BE + given | offered | sold + prepositional phrase

BE + given | offered | sold + prepositional phrase

Spread the love

“This post is brought to you by English Grammar Pro. ”  The previous sentence is an example of B2 level grammar.  If that interests you, then read on.

There are a few points in the category of PASSIVES and verbs taking two objects that overlap and clash for which CEFR level they indicate.  Before trying to understand them it might also be a good idea to understand the ideas of direct and indirect objects.  There’s a really well-explained page of information here.

But in a nutshell, most of the time, the direct object is not a person while the indirect object is a person and comes first in the sentence.

Point 26 at B2 is defined as:

with a range of tenses and verbs needing two objects (e.g. give, offer, sell) with the direct object in subject position and the indirect object in a prepositional phrase.

My name was_VB given_VVN to_II me_P
training is_VB given_VVN to_TO staff_VVI
The job  has_VH been_VB offered_VVN to_II me_P

(note claws7 error, the tagger can’t tell the difference.)

The above point is easy to give a complexity level due to the length of the string.  However the rest of the passive points overlap at A2, B1 and B2, so are less reliable to find automatically with the complexity checker or on corpora. For example, see A2 past simple passive here.

Point 19 at B2 is defined as:

a wide range of verbs needing two objects, putting the indirect object in the subject position. 

(same as B1 only difference is ‘offered’ and can use any tense!)

There is no mention which tense must be included.  And surprisingly, the EGP examples seem to suggest that a verb such as ‘give’ is an indicator of ‘wide’ range.  The examples contain: present perfect/past simple + offered/given

If we convert the previous examples:

I was given my name.  Staff have been offered training.

Point 6 at B1 is defined:

past simple passive with a limited range of verbs needing two objects, putting the indirect object in the subject position.

was/were + given


CORPUS RESEARCH

The main way we can ensure more useful information about these structures is by doing the following quite specific search on iWeb:

_n _vb _vvn to _p


1 POST IS BROUGHT TO YOU 1299

(B2 point 26, the noun ‘post’ is the direct object in the subject position and ‘you’ is the indirect object in the prepositional phrase.)


2 ART IS BROUGHT TO YOU 405
3 POST WAS BROUGHT TO YOU 399


4 EPISODE IS BROUGHT TO YOU 399

  Backstage
The CDs Behind ‘Dead to Me,’ ‘Maisel’ + ‘Handmaid’s’ on What Actors Need to Audition
This episode is brought to you by HBO. Join Backstage to access work from home jobs you can apply to right now! In the Envelope: The Actor’s …

5 ARTICLE IS BROUGHT TO YOU 267
6 EMAIL IS SENT TO YOU 147
7 SERVICE IS PROVIDED TO YOU 138
8 CONTENT IS BROUGHT TO YOU 137
9 PODCAST IS BROUGHT TO YOU 136
10 PRODUCT IS DISPATCHED TO YOU 127
11 ARTICLE WAS BROUGHT TO YOU 126
12 ITEM IS RETURNED TO US 126
13 INFORMATION IS PROVIDED TO YOU 121
14 SITE IS PROVIDED TO YOU 116
15 EVENT IS BROUGHT TO YOU 113
16 FORCE IS APPLIED TO IT 109
17 PACKAGE IS RETURNED TO US 108
18 PRODUCT WAS RECOMMENDED TO ME 105
19 RECIPE IS BROUGHT TO YOU 86
20 CHILDREN WERE BORN TO THEM 84
21 GOODS ARE RETURNED TO US 83
22 STORY WAS TOLD TO ME 81
23 APPLICATION BE MAILED TO YOU 81
24 EMAIL WAS SENT TO YOU 80
25 ORDER IS RETURNED TO US 79
26 WEBSITE IS PROVIDED TO YOU 78
27 RECIPE WAS GIVEN TO ME 78
28 PRESSURE IS APPLIED TO IT 73
29 PEOPLE ARE DRAWN TO IT 69
30 PEACE BE MULTIPLIED TO YOU 69
31 SERIES IS BROUGHT TO YOU 68
32 HOUSE IS LEFT TO YOU 67
33 SERVICES ARE PROVIDED TO YOU 67
34 PROGRAM IS BROUGHT TO YOU 64
35 SHOW IS BROUGHT TO YOU 61
36 INFORMATION IS BROUGHT TO YOU 61
37 MOLECULES ARE ATTRACTED TO EACH 60
38 COPY BE MAILED TO YOU 59
39 INFORMATION IS PROVIDED TO US 59
40 ITEMS ARE RETURNED TO US 58
41 ENTRIES ARE LIMITED TO ONE 55
42 BOOK WAS RECOMMENDED TO ME 54
43 PRODUCT WAS PROVIDED TO ME 54
44 LINKS ARE PROVIDED TO YOU 54
45 MESSAGE IS SENT TO YOU 52

* note iWeb does not allow adding more into the string to get longer ones.

Other ways of research are not so reliable:

First, we could consider which other passive verbs that we generally know might have two objects:

Brought, bought, cost, got, left, lend, made, owed, passed, paid, played, promised, read, refused, sent, shown, sung, taken, taught, told, wished, written.

The reason for the intuition is, sadly, the iWeb, COCA and NOW corpora don’t accept a search for wider codes such as * * _vb _vvn * *. We also found that searching for the narrower general passive code: * _vb _vvn *produced no examples of ‘offered’ in the top 1000 ngrams which means some of these are very rare!

‘Given’ appeared many times:

50 WILL BE GIVEN TO 22394
99 WILL BE GIVEN A 15316
168 WILL BE GIVEN THE 10928 (there were many more)


896 TO BE BROUGHT TO 4206
915 WILL BE BROUGHT TO 4111


There is nothing of ‘cost’… etc. This would take way to long to locate this way to get the best examples…



To conclude, here are B1 and B2 vocabulary from the lists above:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Legal Notice: Copyright 2019. The online software, text report and research at EnglishGrammar.Pro has made use of the English Grammar Profile. This resource is based on extensive research using the Cambridge Learner Corpus and is part of the English Profile programme, which aims to provide evidence about language use that helps to produce better language teaching materials.