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wrote/ written

(9 Posts)
PassiveAgressiveQueen Wed 06-Apr-16 10:36:06

In a discussion at breakfast my youngest said
"it was written there"
my eldest corrected youngest saying "wrote" was the correct word

I corrected eldest saying in this case "written" was the correct word.

eldest asked Why?
now i know (believe until you people correct me) these 2 sentances are correct, but I have no idea why
"she wrote it down incorrectly"
"it was written down incorrectly"
Can you please explain using grammer terms, i can then use to a 10 year old.

DadDadDad Wed 06-Apr-16 16:10:33

It's the distinction between the simple past tense (wrote) and a past participle (written), the first comes after the noun, the second is used with HAVE or WAS. Was is used for the passive.

eg I write -> I wrote -> I have written the story -> the story was written by me

It may not be obvious because for "regular" verbs the two forms are the same:
eg I walk -> I walked -> I have walked the dog -> the dog was walked by me

You could try him on other examples:
... I stole the biscuit -> I have ????? the biscuit -> the biscuit was ????? by me
... I knew the answer -> .... -> the answer was ???? by me

DadDadDad Wed 06-Apr-16 16:12:48

In simple terms, "written" acts as an adjective: "the written word" - you can't use "wrote".

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Wed 06-Apr-16 16:13:38

Past Simple "wrote"
Past Simple Passive. "was written"

The new SPaG wotsits will use those terms. When are passives used? When the direct object is more important to the sentence than the subject. How are passives formed? With the relevant form of "to be" + the past participle.

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Wed 06-Apr-16 16:14:53

It doesn't act as an adjective! The past participle of a verb often has the same form as an adjective, but the usage is different.

DadDadDad Wed 06-Apr-16 16:23:01

OK, I'm not familiar with the Spag terminology, so hopefully my examples help even if my labels are antiquated!

I probably should have said "acts like an adjective" in that it modifies a noun and can fill a slot where an adjective can go: eg "it is tall" -> "it is written", but I agree it doesn't function in all ways like an adjective, eg you can't say "the very written book".

PassiveAgressiveQueen Wed 06-Apr-16 20:20:01

Thanks everyone, i will use passive and active as they are words I have seen in his work books. And in case he asks what a past participle is, i thought they only existed in french until very recently.

DadDadDad Wed 06-Apr-16 20:54:07

Just don't get confused and start talking about passive and aggressive verbs. grin

PassiveAgressiveQueen Wed 06-Apr-16 20:56:35

Tee hee

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