Causative processes (grammar)

“I opened the door / I rang the bell / I closed my eyes”
and I also can write "the door opened / the bell rang / my eyes closed " . This call anti-causative structure. But in this pair : I kicked the ball, but I cannot write “the ball kicked * (wrong)” . So, in which situation we can use anti-causative from ? what kind of verb we can use anti-causative structure ?

My another question is :
The glass was broken (by Paul) (be-passive)
The glass was already broken (copular-state, it is not passive voice)
The glass got broken (get-passive)
The glass broke (anti-causative)
The glass breaks easily (pseudo-intransitives).

The first and the second one looks nearly the same (except the word “already” is added in the second sentence). How can I distinguish if I drop out the “already” ?

For me, the meaning of this 5 sentences are the same. So, are they different in some ways ? Teachers, could you analyze and talk about more deeper about these sentences. (all is correct , I took them from a book).

Please forgive me if you think i am too greedy . ask too many question in one topic. I am a new comer.

It seems what you call “anti-causative” works with what I know as unaccusative verbs, those that require no direct object and whose subject is not directly responsible for the action.


The apple fell.
The bag burst.
The glass broke.
The window shattered.

The causative I know of refers to verbs and would resemble this:
I had my car painted.

Had + past participle where the subject causes but does not commit the action

But I suspect you know some causative concept I don’t.

As for your second question, the second option is still passive voice.

Those sentences have different meanings.

“The glass was already broken” differs from the first example because it has a distinct meaning with respect to time. It means it was broken before some other event occurred.

I think the baby just broke my glass.
The glass was already broken (before you noticed it).

Option three is potentially more active than the first two. I can say the glass was broken merely to describe its state.

When I arrived, the glass was (already) broken.

But if I say the glass got broken, the sense is that someone did it.

When I arrived, the glass got broken. (Perhaps I walked in as a kid did it, but it was not already in that state upon my arrival.)

The glass broke. This makes more sense if I’m telling someone in the moment than option 1.

I may tell my mom, upon witnessing the act, that the glass broke. I would not be as likely to tell her just as it happened that the glass was broken.

The glass breaks easily.

The contrast here is stark. This describes a general statement of truth about a glass that is not broken yet. In all those other examples, the glass is broken. All I’m saying with the final example is that the glass is prone to breaking easily.

Excellent, thank you so much for your reply and clarification, Mordant. It is really helpful.