found within one story (e. admit) where the topic is responsible for repetition and sometimes even the same clause is deliberately repeated by the author (e. there are several verbs which repeated themselves throughout the short stories. go. Out of the total of 208 verbs in the passive there were 26 verbs which were used twice throughout the short stories.Henry (1862-1910). When the verbs with more frequency are resumed. receive and tell. Analysis of frequency data 4. cover. from the most general point of view.g. wear) in the course of description.

i. the shifting of a point of view. name) are inclined to appear in the passive voice in English since the agent is of secondary importance as the meaning of the verbs is concerned: the verb allow primarily tries to communicate what has been allowed and possibly to whom (we do not say I allow you to… unless we want to specifically focus attention on the person of “allower” which is a minority situation). in which the total of 208 different verbs appeared. he started to write and publish his short stories at the turn of 19th and 20th century. As his 63 . 22%. For example the verb cover is usually associated with inanimate agents which do not have the potential to cover something out of their own will. (no. 156) They had been awakened by the noise of a pistol-shot. which consequently means that the passive voice is preferred.1 Expressed agent Out of the total of 258 occurrences of the total 208 different verbs. This higher figure can be also partially explained by the personal style of writing of the author as well as the time period when his works appeared. i. 13) He was blockaded in a tangled mess of vehicles and horses. This. 56 cases.1.Henry lived most of his life in the nineteenth century. The verb name is clearly an example of the unimportance of the doer. (no. (no. however.e.e. for example: (1) (2) (3) (4) You will be arrested by one of our agents. argued that the most frequent verbs (allow. 22) The number of agentive constructions is slightly higher than I expected on the grounds that omission of an agent is considered to be the major function of the passive voice. if not a contrastive emphasis is in play. suggests that the second major role of the passive. Also in other repeated verbs it can be accounted for the repetition in terms of the verbal semantics. is employed. 4. In the further analysis of the data. had the agent expressed in some way. 10) His arms were occupied with bundles. (no. apart from other things. the source value. I will make the figure of all 258 occurrences. and concentration on the patient.

especially in direct speech. 23)). AGENT Other prepositions than by and with Frequency Around (no. however. As far as the individual means of agent expression are concerned. the vocabulary and syntax were naturally influenced. proportionally. With regard to other prepositions that transpired in the short stories’ agentive phrases I will present here a synoptic table which summarizes the individual occurrences.5%). nevertheless the immediately following and in no case insignificant means is the preposition with. The language of the nineteenth century is characterized by overt politeness and respectful phrases. 132) 1 64 . the agent thus expressed should be inanimate. covered with. The fact that the passives are found in dialogs quite often supports the assertion about particular period stylistics. other prepositions partake in the agentive structures by nearly 18%. literary and oldfashioned nowadays. the leading position accrues to the by-phrase which constitutes over 60% of the agentive constructions. I have encountered one exception to this rule (the sidewalk was blockaded with sightseers (no. With regard to the by-phrase there has to be one further division and calculation made: Approximately 65% of the total distribution of the phrase is taken up by human agents and the remaining 35% is devoted to non-human agents (here I include animals as well). These figures show that far most frequent means of agent expression is the byphrase. The rest of the expressed agentive forms is distributed evenly among the agentive structure introduced by preposition with (21.stories were going with times. connected with). including the passive voice which is perceived as formal. the relative frequency of which was not mentioned in the literature I worked with. Since the preposition with introduces an instrument. In a few cases the preference of with to a different preposition is conditioned rather by internal syntactic demands of a verb (filled with.

193) 4. 83) Rarely is it formed by a single word. (no.1. (no. 192) The other ones (around. (no. except by unimportant people. to) are local prepositions taking inanimate agents as well.1. and comprehended the great sadness that was revealed in their deep shadows and hopeless expression […]. for example: (5) Thus a caged man acts when he is housed in a jungle of doubt. 113) (6) […] as if it had been made up from individual contributors from the chorus of a musical comedy. 143) (7) Once you had seen her eyes. often modified by an adjective. for example: (9) The Park is rarely used. (no. 247) (10) Her soul was filled with a delirious joy. 22. 63. This detailed overview shows that the most favoured prepositions for the introduction of an agent are from and in. (no. (no. Both these are local prepositions which are followed for the most part by an inanimate agent. (12) The hallways were suddenly filled with sound. where short phrase stands for a maximum of two words. 192) On (no. 231) 1 3 3 1 1 As can be seen. The short phrase typically comprised a noun. 193) From (no. 58. 226).1 Nature of the agent phrase The character of an agent was evenly distributed between short and long phrase. on. 143) In (no. 113. 84) 65 . except for the causal preposition because which is opening an agentive subordinate clause: (8) And my glee was roused because I had caught Mr. (no. an agent is expressed via prepositions different from by and with very rarely. Kipling napping.Because (no. (no. for example: (11) He was taken by surprise. 50) To (no.

By the same token, the basis of the expanded agent was construed by a noun phrase:
(13) Buttons that had been sewed upon by kind Salvation fingers. (no. 206)
(14) On that occasion his breast was covered from shoulder to shoulder with
croses, stars, golden roses, medals and ribbons. (no. 49)
(15) My meditations were interrupted by a tremendous noise and conflict. (no.
sometimes combined with a prepositional phrase with of, for example:
(16) He was permeated with the curse of domesticity. (no. 167)
(17) […] its cause was connected with the slowly moving hands of the timepiece. (no. 43)
or created by a whole subordinate sentence, for example:
(18) The greatness of was shown by the fact that by noon the next day order
was restored. (no. 208)
(19) […] a point that is marked by no monument save that groove on the
pavement worn by tens of thousands of waiting feet. (no. 145)
In a few cases, the agent was reserved for a name, for example:
(20) […] an up-hill charge that was disputed by the Spaniards and afterward by
the Democrats. (no. 66)
(21) If the transients were entranced by the fascinating Aileen, […]. (no. 76)
These findings are related to the use of the passive voice as a means of shifting attention
since the expressions in the agent phrase were in 99% constructed with nouns, which
points at different arrangement of sentence elements.
4.1.2 Unexpressed agent
78% (202 out of 258 occurrences) of the total number of passive verbs are
agentless, like for example:
(22) I’m called the Llano Kid in the Rio Grande country. (no. 34)
(23) He and I were raised here in New York. (no. 177)
(24) He was often rebuffed but never offensively. (no. 180)
(25) That week’s wash was not taken in for two years. (no. 227)
Quirk et al. (1974: 807) state that “four out of five English passive sentences [i.e. 80%]
have no expressed agent”, which is testified by my findings as well. This result confirms


that the most important function of the passive is the avoidance of an agent expression.
Although not explicitly stated, the agent is not usually completely undetectable. Rather
on the contrary - it was traceable in most cases, in 146 cases, i.e. in 72% of all agentless
verbs, the agent could be deduced, either from previous context or logically from
semantic properties of the verbs like for example in:
(26) The picture was completed. (no. 42)
(27) I am instructed to pursue every clue that presents itself in this matter. (no.
(28) Madame Timotea Ortiz, the proprietress of the hotel in which the game of
Fox-in-the-Morning had been played out (no. 170)
In addition to the fact that the agent is in the majority of cases implied, it is also
human. People as the covert doers, actors and causers occupy the leading position. The
most frequently repeated verbs are simultaneously ones with implied human agent,
specifically allow and name. Both these verbs semantically require a human agent so
that the activity which they denote is performed. This allegation that the semantic nature
of a verb plays an important part can be further proved right by the fact that in all four
repetitions when the verbs allow and name were used in different situations and
contexts they always maintained their implied agentive character.
Full 25%, i.e. 51 verbs out of the total 202 cases with unexpressed agent, are
agentless constructions where the agent cannot be tracked down, for example:
(29) And on Mrs. James Williams’s face was recorded a little library of the
world’s best thoughts. (no. 185)
(30) Prince Michael’s shoes were wrecked far beyond the skill of the carefullest
cobbler. (no. 256)
(31) When Keogh and White reached their destination, the gay winter season
was well begun. (no. 18)
The unknown doer proved to be quite a frequent situation. On one hand, the elementary
semantic definition of a verb is “a word denoting action or state” (Dušková 1988: 165)
which would suggest that ‛a verb’ implies an agent inherently. On the other hand, the


fact that I called the agent in these 25% of verbs as unknown does not necessarily mean
that it does not exist. It only points to the reality that the agent was not trackable for me,
either because of the ambiguousness, abstraction and poly-possibility as far as the
implied agents are concerned (when pride is wiped out (no. 252), it is impossible,
without any further specifications or hints, to determine more closely the cause or
causer of the ‘wiping out’). In other cases, there could be two distinctive agents
determined, in particular one human and one non-human. Again, if not specified an
activity can be very often carried out by a person as well as with a thing (e.g. the verb
tattoo implies a ‘maker of tattoos’ as well as a ‘needle’ or ‘ink’ for the agent position,
for instance).
The remaining five verbs, 2.5% of all agentless passive voice phrases, do not
have any mark in the Table 1 as far as the agent is concerned, from which follows that
their agent is unexpressed yet implied, but non-human. These verbs with implied nonhuman agent are as follows: break up, hedge, hem in, jar and stew. For example:
(32) The fist banged and I was jarred into silence (no. 127)
has the most probable reading that of a ‘fist’ or a ‘bang’ or possibly ‘surprise’, by all
means something non-human, that jarred the storyteller into silence.
I have to comment on the case of a verb phrase hold up, to which I assigned half
human and half non-human agent; the example says:
(33) I’ve been held up for my story with a loaded meal pointed at my head
twenty times. (no. 111),
which, in my opinion, points at two different active readings of equal plausibility: ‘a
loaded meal pointed at my head has held me up for my story twenty times’ or equally
possible version of agent assignment ‘somebody (a person) with a loaded meal pointed
at my head has held me up for my story twenty times’. The human doer is maybe a little
bit “added” into the lexical equipage of the sentence and little more hidden, since a gun,


69 . however there is always some human agent behind the pointing of a gun. ( event is viewed as having already passed and the author retails what once (this is not meant to indicate that an event happened a long time ago) happened. (no. but that the public debt was to be transferred in to the hands of the English. Out of the total 258 occurrences of the 208 different verbs that I noted in Table 1. Examples of this phenomenon can be: (34) The great bulk of the Captain was heaped against the arm of the bench. the majority. has full potential to put people in motion. as the passive is usually avoided in dialogs. (no. This is the case in O. (no.e. belongs to the past tense: over 49%. From a semantic point of view. as I have this case a meal. 55) Such frequency makes the past the most widely associated tense with the passive voice. 37) (37) His pictures in the government office were demolished.Henry’s short stories which are predominantly narrated in the past tense . 106) (35) My meditations were interrupted by a tremendous noise and conflict. the past tense coveys invalid statements that ceased to hold or lost their validity for some reason (Bělíček 2005: 118). are expressed in the past tense. 128 out of altogether 258 occurrences. 125) (36) It was charged that not only had he given away priceless concessions. We can describe things as they are as they were at the time when the plot of a story took place. i. The reason for this is obvious. 4. but it is primarily used in descriptions where the person or thing described are in the centre of our attention.3 Tense Tense of the passive constructions is an interesting phenomenon to be explored since the application of tense refers to extralinguistic properties of reality and can indicate much about the function of the passive voice.

70 . (no. shall. The overall incidence of perfect tenses is 14. conditions or states of mind. 217) The present tense is semantically considered as an unmarked form. The present tense. which corresponds to the joint use of perfect tenses. would. (no. 46 occurrences). 41) (42) In the car was […] an old gentleman with […] a Scotch plaid cap which could not be worn while automobiling except by a personage. opposed to the marked past and future tenses (Bělíček 2005: 115). for example: (41) Nothing could be compared with them.5% (37 occurrences) as compared to the incidence rate of basic tenses. should. (no. could. one of them being the modal verb can/could. accounts for the second possibility mentioned above. The share of infinitive makes for the remaining 15%. respectively. The third position occupied by infinitive constructions is largely connected with two specialized structures. (no. 9 occurrences) and future tense (3%.The rest 50% of register are shared by. (no. The proportion of future and present perfect tense is fractional. that is for the description of things what they are like (as opposed to what they were like) which is employed in general characteristics of people. In the short stories. 1999: 483): can. 39 occurrences). generally valid conclusions. which makes over 70% of the whole. may. 254) There are nine central modal auxiliary verbs which are used to express modality in English (Biber et al. to create the generally valid background against which a story is planted. especially due to the past tense. 211) (39) Especially for the vagrant feet of youth are the roads of Manhattan beset with “pitfall and with gin”. for example: (38) Bogle’s is situated in […] Eighth Avenue. present perfect (3. will. which syntactically requires an infinitive following. 28 occurrences). as the second most widely applied tense. 20) (40) I’m stewed. past perfect (11%. the present tense subserves to sketch in the contour of the narration. might.5%. present tense (18%. 8 occurrences). infinitive form (15%.

shall.Henry’s short stories: This could not have been accomplished. possibility. Here the aspectual and tense complement is necessary for closer determination. According to Quirk et al.g. The clarification is a matter of context. (no. (1974: 807) the verb phrases containing auxiliaries that have more than one meaning. (ii) It cannot be done (by John). and one who was not to be carelessly dealt with. in their corpus research arrived at a conclusion that in fiction the most common combination of tense and aspect in the passive is the perfect passive in 71 . which suggests the impossibility whereas the active construction They could not have accomplished this refers rather to the inability. for example (45) We happened to be born there. This holds valid also in the following example from O. permission. (no. e. (no. (1974: 807) state the following example: (i) John cannot do it. will and can may acquire a shift in meaning when the active and passive versions are compared.must. 65) (44) Goodwin was a powerful friend to new administration. The other one structure associated with the use of infinitive is the official phrase is to be. whereas in the passive sentence it is interpreted as expressing possibility. 51) Also in other cases the use of infinitive implies high English and the passive constructions are examples of class language. for example: (43) Goodwin was not to be disputed. wasted opportunity. Since a task of a modal in sentence is to express modality. (no. 77) Biber et al. 27) (46) In every town he caused to be erected statues of himself. Quirk et al. can/could stands for ability. In the active sentence can would normally be interpreted as expressing ability. or in negative for impossibility. The most frequently occurring modal verb in the short stories is could.

the past tense (1999: 483). more complicate and formal. 60) With regard to the present perfect tense. the situation is alike. Nowadays the use of the past perfect is declining and its presence is usually considered as abundant and unnecessary. Finally. one can logically deduce which event happened first: whether a person first sits down or a vehicle starts off for a trip. The former is represented with the syntactic role of a verb with regard to other parts of a sentence and the latter verbal 72 . Generally.Henry lays emphasis on precise depiction of a situation and exactly suggests which action preceded another one. Manfred Sandmann (1954: 172-3) proposes that a verbal role can be characterized by two major constructions. (no. (no. the outer one and the inner one. It is important for him to highlight that for example the coach passengers had been first assigned to their seats by the conductor and only then the journey began (no.Henry’s short stories in either voice. the means “designed to provide statements about present states that have arisen as a result of past actions” is in short stories with mainly past tense used very sporadically (Bělíček 2005: 174). its use is limited in O. Since the past perfect tense only refers even one step further back in the line of the story action. O. One example can be found in (47) By reference to the almanac a large amount of territory will be discovered upon which its rays also fell. His storytelling is hardly ever oriented into the future. the least significant amounts of distribution are manifested by the future tense. speech patterns. 120) The notion of tense can be also viewed from an analytical perspective. The relatively high score of past perfect tense (when compared to the representation of the remaining perfect tenses) is explicable in the same terms as the wide use of past tense. Its overuse in history is related to different. On the whole. An example follows: (48) I suppose you have been informed of the subsequent facts. 12).

This one is of interest for me. of which the first is called causational or active or subjective. 73 . To explain this he uses the example (49) The hunter kills the dear in which he shows the phase distribution: “the action of ‘killing’ starts in an actor (the hunter).construction is described as “the way in which verbal time itself is constructed” (Sandmann 1954: 173). which is followed from the goal of an action backwards to its origin: (50) The deer is killed by the hunter. Thus an active construction follows the catachronic way from the origin to the goal. He therefore suggests that the whole phase represented in the construct The hunter kills the dear may be divided into two sub-phases. Sandmann (1954: 173) further distinguishes between real and potential time. while the essence of a passive is of a representational nature and is created by an antichronic construction. e. only is it reported in the reverse order. In the passive voice the time phase exists as well. He asserts that a finite verb never refers to a mathematical moment or a point in time but to a phase (Sandmann 1954: 173). and the second affective or passive or objective (Sandmann 1954: 173-4).g. with the former being always referred to by the verb itself and the representation of the real time being always bound up with the representation of the manner in which the time is spent. in the antichronic reading of (51) The prince had been escorted to the door by the butler (no. but is fulfilled only in the thing-acted-upon (the deer)” (Sandmann 1954: 173). 78). These sub-phases can be detected in every active sentence. as Sandmann (1954: 173) states that verbal time shows a rich structure and speaks of real anatomy of verbal time. it is possible to analyse the passive examples from the short stories. Similarly.

Overall can be concluded that. In the process the verb is perceived as the central element of a clause since the labels of an actor and acted upon subject are pre-conditioned by its semantic character. from the viewpoint of real temporal phases of an action.‘the prince’ as well as ‘the door’ stands for the affective sub-phase of the verbal phase and ‘the butler’ represents the causational sub-phase. The action of escorting starts in the butler and is fulfilled in the prince and through the door. 74 . the passive voice has antichronic connotations and can be split into two mutually transitional sub-phases.

Functional and semantic analysis 5. 154). Functionally the short passive turn is chosen where the agent is unimportant and offers a redundant information since the verb. F. implies a human doer at a deeper level. 5.1 Passive constructions with unexpressed agent The crucial difference between a short passive and an active clause is that the information expressed in the subject of the active is omitted in the passive. Maine. (no.1.5. are marked by their corresponding number in Table 2. specifically from the twenty explored short stories (see Appendix). but I also focus on the questions “Why did the author use the passive? And what would have been changed if the sentence was in the active?” Answering these questions in each case and comparison with active turn provides better understanding of the function of the passive voice. as Dušková (1988: 260) says. The conclusions may in several aspects overlap with the previous section of frequency analysis as I have tried to suggest reasons for the individual numeral results as well. 75 . Not only deal I with the function and the meaning of the passive voice. Rushmore Coglan. that I encountered throughout the short stories will be analysed in detail. All the quoted examples employed in this part. that are derived from the compilation 69 Short Stories by O’Henry edited by G. for example the verb name. various functions of the passive voice.. In the case like (52) My cosmopolite was named E.1 The English original In this section. There may be a variety of reasons why a writer might wish to omit such information.

either by reflexive passive which is obligatorily agentless or by expressed general human agent. with the unusual construction attracting the attention of a reader. 107) presents the verb hear as a ‘meaning-full’ word. namely the auxiliary verbal form be.any agent would be needlessly additional and repetitive. On the other hand. (no. which consequently causes the verb hear to sound more contrastively and belong to the rhematic information in the sentence. 86) (57) I do not allow gentlemen to sit by me to whom I have not been introduced. In the following active variant. 94) (56) As I was in the rooms when the shot was fired. For example: (55) He had discovered that one of the necessaries of life had been forgotten. which causes the meaning of the actual concrete verb “to hear” to dissolve and makes it rather marginal. the passive transform (54) He will be heard from next summer at Coney Island (no. Since the pronoun he is at the beginning of the sentence. with the core of the message being elsewhere than in specification of the channel. rhematic information. Biber et al. which is reserved for new. add that it is a verb which most of the time conveys the new information (1999: 939). These constructions which do not require any agent specification are translated into Czech in two ways. 126) 76 . (no. Psychologically. (53) People will hear from him next summer at Coney Island. even prophetic. (no. it takes more time to read the part concerned and the overall result is rather formal. since there is one element added into the sentence structure of the non-agentive passive. promissory or forewarning. Another fact is that the agentless passive phrase very often occupies the final position in clause. which facilitates greater focus placed on the verb phrase itself. as it stands for ‘attract attention of people’. […]. it has a more thematic value than him in the active version. let it be through hearing or seeing. the verbal element has only a representative meaning.

Jan Firbas (1992: 7) formulates that a finite verb conveys irretrievable information. The verb presents a phenomenon in the subject position to appear on the scene. For example: (60) Quite a number of new houses have been built in our town (Firbas 1992: 62). In other words. (Firbas 1992: 62) There is a special case of passive constructions which are more or less interchangeable with active verbs. At the same time they do not disprove the wellknown fact that in a majority of cases the passive participates in the perspectiving the sentence away from the subject. In particular. under certain condition. Dušková (1988: 262) as well as Huddleston (1971: 99-100) mention this situation. the American cleared the way by inquiring whether […]. which becomes an element with the highest degree of communicative dynamism. He closes: These observations by no means belittle the role played by the passive in perspectiving the sentence away from the information conveyed by a subject in pre-verbal position. (no. He maintains that a finite verb can serve as the most dynamic element in a sentence or clause only if it operates in the absence of successful competitors (Firbas 1992: 7). But they are a reminder that it depends on the interplay of FSP factors whether the passive participates in perspectiving the sentence away from the subject or towards it. the competitors could be “an element expressing a phenomenon to be presented or one expressing a specification” (Firbas 1992: 7). If the subject is the most important element (is context-independent) in the passive clause. 33) (59) As soon as the cigars were lighted. 136) The second possibility arises from irretrievability of a subject. I will remind that Huddleston accounts for these verbs in 77 . a finite verb completes the development of communication if it is the only irretrievable element in a sentence. (no. it then represents the presentative function. which is very often the case of short passives (58) Thus an animal acts when it is caged.

253) is purely of informative character and does not imply any pressure laid on the reader to actually visit such a place. 168) 78 . generally valid is the assertion that passive turn is chosen when greater emphasis and interest is taken in the object (which is made a subject) than in the subject at the pre-passive level (Firbas 1992: 62). (no. For example in the passive sentence. 175) (66) […] when “Dixie” was being played a young man sprang up. has less authoritative effect than the active form. (no. For example. invasive and thus sounds more pleading and urging. he sat quiet and a little indistinct. (61) And my glee was roused because I had caught Mr. to mention several examples: (64) Now her gloves are tucked in. the passive construction can be replaced by active verb roused without any substantial loss of meaning. Pullum 2002: 1430-1). Also.terms of ergative verbs (the book was sold well – the book sold well) whereas Dušková simplier compares an interchangeable passive verb to intransitive active verb of the same meaning. It is just a suggestion spread in front of us. readers. 193). I have to remind at this point that I do not try to treat the passive and the supplied active version as equivalent in any case. Kipling napping. and the choice is wholly upon us. 244) (65) His hat was pulled low. This can be proved right almost in all passives with unexpressed agent. Whereas the active version with the added subject (63) you can witness this remarkable scene every morning in numerous cafés is more direct. due to its impersonal nature and message. The voice variants cannot be considered as fully equivalent. the clause (62) this remarkable scene can be witnessed every evening in numerous cafés (no. (no. (no. especially in cases with a covert agent (Huddleston. I have noticed that the passive voice. The sole difference I can detect between the two versions is the more perfective or rather perfected nature of the passive variant was roused.

for example. the passive voice has a prognostic meaning. which lifted the boy up from his chair. (1974: 807) claim that once the agent is unrecoverable. Quirk et al. especially in natural science discipline. 179) (68) Rita’s cough is almost gone. (67) Without wishing to excite any hopes that may not be realized. but also between the two sentences: (71) These houses are in the shopping districts. For example. 91) 79 . directed into future. on the grounds of their corpus analysis is the service for “cohesion and contextual fit through ordering of information” (1999: 935). we can only speculate. (no. anyhow. where things are always uncertain so it is logical that an agent is unknown so far: (70) Some day all this petty pride in one’s city or state or section or country will be wiped out. This can be seen in the following example where the passive voice enables fluent joint not only between clauses. however. it may be impossible to conduct the passive to active transformation. The subject here is the most important clausal element. In the following case. (no. 101) (69) The evening was at the period when reserve is thawed. (no. As it is they are forced to seek companionship outside. and are mainly tenanted by young working girls. and we’ll all be citizens of the world. is to communicate that it was the melody of a song called “Dixie”. I have found similar structures also in the genre of a short story. Well-known class of passives consists of constructions in which it is difficult and sometimes even impossible to determine any agent. 232) In (69) for example. 252) The most utilized function of the passive which is mentioned by Biber et al. (no. Dušková (1988: 260) says that these cases occur frequently in professional style. […]. the most probable actor or causer would be the late night time or maybe alcohol. not any other one.The author’s primary interest in the last instance. (no.

209). (72) […] if countenances are to be believed (no. for example the verb hem in (75) […] while the cab was hemmed in (no. 1999: 939). suggest that it is reasonable to expect that the reasons for the choice of passive with an expressed agent will be similar to factors influencing pure word-order variation.The reasons for the suppression of the agent range from generalizations to specifications. Biber et al. In long passives. 5. but presents it in a different order (1999: 940). Further. 19) or (73) […] that business could be built up (no. could not easily be the subject. The latter type can be found in the short stories more often. there is a clear tendency for the subject to be shorter than the agent phrase. The agent is specific but its identity is not at issue and does not need to be stated. also the verbs are rather meaningfully specific and concretely oriented. 30) Others are concerned with specific events rather than with generalizations (Biber et al. This can be observed in the following example: 80 . It is often the case that the actor is expressed via a too long phrase which.1. two such factors are especially important: length of subject v. Their assertion is based upon the fact that the long passive (as opposed to short passive) preserves the information of the corresponding active clause. agent phrase. For example. 112). (74) She was shown directly into his private office (no. For example. as Jespersen (1933: 12) argues. agent phrase and givenness of subject v.2 Passive constructions with expressed agent In the passive voice containing converted subject the reasons for its preference are different. Some situations suppress the omitted agent because its nature is generic and therefore unimportant and uninteresting.

1999: 935). Greenbaum S. Other examples of this would be: (77) They had been awakened by the noise of a pistol-shot in the Hotel de los Estranjeros. The subject phrase would attract needlessly too much attention and the main message. The use of the passive here guards the “weight management” of the sentence (Biber et al. This sentence. most commonly the subject contains given information and the agent new information: (79) The two weeks’ stubble on his face was gray and brown and red and greenish yellow as if it had been made up from individual contributors from the chorus of a musical comedy (no. 1973: 410). of course. 161) The underlined section shows the subject at the pre-passive level. this principle of endweight works together with the principle of end-focus. conclude that subjects. that of “overpowering noise”. 81 . by pronoun substitution). In addition. could have been written in the active voice. generally. (no. its interpretation would have been slightly different then.” and as exhilarating notes tumbled forth they were almost overpowered by a great clapping of hands from almost every table. 13) (78) […] when it was backed up by the muzzle of a breech-loader. The use of the long passive agrees with the information principle.(76) The concluding air was “Dixie. 143).. 1999: 942) Since it is natural to express given information briefly (e.g. nevertheless. since about 90% of the agent phrases bring in new information which means that the subject has a higher level of givenness than the agent phrase (1999: 941). (no. (no. very long subject would be in conflict with the principle of end-weight (tendency for long and heavy clause elements to be placed at the end of a clause) (Biber et al. 14) Concerning the givenness of subject versus agent phrase Biber et al. would have be overshadowed and made secondary. varies substantially more in the information status than agent phrases. which is a tendency to place new information towards the end of the clause (Quirk R.

This figure corresponds to the incidence rate of an agent phrase which I find interesting. one being associated with the style of storytelling. although addressee-old. is discourse-new. and hence the constraint is met (Huddleston.This clause naturally opens with a reference to the preceding context and only then it moves on to the new point being made. Both forms of the passive voice can be found predominantly in expanded compound and complex sentences as opposed to the situation where it constitutes part of a simple sentence. the constraint excludes the new + old combination as for the two noun phrases are considered.m. represented by the use of passive in dialogs and direct speech. influenced by the time period (discussed above). For example. and the other function. the long passive bears one major constraint. Biber et al. claim that the passive verbs that are commonly used in 82 . i. The choice of the passive provides a smooth continuation. About 23% of the incidence of the passive voice was realized in a direct speech. wordy descriptions of the surroundings and other types of background information. exemplifies formal and polite style of speaking. The ascendancy of the passive in expanded sentences was overwhelming. in other words.e. (80) A press conference will be held by the President at 3 p. The passive voice is a language means which is employed in luxuriant stylistics rather than in everyday speech. is perfectly natural assuming there has been no mention of the president in the prior discourse. not addressee familiarity. It says that the subject of the verb phrase cannot be less familiar in the discourse than the agent expression. Huddleston and Pullum (2002: 1444) emphasize that it is discourse familiarity what matters. Pullum 2002: 1444). Pragmatically. It testifies among others of two different main functions of the passive voice. The President.

My findings are that the verb allow appeared solely in direct speech instances: (81) Why am I not allowed to accept this offer? (no.g.1. All meanings of these verbs are stative. Presenting actions in relation to agents is then a natural consequence of the focus on human beings.dialogs tend to be stative in meaning and often come close to adjectival functions (1999: 480). progressive aspect. (no. The most common combination in the short stories has been the perfect aspect used in the past tense. perfect aspect. That is. 102) and they could be alternatively analyzed as the copula be followed by a predicative adjective. 215) The progressive aspect which can be found in my sample refers to a situation or an activity in progress in a particular time: 83 . (no. 8) Other such verbs are consider and go. 5. 1999: 939-40). Such combinations typically retain the time orientation (‘past with past relevance’) of the past perfect aspect while demoting the agent through the use of the passive voice: (86) […] that the wiles of jewellers had not been spent upon him in vain. presenting more specialized verbal meanings (Biber et al. 1999: 482). (85) the old restaurant’s gone (no. and passive voice often occur together in various combinations. 7) (84) We have 600 girls on the waiting list who will in time be allowed to accept positions […].3 Combination of aspect and voice English verb phrases can be marked for complex combinations of aspect and voice. particularly of forms with exclusively human reference (Biber et al. 6) (83) He intended […] that tenants should be allowed to use them for reception rooms. 5) (82) But I’m allowed to meet her with a cab at the Grand Central Station tomorrow. e. Predominance of active verbs in dialogs is correlated with the high frequency of personal pronouns. (no. (no.

Here the verb knock down represents a special type of perfective verbs which are called momentary verbs since the activity depicted takes only one phase and cannot be temporarily extended. Therefore. have noticed that the use of “passive conveys an objective detachment from what is being described” (1999: 477). (no. the passive voice has several meanings and it serves various purposes. 56) (91) It’s done.4 Semantics Semantically. since it actually indicates an intervention of some unspecified force.muži padali na podlahu (no. 96) The passive structures are implemented instead of the active transforms.1. (no. 5.(87) […] when Dixie was being played. a dark-haired young man sprang up. (no. as in the following example: (88) men were knocked down . This shade of interpretation is valid for the examples of the following type: (90) It cannot be denied that… (no. Biber et al. 67) (92) But beneath the hard crust is found a delectable and luscious food. (93) I denied that… 84 . 168) The ‘in progress’ meaning is combined with the change of focus and receding into the background associated with the passive voice. Naturally. which made the men fall on the ground as in: (89) muži byli sraženi (na zem / podlahu). The proper translation should have preserved the perfective nature of the original verb at least by eliminating the progressive aspect which is used inappropriately: muži padli na podlahu. The Czech translation often violates the aspectual principle. even better would have been to keep the impersonal periphrastic passive voice in translation as well. to knock somebody down is one-off matter. 131).

whereas the active shifts the sense to a single inference of one person. As Biber et al. This suggests that the passive voice can function as a means of expressing the perfectivity. 61) (97) Colonel Emilio Falcon was dispatched from the capital upon this important mission. in the storytelling and in fiction generally. 79). (no. Reference to ‘the police’ is usually omitted in an example like (98) Two or three who were thus examined. have found out. (no. is a perfectly valid general assertion when the passive is used. I even venture into an assertion that in case of dispatch the passive form is the more natural-sounding one of the pair. where nobody nominally but an institution is responsible. 129) 8 When transforming the expression It’s done. (no. The last case. (no. can be traced in: (96) A police captain was dismissed from force. (no. This ‘objectivity’ shade of interpretation bears relation to the formal marking of the passive. This is shown in examples as (99) Blythe had been re-christened “Beelzebub”. where the added agent calls for personalization of the meaning. it was necessary to shift the original present tense into present prefect so that the semantics of the phrase was preserved: I have done it. although it is grammatical to form an active voice as well. It is interesting to note that the verb dispatch occurs exclusively in the passive voice. 63) The explicit construction I dismiss or I dispatched would be too direct and personal an involvement on the part of the signatory or speaker (Huddleston. 85 . where it is easy to infer. for example.(94) I have done it8 (95) But beneath the hard crust I find a delectable and luscious food. The official tone. 184) (100) Pat was kidnapped. Pullum 2002: 1446). often “the focus of a story is an event involving an affected person” (1999: 477).

e.Byl jsem požádán. 236). Second. the passive construction can be totally avoided in translation.2. First. i. 237). the passive voice as well as the appropriate verb has been maintained.[…] většina pěšin je hlídána agenty. the ‘performer’ is unimportant with respect to the information in the message. the passive voice can be preserved as such. 164) 26% of the total passive structures has been turned into active voice during the translation. 5. 5. translated via periphrastic passive. (103) The Gentle Riders were recruited from the aristocracy.e. abych vám jej odevzdal. and add or restore the agent in the process to its subject position. na světě vyprávěným (no.Here. since there are two options in Czech to choose from when the passive voice is concerned. the reflexive passive can be used instead. 11) (105) […] most of the paths are patrolled by their agents . the results are as follows: 37% of the total passive constructions has been preserved as such in translation. i.Vznešení jezdci byli rekrutováni z aristokracie. Last. (no. Third. a translator can transform the sentence ‘back’ into the active voice. for example. . 187) (104) Here’s a note I was asked to hand you . which is then substituted by various stylistic means. or the verb is in Czech very often completely avoided: (102) the stories that have been told in the world – příběhům. for example the original passive is replaced by a different. “new” verb and an adjective: (101) His collar had been torn away – měl utržený límec (no. as in the clauses: 86 .2 The Czech translation In the Czech translations there are basically four possibilities for treating the English passive phrase.1 Ways of translating the passive voice When the English text and Czech translation are compared. (no. (no.

The typical passive construction that is translated by means of reflexive passive is the phrase (112) I was born […] – narodil jsem se […]. the total share of the passive voice constructions in Czech translation is over 60% which is indeed an unusual quantity. verb.g. že po ní někdo střílel pistolí. 212) (110) […] a fire that was seldom quenched . 119) (107) The game of Fox-in-the-Morning had been played out .[…] tak se posadil vedle ní (no. The smallest figure of 13% belongs to the number of reflexive passives in Czech which have served to translate the original periphrastic constructions.: (109) […] the line was not smoothed away . . 199). 87 .[…] zřídkakdy uhasitelný oheň (no.Ani Aileen by se nemohla pochlubit tím. (no. (no.: (111) […] he was seated at her side .(106) All that’s included in the fall .[…] vráska se neztratila (no. tense. 207) 24% has been translated by an entirely different construction. (113) That business could be built up. mood. This shows that the translator probably treated the passive voice as a period pattern and a peculiarity concerning the author’s personal style of writing and tried to preserve it in plenty of occurrences.g. e. 26) In the next example.Dal by se z něho vybudovat docela slušný obchod (no. 30). The number of preserved passives is quite high. Together with the reflexive passive. if the tendency of the Czech language to use active voice is taken into consideration. or completely omitted like e. 176). it can be seen that the reflexive passive is a good choice where the translator does not wish to think up a doer to fill in the subject position. 170) (108) Even Aileen had not been shot at with a pistol. (no.„hon na lišku“ skončil. etc. . (no.toto vše patří k mému pádu.

as only a human person is able to cage an animal. Example of the added doer can be: (114) Thus an animal acts when it is caged . The former it is a “purely formal element with no referential or semantic role. whereas the latter fulfils referential and pronominal function.In the case of the formation of an active voice out of a passive construction this change has been possible in structures with expressed as well as implied agent. 235) 88 . the Czech free word order allows the agent to appear at the end of the clause. the subject is always present or at least implied in English which sometimes calls for a filler for cases where the subject is not needed. 89). skočilo to po mně a kouslo. it still represents the subject. Here. 33) The general agent is derived from the situational context. Constructions like (116) I was told by a sculptor that… (no.[…] u jejíhož schodiště zářila po stranách dvě zelená světla (no. An example showing the passive to active transformation with expressed agent phrase is: (115) […]whose steps were flanked by two green lights .Takhle si počíná zvíře. Dušková (1999: 178) distinguishes a semantic difference between it in it was said and in it jumped and bit me. Since the basic rule of English sentence structure requires every sentence to have both subject and predicate. In Czech this interpretation holds true as well with the only difference that the agent is implied in the first expression: vyprávělo se. employed solely to fill the position of the subject” (1999: 178). which has in Czech been added to the sentence or made the subject. however. když je lidé dají do klece (no.

5. In majority of cases such English structures with the object expressed by personal pronoun at the pre-passive level correspond in Czech to the active version. (no. (And now Phillips wafted in the shivering guest who had been haled from the line of mendicant lodgers. Another frequent situation occurs when past tense in English is expressed by present tense in Czech. žebrajících o nocleh. . 206) (119) […] they had been awakened by the noise of a pistol-shot. Sometimes there is no syntactic indication but common sense as for the distinction of preceding-following status of actions in Czech: (120) A teď Phillips přivedl zimomřivého hosta. kterého vybral z řady mužů.2. 13) This shift is caused by the syntactic properties of the Czech language which does not form the past perfect tense. so there has to be a different way of translation employed. usually via preposition. 105). které mu přišily pečlivé prsty Armády spásy.[…] byli probuzeni výstřelem z pistole. The difference between the past and the pre-past level can be indicated by other means. že… . This happens in sentences which bear some generally valid assertion. as for example in: (118) Buttons that had been sewed upon by kind Salvation fingers . no.2 Tense shifting Further. with the agent gathered from context and added to the sentence or re-extracted from the agentive phrase: (117) Sochař z Mauch Chunk mne kdysi poučil. 89 . there are divergences as far as the tense in constructions is concerned. conjunction or adverbial (předtím).Knoflíky. when Czech translations are compared with the original. (no. for example. One change that is valid for all passive constructions in past perfect tense in English is its translation into Czech by simple past not exist in Czech language at all.

Lidem není dopřáno dorozumívat se se zvířaty (no. which now results in the fact that dogs cannot let their masters know what is worrying them. this applies under the circumstances of storytelling – the English language sticks to the course of telling the plot in the past tense. 43). which is not always desirable. dodal. whereas in Czech the author is disposed to transform pieces of a story into present tense and thus make them more immediate and of action. since it alters the original meaning. pomalu se pohybujícími. Not only may the tense shift happen in the above direction (past → present) but also vice versa: the original present tense is coded in Czech with past tense. the translator prefers to maintain the cohesion of a narration with regard to his 90 . The Czech language tends to generalize what is generally true by means of present tense. which is then obligatorily followed by a verb posed in past tense. then. 53) Here the scheme is reversed compared to the above ‘past to present’ shift. Even so.g. e.g. e. the author meant to bring forward the fact that ‘once upon a time’ people were denied the speech of animals. In the above example. (no. – A na znamení. (no. že vyšetřování je u konce.(121) Humans were denied the speech of animals . 57). 74) One more case where this change can be observed is a standard situation of the consecution of tenses in indirect speech introduced by a statement verb. že neklid nějak souvisí s ručičkami časoměru. For in some cases. – Nevzdal jsem se však. (125) But I am not defeated.: (122) And to indicate that that the inquiry was ended he added. e. which situation is always translated into Czech through present tense: (124) Princ si povšimnl. (no.g.: (123) The Prince noted that its cause was connected in some manner with the slowly moving hands of the time-piece.

because of the fact that the perfective character which the original passive has imbedded in itself. (no. So then. needs to be preserved. e. the Czech language does not allow synchronous use of the perfective aspect and the present tense e. the past tense in Czech is chosen instead of the present. 31).g. e. Slightly different point of view is adopted in the following analysis. 38). (126) He felt like a cur that is cornered by his tormentors. more concretely. This shift in modality works also in the opposite direction. že mu bude bezpečně doručen. (129) […] feeling confident that it would be delivered to him.translation. Sometimes. . v níž měly být uloženy (no.g. 1996: 319). Here is one more example: 91 .[…] či ta věc. the Czech language employs future tense more often than English does.g.cokoli. Especially. . (no. co by mu ztěžovalo útěk (no. 54) (130) […] parlors of these houses should not be sub-let. the aim has been reached and there is no point in continuing in it (Rusínová et al. The future substitutes for the past as well as the present tense. (128) […] or the thing in which it was carried . 221) As follows from my sample. in many cases the shift of tense is replaced by the change of mode.Měl pocity psa. kterého pronásledovatelé zahnali do kouta. (no. where the action is finished since it has been accomplished. It deals with the preservation of a modal in translation.[…] salónky v domech nebudou pronajímány. 46) The reason for this lies in the nature of perfectivity as it expresses limitation of action’s duration in terms of the wholeness of action. a conditional phrase is translated via future tense in Czech. (1996: 318) state.: (127) […] a baggage with which his flight was burdened . the original past tense is translated by means of a conditional in Czech. – […] a byli přesvědčeni. As Rusínová et al.

not at the level of formal sentence arrangement. in this case I consider the Czech active interpretation to be a more suitable and appropriate one since it depicts the action and suspense of the moment. I will present here a classification together with an evaluation of the cases. As I have suggested above. or into reflexive passives.Na lidi udělá větší dojem fotoaparát.3 Alternative translations In this last part of my analysis I will have a look at constructions which have been translated in an alternative way. For example. it is natural that it has to be expressed in some other way. infinitive form.(131) People are more impressed by a Kodak. With regard to proportion. but rather have been totally omitted and avoided. 197). since it sketches out the perfectivity with regard to the presence in the adverbial právě. (no. Since the present perfect tense ranges among the ones which do not have a precise counterpart in Czech. is a variant which most closely preserves the original meaning. The very rare number of present perfect passive structures has been translated by various means: past tense. or present tense. In my opinion. For example: 92 . The passive constructions have been not only turned into active ones. where the original has been followed only semantically. I include also my animadversion as far as the Czech altered translations are concerned.2. . the passive voice including the verb carrying it has often been entirely omitted. 118) Again. 5. the choice of the translator can be best explicated in terms of emphasizing the perfective nature of the original passive construction. (132) […] his ship has just been scuttled – […] právě mu potopili loď (no. the translator’s own creativity has been implemented in 24% of the all 258 passive occurrences.

What is left is the basic frame 93 . (no. While in the original the agent who considers things is (theoretically) unknown to a reader. 250) the original meaning. and assigns the agency directly to the speaker who draws the conclusion. At the same time. Different verb is used also in the second variant of this possibility. since the Czech verbs accurately communicate the intended meaning. (no. This situation can be found in numerous cases and it brings about an alteration of meaning. . 4).[…] že jich muselo přijít pět (no.Úder měl stejný účinek jako vstup učitele do třídy.Řekl jsem mu. . 3) In the Czech version there is neither a mention of the verb administer.(133) With the effect of a schoolmaster entering the play-room of his pupils was that blow administered. 44). is entirely lost. Another possibility is the use of a verb different from the original text. consisting in the blowing one’s whistle to call for other mounted policemen who were wandering around. že to je věrná podoba. the Czech interpretation loses the conditioned meaning. The semantic impact is not a striking one. Examples are (135) I’ve been blessed with – (kolik) jsem nezažil (no.[…] směli jste pojíst (no. For example in the pair: (134) I told him it was considered a faithful likeness. it can be represented by the person of the speaker but also by a group of artists (the topic in question is a portrait). Here the original verbs bless and admit are replaced by verbal forms of experience and may. respectively. which is characterized by deterioration of the semantic value of the original verb due to the Czech choice of an unmarked verb. the meaning is preserved. 21) (136) […] you were admitted to dine . For example in the passage (137) […] five cops had to be whistled for . nor is its meaning saved in any other verb.

chystané k snídani. 137) (142) His eyes were firmly imbedded […]. 165) (144) […] ghost that had been dispossessed . The choice of verb is not the happiest one also in the following example: (138) By and by the restless mood was overcome . 99). . rather unpromptedly. Even more reduced is the translation by means of solely an adjective. whereas the latter meaning “slowly”. 94 . in which the Czech verb in the part (140) […] u nichž postávalo asi dvacet děvčat even changes and shifts the meaning of the passive semantics of ‘being gathered’. Next variant for the translator has been the use of the construction be + adjective. 116).of a vague coercive measure that has been employed to make the police officers appear on site. Examples of the former would be: (143) […] potatoes which were not yet peeled for breakfast.Jeho oči byly pevně zasazené […].Je zapálená? (no. and in English it is difficult to distinguish between the two.Pomalu setřásl neklidnou náladu (no. Definitely. 64). 160).[…] jako nějaký vypuzený duch (no. The whole original passive phrase is substituted by an adjective which can occur in the attributive position or participates in a post-modifying clause. The enumeration of the inaccurate translated excerpts could continue by the piece (139) […] near which were gathered some twenty girls (no.[…] neoloupané brambory. the former implying a rapid intense movement. Here are some examples: (141) Is it lit? . (no. The Czech verb comments on the consequent situation which is only the result of the process of gathering. the use of Czech shromáždilo se would have been more appropriate here. which is in Czech interchangeable with the passive voice. . In Czech the verb setřást is in semantic contradiction to pomalu. (no.

123). vyvolaným kalifornským červeným vínem (no. The listing of alternative ways of translating the passive phrase can be ended by the group of other instances which cannot be easily classified. 39). (148) […] as a dog was intended to do . 95 .[…] jako správný pes (no.the latter situation can be exemplified by (145) […] wit that can be churned out of California claret .[…] když už jsem byl za výstřelu (no.[…] důvtipem.[…] stará restaurace je pryč (no. 86). (147) […] when the shot was fired . For example. (146) […] the old restaurant is gone . 102).

Its omission also means that the verb phrase is more often in clause final position. 1999: 943). of particularly low information value). Typically. The most general function of the passive voice proved to be the shift of a viewpoint. or irrelevant (i. thus it is not a simple order variation (Biber et al. I have dealt with a sample containing passives quite frequently. which is also connected with the use of short versus long passives (Biber et al. with high frequencies in academic writing and with dialogs in fiction at the opposite extreme (Biber et al. Since the passive “involves a restructuring of the clause”. Especially the passive form comprising be and the past participle is perceived as literary. Although they assert that the passive voice is noticeably more frequently used in informative writing than in imaginative prose (Quirk et al. 1999: 477). 1999: 476). the short passive makes it possible to eliminate the participant that would have been expressed in the subject of corresponding 96 . Especially short dynamic passive forms leave the initiator of an action unexpressed because the agent is unknown.Summary The passive is traditionally described as a formal and impersonal choice. The passive construction “demotes the agent of the verb. redundant. notably in informative passages. 1974: 808). characteristic of new information. while giving topic status to the affected patient” (Biber et al. The choice between the active and the passive verb is related to the presentation of given and new information. 1999: 935). as opposed to the expressive and colloquial form conjugated with get instead of be (Curme 1931: 445).e. The formality is consistent with the distribution among registers. found out that the “major stylistic factor determining the frequency [of the passive voice] seems to be related to the distinction between informative and imaginative prose rather than to the difference of subject matter and of spoken and written English” (1974: 808). Quirk et al.

On the other hand. 167). Since the agent is most typically human. 1999: 943). the winner is the active voice as the active construction is the more frequent choice in describing a situation involving an agent. especially if this is given in the context and is less informative than the affected participant (Biber et al. The affected participant is chosen as subject if the context makes it a more natural starting-point than the construction. became extremely lazy. The possibility to omit an agent is made used of and the construction thus suggests that he. The passivity is apparent in comparison with the Czech translation which is active and not so telling: 97 . Here. which is exploited for many reasons. presumably because it represents a natural way of viewing things (from originator to goal). The passive voice as a means of stylistics influences the tone of a sentence and contributes to its meaning. as the context of this excerpt is the description of a couch potato. 1999: 943). as for the expression of given information they are alike. however. passively and without his own effort or volition. They are characterized by the tendency to place given information in subject position. and an affected participant. true of subjects in general and is not limited to passive constructions (Biber et al. As can be seen in the following example: (149) He was permeated with the curse of domesticity (no. Although these two passive types differ with respect to the given/new division. an action. the long passive preserves all the information that would be expressed in the corresponding active construction. the chosen passive contours the overall passive meaning. it suggests itself to characterize the short passive constructions as impersonal. 1999: 943). Because of this difference between the short and the long passive. This is. the latter “should be considered as competing with the corresponding active construction rather than with the short passive” (Biber et al.

nevertheless. and on the resultative nature of actions. 98 . That is why he uses past perfect tense very often.(150) Vyzařoval prokletí zdomácnělosti. (no. The verb vyzařovat can bear the passive undertone of “unintentionally radiate”. 249) In this example the sense of the utterance is ‘past with present relevance’ but the stylistic preference governs the whole of the plot telling to be united in one and the same tense which is in this case the past tense. The author lays emphasis on the notion of preceding and following. Semantically it is actually a present perfect aspect but related with the past tense of the narrative line: (151) His face and hands had been recently washed. the fact that it is posed in the active voice causes the inescapably more active and agentive nature of the phrase.

various pseudo-passive constructions). in Czech the active voice can be utilized in this respect. where the translator could operate with two types of the passive forms. the prevalence of short passive forms. and to mediate the shift of perspective from the actor to the acted upon subject. particularly the overall preference of the active to passive voice in Czech when compared with English. However. The periphrastic passive has been preserved in 37% of cases. In Czech. Overall. Semantically the passive voice is. Since the research sample is rather small. the translations proved the tendency to transform the passive structures into active ones with the necessary agents added. which confirms the basic functions of the passive voice. he preferred active. Whereas in English the passive facilitates cohesion and is obligatorily employed in maintaining the rules of functional sentence perspective. it means. The English language disposes of only a limited number of possible clause structures and associated sets of participant roles. but only by the subject.Conclusion The aim of the present thesis has been to explore the use of the passive voice from the semantico-syntactic point of view. a formal means of objective detachment. reflexive and other means of expression in the majority of cases. above all. avoidance of personal involvement and in fiction. thought up. my hypotheses postulated at the beginning proved correct. it serves its purposes especially in underlying descriptions which frame the plot. These have been the expression of verbal action without the necessity to specify the agent that performs it. which I ascribe to the wider range of possibilities that are available in Czech (word order. that it cannot serve as a ground for general conclusions. with the main focus set on the English language. or more specifically. reflexive passive. 99 . These restrictions determine that an ‘agentive’ role cannot be expressed by an object or complement. presumed and deduced from the context.

perspectives. and further to the modal modification of a verb phrase. the importance of the passive voice as a means of reversing the normal order of ‘agentive’ and ‘affected’ elements can be seen. 100 . During the process of analysis. I compared the implementation and stylistic roles that the passive plays in English with the roles that it plays in the Czech language in corresponding translations. The scope of my analysis has comprised a lot of various. with the aid of the sample of short stories. but rather to find out all the assorted particular uses in which it can be employed and to account for the varied purposes that it can serve from both a syntactic and a semantic point of view. the adjustment of a clause structure to conform to end-focus and end-weight principles is achieved. Greenbaum S. 1973: 411). communicative functions of the passive as well as the study of its purposes with regard to functional sentence perspective. What is more. I have examined the English passive structures from a quantitative as well as a qualitative point of view. Attention has been devoted to the agentive complementation of the passive structures. my primary aim has been to explore. The exploration of qualities included the semantics of the long and short passive phrase.. That is why I have reached a lot of sub-conclusions which are not meant to be generalized. Hence.or by the agent of a passive clause (Quirk R. though interrelated. I will present here a full list of functions of the passive voice that I have encountered in my sample. Consequently. Therefore. the manifold functions that the passive can bear. I did not mean to deduce general conclusions about the English passive voice.

(no. (no. (no. (no. the pre-passive object) since it is more important than the doer. which leaves the doer unexpressed for various reasons. this is an exclusive feature of the long passive. (no. 27) A police captain was dismissed from force. 161) BOTH TYPES OF THE PASSIVE I claim descent from the late Tommy Tucker. 72) […] like a cur that is cornered by his tormentors. 116) We happened to be born there. who was forced to hand out. 167) LONG PASSIVE EMPHASIS → on an agent The mobs even attacked the Casa Morena. 9 The rules of functional sentence perspective determine two basic schemes: in the first one attention is drawn to the subject of the passive (i. 101 . (no. 190) Dinner was served to Goodwin. (no. Naturally. 10 The second basic scheme is used with an opposite intention. This is a predominant feature of the short passive. and generally greater attention is taken in the affected patient. 200) Order was restored. to emphasize the doer. 61) The ranchman was dragged away. (no. (no. 143) They were almost overpowered by a great clapping of hands. but were driven away by the military. 46) → on a patient COMMUNICATIVE DYNAMISM → new information in an agent10 STYLISTICS → long pre-passive object → cohesion […] as if it had been made up from individual contributors from the chorus of a musical comedy. (no. 203) By and by the restless mood was overcome. (no. (no. 153) His eyes were firmly imbedded in his face. 42) A group of boarders were seated on the high stoop.e. 69) The picture was completed.Functions and uses of the passive voice SHORT PASSIVE Function OMISSION OF AN AGENT → unimportant for the message Example → unknown → redundant → avoidance of personal responsibility → focus on the affected patient COMMUNICATIVE DYNAMISM → new information in a verb → new information in the passive subject9 EMPHASIS → on a verb (be + lexical verb = 2 elements) → on the passive subject → on completion (suggests difficulty in the process of perfection) → on passivity of verbal meaning It was a daring thing to have been named Mary. 160) He was permeated with the curse of domesticity. (no. (no. i. (no.e. (no.

92) → marked word order → antichronic way of perception (violation of time line) → objectivity → detachment → formal. 67) Colonel Emilio Falcon was dispatched from the capital upon this important mission. (no. 102 . (no. 93) My research has shown that the functions and implementations of the passive voice are abundant which makes it a valuable stylistic means. the passive turn is employed rather in formal jargon. official tone → politeness The sidewalk was blockaded with sightseers. 23) […] a few words that were written by him. (no.. 63) I wanted to be forgiven. 56) It’s done. 1974: 805). it can be concluded that the passive voice is necessarily used in two cases: when the agent is unknown and thus unrecoverable. Nevertheless. since it enables the element carrying the highest degree of communicative dynamism to close a clause. (no. (no. especially useful for its primary ability to avoid the expression of an agent. It is often felt to be heavier than the corresponding active since it adds one element of complexity to the verb phrase (Quirk et al. In general. (no. 257) It cannot be denied that […]. and as a device of alignment with the FSP linearity principle.

Trans. Prague: URANIA Publishers. Moscow: Higher School Publishing House. Press. Jaro na jídelním lístku. Praha: Práce. Praha: Orbis 1964. R. Stanislav Klíma. et al.: M. Trans. ‛The case for case’ in Univerals in Linguistic Theory. Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. 103 . Glasgow: Collins Classics. 1972. ---. 1988. 1972. Functional Sentence Perspective in Written and Spoken Communication. Fillmore. Ostrava: Morava. Theoretical texts Bělíček. Stanislav Klíma et al. Malý průvodce po dnešní češtině. ---. Rinehart and Winston.. Praha: Karolinum. P. D. 1999. G. Stanislav Klíma. N. ---. 475-83.T. Trans. Biber. Trans. Bach. O. (eds. Curme. 1968. Mass. Boston: Heath. Praha: Melantrich. František. and Harms. Vol. 1965. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. ---. Part 2. 69 Short Stories. Chomsky. Studies in the English Language.) New York: Holt. Mluvnice současné angličtiny na pozadí češtiny. Daneš. 1931. Dušková. The Skylight Room and Other Stories. Ch. O.Bibliography Analysed Texts Henry. 1981. 935-43. 199-. Cambridge. E.I. Aspects of the Theory of Syntax. Praha: Melantrich. English Semantics: The Semantic Structure of Modern English. 2005. ---. ---. Harlemská tragédie a jiné povídky. Stanislav Klíma. Harlow: Longman. Praha: Academia. Vrtkavá štěstěna aneb jak se Gladys činila a jiné povídky. J. 1954. 1999. Firbas. 3: Syntax. Zpověď humoristova. 1992. A Grammar of the English language. 1988. L.

R. Z. 5. G. R. Čeština – univerzália a specifika 5. Příruční mluvnice češtiny.. P. Z. 323-4. Semantics and Syntax: Parallels and connections. et al. K. F. Karlík. B.. Huddleston. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. 2002.. Olomouc: Votobia. Palmer. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. 523-9. Jespersen. Rusínová. 1986. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. 1933. Semantics: a coursebook. B. 801-11.. The Sentence in Written English. J. Praha: SPN. Quirk.. 1991.. 1981. A linguistic study of the English verb. 1973. M. 1998. Heidelberg: Carl Winter UP. R. Karlík. M. 2002. Miller. 1931. A. Česká mluvnice. ---. The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. R. Quirk. 1965. Harmondsworth: Penguin.. P. Skladba spisovné češtiny. 1981. 1983. A modern English Grammar on Histrorical Principles Part 4. 1985.. 58-60. Jedlička. Leech. 2004. London: Longmans. 1955. G. Praha: Lidové noviny. Hurford.. Heasley. 1971. P. Semantics: The Study of Meaning. Kapitoly z odborné stylistiky. Essentials of English grammar. J.Grepl. Praha: Orbis. Stručná mluvnice česká. et al. Praha: SPN. Harlow: Longman. 1996. eds. London: George Allen & Unwin. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. Praha: Fortuna. Skladba češtiny. Huddleston. A University Grammar of English.. 230-2. London: Longman. R. Havránek. eds. R. 104 . ---. O. Novinářský studijní ústav.. Hladká. Walton-onThames: Nelson. Pullum. Praha: Lidové noviny. 1974. An A-Z of English grammar and usage. 1426-47. A Grammar of Contemporary English. Greenbaum. and Nekula. Karlík. ---. S. ---..

Praha: Melantrich. Trávníček. 105 . A Contribution to the Theory of Syntax.Sandmann. Část II. Skladba. 1949. M. 738-49. Subject and Predicate. 1954. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP. F. Mluvnice spisovné češtiny.

Appendix List of the discussed short stories and their Czech titles A Cosmopolite in a Café: Světoobčan v restauraci (Vrtkavá štěstěna aneb jak se Gladys činila a jiné povídky) A Double-Dyed Deceiver: Dvojnásobný podvodník (Zpověď humoristova) A Harlem Tragedy: Harlemská tragédie (Harlemská tragédie a jiné povídky) A Madison Square Arabian Night: Příběh z Tisíce a jedné noci na Madisonově náměstí (Zpověď humoristova) A Midsummer Knight’s DRAM: Rytířův sen letní noci (Vrtkavá štěstěna aneb jak se Gladys činila a jiné povídky) According to Their Lights: Podle vlastních zásad (Vrtkavá štěstěna aneb jak se Gladys činila a jiné povídky) After Twenty Years: Po dvaceti letech (Zpověď humoristova) Between Rounds: Mezi koly (Vrtkavá štěstěna aneb jak se Gladys činila a jiné povídky) Brickdust Row: Ulice cihlové moučky (Harlemská tragédie a jiné povídky) Elsie in New York: Elsie v New Yorku (Harlemská tragédie a jiné povídky) Mammon and the Archem: Mamon a Amor (Zpověď humoristova) Master of Arts: Mistři umění (Harlemská tragédie a jiné povídky) Memoirs of a Yellow Dog: Paměti žlutého psa (Vrtkavá štěstěna aneb jak se Gladys činila a jiné povídky) Money Maze: Utajené finance (Vrtkavá štěstěna aneb jak se Gladys činila a jiné povídky) Sisters of the Golden Circle: Sestry Zlatého kroužku (Vrtkavá štěstěna aneb jak se Gladys činila a jiné povídky) The Badge of Policeman O’Roon: Odznak policisty O’Roona (Harlemská tragédie a jiné 106 .

Amor a hodiny (Zpověď humoristova) The Country of Elusion: Země úniku (Vrtkavá štěstěna aneb jak se Gladys činila a jiné povídky) Two Thanksgiving Day Gentleman: Den díkůvzdání dvou gentlemanů (Harlemská tragédie a jiné povídky) 107 .povídky) The Brief Début Of Tildy: Tyldin krátký debut (Vrtkavá štěstěna aneb jak se Gladys činila a jiné povídky) The Caliph. Cupid and the Clock: Kalif.