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date back to

 
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puzzle



Joined: 17 Oct 2005
Posts: 190

PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 4:33 pm    Post subject: date back to Reply with quote

Dear teachers,
Can you tell me whether "date back to " can be used in passive voice? We're taught that there is no passive voice for this phrase but there is a sentence in our textbook like this:

All the objects are from the same excavation site in Sanxingdui and can be dated back to 3000 and 3500 years ago.

Is this sentence right? Why?

Thank you very much!
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IanT



Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 340
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if it's technically correct or not, but it sounds natural and I have heard similar phrases many times.

I reckon it's the "can be" that makes it sound OK. "Are dated back" would definitely sound wrong.

Hope helps,
Ian
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