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ESL forum > Ask for help > Agent in a passive sentence    

Agent in a passive sentence


Agent in a passive sentence

I never find a simple answer for the question “where do you place the agent in a passive sentence if there are more complements or adverbials. I would say that if we use it at all it would tend to go near the verb, but in sentences like:

Susan is sent a parcel by her mother every month / every month by her mother


Both sound OK to me. What do you think? Is there a clear rule about this?


Thanks a lot,


14 Jan 2011      


The agent can go by the verb or at the end of the sentence... or it may be simply eliminated because the old subject is somewhat "ambiguous" (he, she, they, it, somebody, etc...) or it ´s "understood" like in - "the man was operated on Sunday"... - it ´s understood here that a doctor or surgeon had to do the operation. Therefore adding "by the doctor" to the sentence isn ´t necessary.   

14 Jan 2011