Corpus-based Data Driven Learning

Passive Error



Each step is easy to be carried out.

Each step is easy to carry out.

Each step can be carried out easily

The 'Passive Error' in the original sentence shown above is commonly found in students' writing. Students seem to be confusing the meaning of 'is easy to' with that of the modal 'can'. The revisions above show how the original may be rewritten without, or with, the Passive. The following are some concordance examples of 'easy to + active voice' and 'can be + passive voice'.

easy to + active voice

1   t or are similar in the L1, they will be easy to pronounce, or vice versa. Some

2   uch as oral presentation, which makes it easy to apply learning strategies effec

3   e, learning strategies are comparatively easy to manipulate while other factors,

4   from the learner's L1, the word will be easy to learn; otherwise, difficulties

5   the arm holding it are not visible it is easy to see that the person is "dancing

6   sociations as they progress. It is not easy to achieve native-like patterns

7   tion jie, the difference between them is easy to capture and is often explicitly

8   dary memory retrieval. Thus, it would be easy to understand why those with lower

9   n that of proximal goals, and it is also easy to postpone pursuing a distal goal

10  nent. Questionnaires, although quick and easy to administer, are limited in thei

11  a where the notion originated, it is not easy to explain this superior position

12  -old chicken-and-the-egg question is not easy to answer. It would seem possible,

13  tegy use according to nationality is not easy to find, two studies which produce

14  and Harris have pointed out: "It is not easy to get inside the ¡¥black box' of

15  hile students' strategy profiles made it easy to adopt materials or mini-lessons

16  ple, informal and formal observation are easy to use in the classroom but cannot

17  lusters were also found to be relatively easy to spell, at least those that did

18  dents with varied input. Nowadays, it is easy to obtain listening materials for

19  uprasegmental Features It is by no means easy to determine which features of pro

20  dle function words. They might find them easy to identify because of their high

can be + passive voice

1   ormation. Once acquired, this knowledge can be accessed consciously as declarati

2   see Eight distinctive stages can be identified for acquiring vocabula

3   ts' own responsibility. That vocabulary can be learned in a communicative contex

4          onent of BNC. From the table, it can be seen that because and so are very

5   s There are other difficult areas that can be observed: pronunciation, orthogra

6   the teacher and students; (5) education can be achieved by individual effort (in

7   uarantee that the meaning-form matching can be successfully established, particu

8   form in the video section; the meaning can be guessed in the context or accesse

9   learning will not ensure that the word can be used correctly in a real language

10  m subsequently and repeatedly; the word can be retrieved either receptively or

11         or other learning activities. It can be predicted that vocabulary learnin

12  ing the vocabulary processing level, it can be inferred that primarily receptive

13  ) the same program. The positive impact can be measured partially from the learn

14  n, Chapelle (2001: 53) suggests that it can be analysed at three different level

15  rk The framework that I have developed can be applied to both research- based

16  tion in respect of the new lexical item can be easily interrupted by either side

17  ues to the enquirer so that the meaning can be inferred correctly. Through the

18  They are therefore tools, although they can be easily integrated into other tuto

19  r advantage in that lexical information can be accessed in multiple channels sim

20  tion is displayed and extra information can be displayed, say via hyperlinks,


Exercise 1


The following sentences are based on examples from a corpus. On the left is a version using an adjective; on the right a version using the modal verb can. Complete one version or the other by filling in the gaps, then press "Check" to check your answers.
1. The parachute is easy to remove. The parachute can be easily.
2. The plants are to . The plants can be propagated easily.
3. Future inflation is to predict. Future inflation can be predicted only with difficulty.
4. Low temperature plasmas are relatively cheap to manufacture. Low temperature plasmas be relatively .
5. Houses from Colorado to Maine are to and easy to . Houses from Colorado to Maine can be bought cheaply and can be let easily.
6. This is a theory that is difficult to verify. This is a theory that can be only .


Exercise 2

The following sentences are found in the Learner EAP corpus. Please see if they are appropriate, and if not, how they could be revised.


1      That means, they have to say things that are easy to be digested and understood by the hearer.



2      Similar to language origin, language itself is not easy to be defined as language is rather complex in nature.