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Ruby asked in 社會與文化語言 · 10 years ago

catch fire 主動被動


catch fire

The house catch fire.

The house (which is)caught fire

4 Answers

  • 老登
    Lv 7
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    房子著火應該是要用被動的吧! 因為房子不會主動去著火.

    I think this is better:

    The house was on fire.

    2011-10-21 08:44:23 補充:

    Yea, Agree with DaSaGwa.

    That's why I use a different way to present the sentence.

    2011-10-21 14:48:40 補充:

    Don't bother to talk about it.

  • 10 years ago

    Dasagwa, 有必要這麼饒舌嗎?

    The house catches fire.是一種具有「被動」含意的「主動」用法:


    The house(which is) caught fire.則是實際上出現的機會不多,可能小說裡會出現這樣的用法,因為前者的句法比較自然,不需要有前後文,單獨The house catches fire.這一句英文就可以成立了。可是The house (which is) caught fire.這句話如果沒有前後文出現,意思就很突兀,怪怪的。可是如果你說The house is caught fire.這是可以的,這個用法是The house catches fire.的被動形用法。

  • 10 years ago

    My two-cents:

    The question poster asks about the usage of the phrase "catch fire".

    Eluding the question by giving another phrase may prove your ignorance about "catch fire".

    "Catch fire" is only of an active usage, and never passive.

    2011-10-21 12:10:37 補充:


    The building was caught fire last night. (X)

    The building caught fire last night. (O)

    DaSaGwa's sentences are correct, except the incomplete ones with "which" and "that".

    2011-10-21 12:20:04 補充:

    The house which caught fire. ...(incomplete)

    The house which caught fire belongs to Sam. (O)

    The house that caught fire. ....(incomplete)

    The house that caught fire was Judy's residence. (O)

    The house that was set on fire by a vagrant. (X)

    The house was set on fire by a vagrant. (O)

    2011-11-03 11:23:46 補充:

    DaSaGwa, what you said is very right, but remember that you are living in an English environment, while the learners in Taiwan are not. A different mode of learning English from yours is followed. Without involving grammar study, a non-native English speaker will learn English well by no means.

  • 10 years ago

    For the present tense:

    The house catches fire.

    For the past tense:

    The house caught fire.

    In your question, you use "which is" is not correct. If you really want to use "which". It shall be:

    The house which caught fire.


    The house that caught fire.

    In a word, you cannot use "passive tense". However if you want to have a

    passive tense in its meaning, you can use:

    The house that was set on fire by a transit (homeless people).

    Hopefully this explanation helps !

    2011-10-21 05:59:05 補充:

    Another example for passive tense:

    The house was burned down by fire.

    2011-10-21 08:27:56 補充:

    I said you cannot use "passive tense" is for the sentence "The house which is caught fire".

    It doesn't you cannot use "passive tense".

    2011-10-21 08:30:59 補充:

    Yes, house cannot catch fire on its own, unless for some reasons, such as electrical short, ... and so on. On the other hand, fire cannot go to burn a house by itself. It needs to be set by someone or something.

    2011-10-21 08:31:57 補充:

    Therefore, to ask "to use passive tense" or "to use active tense" is really hard to

    answer, because you don't know where or how the fire start?

    2011-10-21 12:35:33 補充:

    I was just trying to explain my point of view about "passive and active tense" for using "catch fire". After all, the question itself was not a complete description.

    However, I thank you for completing the sentences to make more sense of the


    2011-10-21 12:39:33 補充:

    I feel that discussing an issue like this by grammar is really overkilled, after all, these are very commonly used in conversation. People with the experience in daily conversation, they can easily figure out what is the right way to say without pulling out the grammar to analyze it.

    2011-10-21 12:43:02 補充:

    Don't take me wrong! Grammar is still important, it is just that for a simple thing like this, it is really unnecessary. For those who is an English beginner, all you need is to ask an experience person, he (or she) will tell you the right way, and you just memorize it.

    2011-10-21 12:45:33 補充:

    Later when you get serious, you can use grammar (as Infinito) to verify it, then you are done with it. There is NO need to bring grammar to exam every sentence that comes to your attention. After all, grammar is a collection of customary usage of English.

    2011-10-21 12:48:53 補充:

    That means, how people say it comes first, then comes the grammar that was collected and researched by some language experts.

    2011-10-21 12:53:43 補充:

    Master Infinito, I am not against your using the grammar. You and I know English to a point that we don't even need to worry about grammar most of the time. Your using grammar to explain is a way to give an answer to a why. I just want to remind people how language is developed.

    Source(s): self
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