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Show full table of contents krijgen-passive

This section discusses a second type of personal passive construction, the so-called krijgen-passive. The name of this passive construction is due to the fact that it involves the auxiliary krijgen'to get' instead of worden/zijn. It is further characterized by the fact that it is not the direct object that is promoted to subject but the indirect object. Example (114) provides some examples of this construction.

Example 114
a. MarieSubject biedt hunIO het boekDO aan.
  Marie  offers  them  the book  prt.
a'. ZijSubject krijgen het boekDO aangeboden.
  they  get  the book  prt.-offered
  'They are offered the book.'
b. JanSubject schonk hemIO een glas bierDO in.
  Jan  poured  him  a glass beer  prt.
  'Jan gave (poured) him a glass of beer.'
b'. HijSubject kreeg (door Jan) een glas bierDO ingeschonken.
  he  got   by Jan  a glass beer  prt.-poured
  'He was given (poured) a glass of beer.'

In the literature the krijgen-passive is also called the semi-passive. The reason is that it is often claimed that the krijgen-passive is not a syntactic but a lexical rule because it is idiosyncratically constrained in several respects. The prototypical ditransitive verb geven'to give', for example, can undergo regular passivization but not krijgen-passivization. For completeness' sake, note that derived indefinite subjects like een cadeautje'a present' in (115b) normally remain in their original base position and need not be moved into the regular subject position right-adjacent to the finite verb in second position.

Example 115
a. JanSubject geeft de kinderendat een cadeautjeDO.
  Jan  gives  the children  a present
b. Er werd de kinderenIO een cadeautjeSubject gegeven.
  there  was  the children  a present  given
b'. * De kinderenSubject kregen een cadeautjeDO gegeven.
  the children  got  a present  given

      Section has shown, however, that regular passivization is also subject to various kinds of idiosyncratic constraints, so that it is not at all clear whether the difference in grammaticality between the two (b)-examples in (115) can be used to support the presumed difference in status between the two types of passivization.
      This section is organized as follows, subsection I discusses the verb types that can undergo krijgen-passivization and shows that, contrary to what is sometimes assumed in the literature, the krijgen-passive is fairly productive; for this reason, we will assume that krijgen-passivization is a syntactic rule, subsection II discusses the role of the passive auxiliary krijgen, subsection III concludes with a brief discussion of the adjunct-PP expressing the demoted subject of the corresponding active construction.

[+]  I.  The verb

Krijgen-passivization is less common than regular passivization. In our view, the reason for this is not that this process is idiosyncratically constrained but simply that the set of verbs that are eligible to this process is a relatively small subset of the verbs that are eligible for regular passivization. While regular passivization is possible with intransitive, transitive and ditransitive verbs, krijgen-passivization requires the presence of an indirect object and is thus possible with ditransitive verbs only.

Example 116
a. Er werd (door de jongens) gelachen.
regular passive
  there  was    by the boys  laughed
  '(translation unavailable in English)'
b. De hondTheme werd (door de jongens) geknuffeld.
regular passive
  the dog  was   by the boys  cuddled
  'The dog was cuddled (by the boys).'
c. De prijsTheme werd de meisjesgoal (door Jan) overhandigd.
regular passive
  the reward  was  the girls   by Jan  prt.-handed
  'The reward was handed to the girls (by Jan).'
c'. De meisjesgoal kregen de prijsTheme (door Jan) overhandigd.
  the girls  got  the reward   by Jan  prt.-handed
  'The girls were handed the reward (by Jan).'

The following subsections will show that, in other respects, krijgen-passivization is fairly productive and that the occurring restrictions on it are not as random as the literature normally suggests. In order to do this, we will divide the ditransitive verbs into four semantic subclasses on the basis of the semantic role of the indirect object: recipient/goal, source, benefactive and possessor, and we will see that, with the exception of sources, they all allow krijgen-passivization. After the discussion of these four subclasses, we will discuss a rather special case of the krijgen-passive that does not seem to have an active counterpart. We conclude the discussion with an apparent case of krijgen-passivization.

[+]  A.  Indirect object is the recipient/goal argument

Krijgen-passivization typically occurs with ditransitive verbs with a recipient/goal argument, that is, verbs denoting an event that involves or aims at the transmission of the referent of the theme argument to the referent of the indirect object. Two examples are given in (117).

Example 117
a. Marie biedt hemgoal die boekenTheme aan.
  Marie  offers  him  those books  prt.
  'Marie is offering him those books.'
a'. Hij krijgt die boeken aangeboden.
  he  gets  those books  prt.-offered
  'He is offered those books.'
b. Jan overhandigde haargoal de prijsTheme.
  Jan handed  her  the reward
  'Jan handed her the reward.'
b'. Zij kreeg de prijs overhandigd.
  she  got  the reward  handed
  'She was handed the reward.'

We can include examples such as (118), which involve verbs of communication, by construing the term transmission in a broad sense, including transmission of information. An example such as (118b') is less common/frequent than its regular passive counterpart with a subject clause Er werd ons meegedeeld dat ...'It was communicated to us that ...', but it is certainly acceptable.

Example 118
a. Jan las de kinderengoal een leuk verhaalTheme voor.
  Jan read  the children  a nice story  prt.
  'Jan read a nice story to the children.'
a'. De kinderen kregen een leuk verhaal voorgelezen.
  the children  got  a nice story  prt.-read
  'The children were read a nice story.'
b. Peter deelde onsgoal gisteren mee [dat hij ontslag neemt]Theme.
  Peter  informed  us  yesterday  prt.   that  he  resignation  takes
  'Peter told us yesterday that heʼll leave his job.'
b'. Wij kregen gisteren meegedeeld [dat hij ontslag neemt].
  we  got  yesterday  prt.-informed   that  he  resignation  takes
  'We were told yesterday that heʼll leave his job.'

All in all, it seems that the majority of ditransitive verbs with a recipient/goal argument can undergo krijgen-passivization. Example (119) provides a small sample of such verbs; see Van Leeuwen (2006: Table 2) for a more extensive list of verbs based on extensive corpus research.

Example 119
Ditransitive verbs with a goal object allowing krijgen-passivization
a. Transmission verbs: aanbieden'to offer', aanreiken'to hand', betalen'to pay', bezorgen'to deliver', doneren'to donate', nabrengen'to deliver subsequently', opdragen'to dedicate', opleggen'to impose', opspelden'to pin on', overdragen'to hand over', overhandigen'to pass over', presenteren'to present', retourneren'to return', toedienen'to administer', toekennen'to assign', toemeten'to allot', toestoppen'to slip', toewijzen'to assign', uitbetalen'to pay out', uitreiken'to hand', vergoeden'to reimburse', voorschrijven'to prescribe', voorzetten'to serve', etc.
b. Communication verbs: bijbrengen'to teach', meedelen'to announce', onderwijzen'to teach', toewensen'to wish', uitleggen'to explain', vertellen'to tell', voorlezen'to read aloud'

It should be noted, however, that the verbs in (119a) must denote actual transmission of the theme argument in order to be able to undergo krijgen-passivization. This will become clear from the examples in (120): (120a) implies actual transmission of the package to Marie, and krijgen-passivization is possible; example (120b), on the other hand, is idiomatic and does not imply transmission of de rillingen, and krijgen-passivization is excluded.

Example 120
a. Jan bezorgde Marie/haar het pakje.
  Jan delivered  Marie/her  the package
  'Jan brought Marie the package.'
a'. Marie/Zij kreeg het pakje bezorgd.
  Marie/she  got  the package  delivered
  'Marie was brought the package.'
b. De heks bezorgde Marie/haar de koude rillingen.
  the witch  delivered  Marie/her  the cold shivers
  'The witch gave Marie the creeps.'
b'. * Marie/Zij kreeg de koude rillingen bezorgd.
  Marie/she  got  the cold shivers  delivered

      Although the two lists in (119) show that krijgen-passivization is quite productive with ditransitive verbs with a recipient/goal argument, it is still true that a small subset of such verbs does not allow it. Example (121) provides a sample, which includes the proto-typical ditransitive verb geven'to give'.

Example 121
Ditransitive verbs with a goal object not allowing krijgen-passivization
a. Transmission verbs: geven'to give', schenken'to offer', sturen'to send', verschaffen'to provide', zenden'to send'
b. Communication verbs: schrijven'to write', vertellen'to tell/narrate', zeggen'to say'

The first question that we want to raise is: Why is it precisely the prototypical ditransitive verb geven'to give' that resists krijgen-passivization? When we compare geven to the verbs in (119a), we see that this verb is special in that it is neutral with respect to the mode of transmission; whereas all verbs in (119a) make to a certain extent explicit how the transmission is brought about, geven does not. As a result, the krijgen-passive in (122b) may be blocked by the simpler construction in (122c), which is also neutral with respect to the mode of transmission.

Example 122
a. Jan geeft de kinderengoal een cadeautjeTheme.
  Jan gives  the children  a present
  'Jan is giving the children a present.'
b. * De kinderengoal kregen een cadeautjeTheme gegeven.
  the children  got  a present  given
c. De kinderen kregen een cadeautje.
  the children  got  a present
  'The children were given/got a present.'

In this context, it is interesting to observe that adding meaning to the verb geven by combining it with a verbal particle improves the acceptability of examples such as (122b). Apparently, the particle adds sufficient information about the mode of transmission to license krijgen-passivization.

Example 123
a. Marie gaf hemgoal het zoutTheme door/aan.
  Marie  gave  him  the salt  prt./prt.
  'Marie passed/handed him the salt.'
b. Hijgoal kreeg het zoutTheme door/?aan gegeven.
  he  got  the salt  prt./prt.  given
  'He was handed the salt.'

Although this may be less conspicuous than in the case with geven, the other transmission verbs in (121a) also seem more or less neutral with respect to the mode of transmission. And, like geven, the verbs sturen'to send' and zenden'to send' do allow krijgen-passivization if a particle is added. This is shown for sturen in (124); see also Colleman (2006:264).

Example 124
a. Els stuurde Mariegoal een mooie briefTheme (toe).
  Els sent  Marie  a beautiful letter   prt.
  'Els sent Marie a beautiful letter.'
b. Mariegoal kreeg een mooie briefTheme *(toe) gestuurd.
  Marie  got  a beautiful letter     prt.  sent
  'Marie was sent a beautiful letter.'

We therefore conclude that krijgen-passivization is fully productive with verbs of transmission and communication provided that they specify the mode of transmission.

[+]  B.  Indirect object is the source

The examples in (125) show that krijgen-passivization contrasts sharply with regular passivization if the indirect object is a source, that is, the argument where the transmitted theme originates. Whereas regular passivization is fully acceptable, krijgen-passivization gives rise to an unacceptable result (although it is possible in certain regional varieties of Dutch; see Broekhuis & Cornips (2012).

Example 125
a. Jan pakte Marie/haarSource het boekTheme af.
  Jan took  Marie/her  het book  prt.
  'Jan took the book from Marie.'
b. * Marie/zijSource kreeg het boekTheme afgepakt.
  Marie/she  got  the book  prt.-taken
c. Het boekTheme werd Marie/haarSource afgepakt.
regular passive
  the book  was  Marie/her  prt.-take
  'The book was taken from Marie.'

Colleman (2006:265) suggests that the impossibility of examples such as (125b) is due to the fact that the intended interpretation is incompatible with the meaning of the main verb krijgen'to receive', and he suggests that this also accounts for the fact that verbs expressing a denial of transmission like onthouden'to withhold', ontzeggen'to refuse' and weigeren'to refuse' resist krijgen-passivization as well; cf. (126b). Note that regular passivization is again acceptable.

Example 126
a. Jan weigerde haar het boek.
  Jan refused  her  the book
  'Jan denied her the book.'
b. * Zij kreeg het boek geweigerd.
  she got  the book  refused
c. Het boek werd haar geweigerd.
regular passive
  the book  was  her  refused
  'She was denied the book.'

It is not clear, however, whether Colleman's claim can be fully maintained given that it is not hard to find examples with weigeren/ontzeggen'to refuse' on the internet that are also accepted by our Standard Dutch informants; some adapted/simplified examples are given in (127).

Example 127
a. dat hij een levensverzekering geweigerd kreeg.
  that  he  a life insurance  refused  got
  'that he was refused life insurance.'
b. [een kliniek] waar een kankerpatiënt een abortus geweigerd kreeg
  a clinic  where  a cancer.patient  an abortion  refused  got
  '[a clinic] where a cancer patient was refused an abortion'
c. dat hij de toegang ontzegd kreeg.
  that  he  the entrance  denied  got
  'that he was denied entrance.'
d. Zulke ouders mogen de voogdij ontzegd krijgen.
  such parents  may  the guardianship  deprived  got
  'Such parents may be deprived of guardianship.'
[+]  C.  Indirect object is a benefactive

There is an extremely small set of verbs in Standard Dutch that take a benefactive indirect object. The prototypical example is inschenken'to pour in' in (128a). As can be seen in (128a'), this verb allows krijgen-passivization. The benefactive is normally optional in Dutch, although the verb kwijtschelden'to remit' in (128b) seems to be an exception to this rule. Note that these examples do not necessarily involve a goal argument given that the pronoun in the (b)-examples is not the recipient of the direct object.

Example 128
a. Jan schenkt Elsbenefactive een kop koffieTheme in.
  Jan  pours  Els  a cup coffee  prt.
  'Jan pours Els a cup of coffee.'
a'. Elsbenefactive krijgt een kop koffieTheme ingeschonken.
  Els  gets  a cup coffee  prt.-poured
  'Els was poured a cup of coffee (by Jan).'
b. De gemeente schold hem de belasting kwijt.
  the municipality  remitted  him  the taxes  prt.
  'The municipality remitted his taxes.'
b'. Hij kreeg de belasting kwijtgescholden.
  he  got  the taxes  prt.-remitted
  'His taxes were remitted.'
[+]  D.  Indirect object is a possessor

The examples in (129) show that krijgen-passivization is also allowed with inalienable possession constructions, that is, with constructions in which the indirect object acts as an inalienable possessor of the complement of a locational PP; See Section for more extensive discussion.

Example 129
a. Marie zet hempossessor het kind op de knie.
  Marie puts  him  the child  on the knee
  'Marie is putting the child on his knee.'
b. Hijpossessor krijgt het kind op de knie gezet.
  he  gets  the child  on the knee  put
  'The child was put on his knee.'

The direction of transmission of the theme also plays a role in this case: in (129a), the theme is transmitted to the referent of the indirect object, which therefore also acts as a kind of recipient, and krijgen-passivization is possible; in (130a), on the other hand, the theme is removed from the referent of the indirect object, which therefore also acts as a kind of source, and krijgen-passivization is excluded in Standard (but possible in certain regional varieties of) Dutch.

Example 130
a. Peter trekt hempossessor een haar uit zijn baard.
  Peter pulls  him  a hair  out.of his beard
  'Peter pulls a hair out of his beard.'
b. * Hij krijgt een haar uit zijn baard getrokken.
  he  gets  a hair  out.of his beard  pulled
  'Someone (Peter) pulls a hair out of his beard.'
[+]  E.  A special case of the krijgen-passive

The previous subsections have discussed the krijgen-passive of several types of ditransitive verbs. This subsection discusses a special case of krijgen-passivization, which is illustrated in the primed examples in (131); cf. Janssen (1976:12). These examples are remarkable given that the corresponding active constructions in the primeless examples do not contain an indirect object.

Example 131
a. Ik stuur de hond op hem af.
  send  the dog  on him  prt.
  'I set the dog on him.'
a'. Hij kreeg de hond op zich afgestuurd.
  he  got  the dog  on refl  prt.-sent
b. Peter heeft een pakje naar Els toegestuurd.
  Peter has  a package  to Els  prt. sent
  'Peter sent a package to Els.'
b'. Els kreeg een pakje naar zich toegestuurd.
  Els got  a package  to refl  prt.-sent

If the primed examples of (131) were derived by promotion of an indirect object, we would expect the examples in (132) to be acceptable, but they are not.

Example 132
a. * Ik stuur hem de hond op zich af.
  send  him  the dog  on refl  prt.
b. * Peter heeft Els een pakje naar zich toegestuurd.
  Peter  has  Els a package  to refl  prt.-sent

To our knowledge, the unacceptability of examples such as (132) has not been discussed in the literature. We leave this for future research while suggesting that the ungrammaticality of the examples in (132) may be due to the fact illustrated by (133) that the simplex reflexive zich is normally subject-oriented and therefore cannot be construed with the indirect object in these examples.

Example 133
a. Jan legt het boek voor zich.
  Jan puts  the book  in.front.of  refl
  'Jan is putting the book in front of himself.'
b. Jan houdt de honden bij zich.
  Jan keeps  the dogs  with refl
  'Jan is keeping the dogs near him.'

The requirement that the subject of the simplex reflexive be a subject is satisfied in the primed examples in (131), but not in the examples in (132).

[+]  F.  An apparent case of krijgen-passivization

It is important to note that not all clauses with krijgen and a participle can mechanically be analyzed as krijgen-passives. Example (134a), for instance, involves the main verb krijgen, discussed in Section 2.1.4, and the optional participle gewassen may function as a supplementive that modifies the direct object de glazen'the glasses'. In fact, example (134a) is ambiguous and can also be construed as a resultative construction with the participle functioning as a complementive that is predicated of the accusative DP de glazen. This reading is less prominent, but can be highlighted by using adverbial phrases like gemakkelijk'easily' or met moeite'with difficulty'; see Section A6.2.1, sub II, for a more extensive discussion of this construction. That the participle gewassen in (134) is not a passive participle is also supported by the fact that it can be replaced by an adjective like schoon'clean'.

Example 134
a. Jan krijgt de glazenacc (gewassen/schoon).
  Jan  received  the glasses   washed/clean
  'Jan received the glasses while they were washed/clean.'
b. Jan krijgt de glazen gemakkelijk/met moeite gewassen/schoon.
  Jan gets  the glasses  easily/with difficulty  washed/clean
  'Jan is having (no) difficulties in getting the glasses washed/clean.'
[+]  G.  Conclusion

The previous subsections have shown that krijgen-passivization is a fairly productive rule, although there are a number of systematic constraints on its application in Standard Dutch. Verbs of transmission (including those of communication) can normally be passivized with krijgen provided that two conditions are met: (i) the verb indicates what the mode of transmission is, and (ii) the referent of the indirect object is the recipient/goal (and not the source) of transmission. Further, we have seen that krijgen-passivization is possible with more than one type of indirect object: recipients/goals, beneficiaries and possessives can all be promoted to subject under krijgen-passivization; only sources are exempt from this process. This suggests that, contrary to what is normally assumed, krijgen-passivization is a productive syntactic rule, just like the "regular" form of passivization.

[+]  II.  The role of the auxiliary

Subsection I has shown that krijgen-passivization is a productive process, which suggests that the more traditional view that attributes this process to the lexicon is not viable and that a more syntactic approach is in order. Now, consider the prototypical cases in (135), which show again that it is the direct object that raises in the regular passive and the indirect object that raises in the krijgen-passive.

Example 135
a. Jan bood hun het boek aan.
  Jan offered  them  the book  prt.
  'Jan offered them the book.'
b. Het boek werd/is hun aangeboden.
regular passive
  the book  was/has.been  them  prt.-offered
  'The book was offered to them.'
b'. * Zij werden/zijn het boek aangeboden.
  they  were/have.been  the book  prt.-offered
c. Zijnom kregen het boek aangeboden.
  they  got  the book  prt.-offered
  'They were offered the book.'
c'. * Het boek kreeg hundat aangeboden.
  the book  got  them  prt.-offered

The obvious question that the passive constructions in (135) raise is what determines which of the two internal arguments is promoted to subject. It seems that just three crucial aspects are relevant in the syntactic description of the two types of passive construction. The first aspect concerns the form of the main verb: the two constructions both require the main verb to take the form of a passive participle. The second aspect concerns the auxiliary: the auxiliary in the regular passive is worden'to be' or zijn'to have been', whereas it is krijgen in the krijgen-passive. The third aspect involves the object that is promoted to subject (if any): the theme argument in the regular passive, and the recipient/goal argument in the krijgen-passive.
      The fact that the form of the main verb is the same in the two constructions makes it pretty implausible that this form is related to the question of which object is promoted to subject. This just leaves the option that there is a one-to-one relation between the choice of auxiliary and the choice of object that will be promoted to subject. We can make this more precise by formulating the hypothesis in (136).

Example 136
The case assigning properties of the passive auxiliaries determine which object of a ditransitive verb will be promoted to subject:
a. Passive participles are unable to assign case.
b. The auxiliaries worden and zijn are unaccusative verbs and thus unable to assign accusative case; the direct object is promoted to subject.
c. The auxiliary krijgen is an undative verb and thus unable to assign dative case; the indirect object is promoted to subject.

The claim in (136a) is part of a tradition that started with Jaeggli (1986) and Baker et al. (1989), according to which passive participles do not have the ability to assign case; see Section, sub II, for discussion. This means that the "surviving" object must be assigned case by the auxiliary.
      The fact that it is the theme argument that must be promoted to subject in the regular passive construction can now be related to the fact that worden and zijn are unaccusative verbs (which is clear from the fact that they form their present tense with the auxiliary zijn) and cannot assign accusative case in any of their other uses. The examples in (137), for instance, show that the copulas worden and zijn cannot assign accusative case to the external argument of the predicative part of the construction, for which reason this argument must be promoted to subject of the entire construction in order to be assigned nominative case.

Example 137
a. ___ wordt/is [Jan ziek]
no accusative case
b. Jani wordt/is [ti ziek].
promotion to subject
  'Jan becomes/is ill.'

The fact that it is the recipient/goal/benefactive/possessor argument that must be promoted to subject in the krijgen-passive can now be made to follow from the fact that main verb krijgen is an undative verbs and is thus unable to assign dative case; cf. Section 2.1.4. That the theme argument can be realized as the direct object of the passive construction is, of course, related to the fact that main verb krijgen is able to assign accusative case.

Example 138
a. ____ kreeg Marie het boekacc aangeboden
no dative case
b. Mariei kreeg ti het boek aangeboden.
promotion to subject
  Marie  got  the book  prt.-offered
  'Marie was offered the book.'

Obviously, the fact that the recipient/goal argument is realized as the indirect object in the regular passive implies that worden and zijn are able to assign dative case. This seems to be supported by copular constructions like (139a&b), in which the dative experiencer is licensed by the adjectival predicate and the degree modifier te'too' is assigned dative case. For completeness' sake, we also added the more or less idiomatic constructions in (139c&d), in which the predicates are, respectively, nominal and prepositional in nature.

Example 139
a. Dat probleemi is mijdative [SCti bekend].
  that problem  is me  known
  'That problem is known to me.'
b. Het geluidi werd/was mijdative [SCti te hard].
  the sound  became/was  me  too loud
  'The sound became/was too loud for me.'
c. Dati is mijdative [SCti een raadsel].
  that  is me  a riddle
  'That is a mystery to me.'
d. Dati is mijdative [SCti om het even].
  that  is me  om het even
  'This is all the same to me.'

Note, however, that in some analyses, it is assumed that the dative case in (139a) is assigned by the adjective bekend; cf. Van Riemsdijk (1983). If this is correct, we should conclude that at least this example does not support our claim that copular verbs can assign dative case; see A2.2, sub I and A3.1.3, sub II for a more detailed and careful discussion of dative phrases of the type in (139). Better evidence for assuming that copular verbs are able to assign dative case is provided by the alternation in (140) that can be found in, e.g., Heerlen Dutch, in which a possessor is realized as a dative in the regular copular construction with zijn/worden, but as a nominative in the corresponding semi-copular construction with hebben/krijgen. The most likely analysis of such examples is that the copular verbs zijn and worden in (140a) assigns dative case to the possessor but no accusative case to the possessee, while the semi-copular verbs hebben/krijgen in (140b) assigns accusative case to the possessee, but no dative case to the possessor; see Cornips (1994:121-2), Broekhuis & Cornips (2012), and Section A6.2.1, sub II, for more discussion. Unfortunately, similar examples cannot be constructed for Standard Dutch given that this variety does not allow this type of inalienable possession construction.

Example 140
a. Jan/Hemdative zijn/worden de handennom vies.
Heerlen Dutch
  Jan/him  are/worden  the hands  dirty
  'Janʼs/His hands are dirty.'
b. Jan/Hijnom heeft/krijgt de handen vies.
Heerlen Dutch
  Jan/he  has/gets  the hands  dirty
  'Janʼs/His hands are dirty.'
[+]  III.  The demoted subject

Krijgen-passivization demotes the subject of the active sentence. Just as in the cases of impersonal and regular passivization, the demoted subject may remain implicit or be overtly expressed by means of an adjunct-PP. Example (141) shows that, in many cases, the adjunct-PP takes the form of a door-phrase.

Example 141
a. De burgemeester/Hij biedt haar het boek aan.
  the mayor/he  offers  her  the book  prt.
  'The mayor/He offers her the book.'
a'. Zij krijgt het boek (?door de burgemeester) aangeboden.
  she  gets  the book     by the mayor  prt.-offered
b. Marie zet hemdat de kinderen op de knie.
  Marie puts  him  the children  onto the knee
  'Marie puts the children on his knee.'
b'. Hij krijgt de kinderen (door Marie) op de knie gezet.
  he  gets  the children   by Marie  onto the knee  put
c. Els schonk hemdat een glas bier in.
  Els poured  him  a glass [of] beer  prt.
  'Els poured him a glass of beer.'
c'. Hij kreeg een glas bier (?door Els) ingeschonken.
  he  got  a glass beer      by Els  prt.-poured

The question marks in (141a'&c') indicate, however, that expressing the agent by means of a door-phrase sometimes gives rise to a slightly marked result. This may be due to the fact that the door-phrase is in competition with the van-phrases in (142). When we compare the primed examples in (141) with the examples in (142), we see that the door-phrase only gives rise to an unmarked result when a van-phrase cannot be used.

Example 142
a. Hij krijgt (van de burgemeester) het boek aangeboden.
  he  gets   from the mayor  the book  prt.-offered
b. Hij krijgt (*van Marie) de kinderen op de knie gezet.
  he  gets     from Marie  the children  onto the knee  put
c. Hij kreeg (?van Els) een glas bier ingeschonken.
  he  got    from Els <