Passive voice or present continuous?


I have been asked “How’s your English?”

I answered: “It is improved slowly,” but I have read that I must say “It is improving slowly.”

But I don’t think the second is correct, because you improve it (by) yourself and not by another body.


Posted 2013-09-06T18:22:13.760


1Please punctuate and capitalize to make this intelligible. – StoneyB on hiatus – 2013-09-06T18:25:00.353



You are thinking of the transitive form of the word, but improve, used intransitively (without an object), means "to increase in value, excellence, etc."


Posted 2013-09-06T18:22:13.760

Reputation: 121


"it is improved" can be used to describe a state, but "slowly" can only describe an action. You can't refer to 'it' as both a state and an action.

To get round that, you have to use an active verb such as "improving" to match the "slowly".

A minor problem is your use of present simple passive. "It has improved" is more natural.

Roaring Fish

Posted 2013-09-06T18:22:13.760

Reputation: 1 323