I realized recently that some verbs in English sound very "passive":
This house sells for a lot of money.
This apple tastes delicious!
This car drives smoothly.
It is not the house that is doing the selling. Instead, some human is selling the house! It is not the apple that is doing the tasting. Instead, some human (or animal) is doing the tasting!
Some such verbs in English (including the above) are commonly used, and this "passive" definition will likely be found in a dictionary. (Example: "sells" to mean "get bought"; "tastes" doesn't quite have the "passive" definition of "has a taste that is" listed, but does have a definition of "have the same flavour as").
Other examples of commonly used "passive" verbs include the other four senses:
This car looks expensive.
This meal smells good.
This teddy bear feels soft.
This music sounds upbeat.
But it concerns me that it's very easy to come up with many other "passive" verbs, just by thinking of everyday objects and how I use them; I first say a sentence with "I" as the subject, that uses an "active" verb that takes the everyday object as a direct object, and then at this point, it's easy to alter that sentence to easily come up with the "passive" version of that verb:
(What do I do with a ball? I bounce balls.)
This ball bounces unpredictably.
(What do I do with a pen? I write with a pen.)
This pen writes smoothly.
(What do I do with a teddy bear? I cuddle with a teddy bear.)
This teddy bear cuddles comfortingly.
(What do I do with an expensive watch? I show off my expensive watch.)
His expensive watch shows off annoyingly.
Many of these verbs probably won't have a "passive" definition in the dictionary; but yet native English speakers understand them!
It's only a few verbs that I thought of, that could not be created to be "passive" in this way:
(What do I do with a fish? I eat the fish)
This fish eats deliciously. <-- SOUNDS WRONG?
Does French also have a construction that so easily creates these "passive" verbs out of normal, "active" verbs?
"Se vendre" is a French "passive" verb found in the dictionary. Does French have a lot of these?
Is there a straightforward way to translate these sentences into French, given that most of these "passive" verbs can't be found in an English-to-French dictionary?
(Off-topic question, but very appreciated if you're willing to answer it) What is this construction called in English, or what is the linguistic concept happening, when I created these "passive" verbs?
I started to wonder about these "passive" verbs in English, because of the following paragraph in a grammar book: