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Valentina R.
Editor-In-Chief at Verge Campus NYU
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Writing
TutorMe
Question:

To what extent is the Christmas Tree a symbol for Nora, in Henrik Ibsen's play, "A Doll's House?"

Valentina R.
Answer:

The tree symbolizes Nora's state of mind, and her role within the family. Just like the tree, her function, is seemingly, purely decorative. Her husband, Torvald, doesn't expect her to get caught up in business, but rather play with the kids and eat macaroons. Also, chronologically speaking, the tree is associated with Nora’s progressively overwhelmed and conflicting mind state. When the second act begins, the tree is described as being in a particularly messy state, and Nora to be pacing about in the room. The chaos within the tree is the chaos within Nora’s psyche.

Italian
TutorMe
Question:

What is the difference between saying "lo voglio" and "lo vorrei?"

Valentina R.
Answer:

While they both mean the same thing, they express it in a different way. "Lo voglio" means "I want it," usually what is said by bride and groom at weddings (the Italian "I do"), and more commonly used to express desire for something. "Lo vorrei" means "I'd like it," a more polite, and discrete desire, that is, perhaps less likely to manifest itself. Usually, it is customary to use "vorrei" in common conversation, as it appears more humble and respectful.

English
TutorMe
Question:

What constitutes the 'passive voice' and how does it differ from the 'active voice?'

Valentina R.
Answer:

An average basic sentence or phrase (smaller fragment of a complete sentence), is constituted by a subject and a verb: i.e. "John eats." Often an object is added, i.e. "John eats an apple." Both of these sentences are active sentences, meaning the subject (John), is performing the verb (eating) to the object (an apple). Meaning, active sentences are constructed like this: subject + verb + object. When we are dealing with a passive sentence, the object becomes the subject, taking its place in the beginning of the sentence, i.e. "An apple eats John?!" No! Because we want to preserve the meaning of the original sentence, all we need to focus on is changing the verb, a present continuous (eats), into something that can convey the fact that something is being done TO the apple. Passive sentences are called that because the objects actions are being performed on are usually presented before the person causing the action is introduced. If we shift into present perfect mode, we can say "an apple is being eaten" and then add "by John." Passive sentences are usually constructed by adding a form of the verb "to be" to the sentence, as the immediate status of the subject is altered.

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