Passive of reporting verbs

Consider the following sentences:

(1) People say that the King has more than one mistress.

(2) It is said that the King has more than one mistress.

(3) The King is said to have more than one mistress.

(2) and (3) are passive forms which are often used in news reports. The Passive + Infinitive is the most common.


Other reporting verbs used in this way are:

assume, believe, claim, consider, discover, estimate, expect, hope, know, report, suppose, think, understand etc


With Present / Future reference:

The murderer is believed to be a local man.

The government is expected to announce some new measures to tackle the problem at a press conference later today.

It is estimated that unemployment will continue rising for another year or so.



With Past reference:

350 people are now known to have died in last week's earthquake.

Half of the country is thought to have watched the football match.

It is understood that the prisoner escaped with the help of a prison guard.



Present and Past Continuous Infinitives are also used:

The Hollywood couple are reported to be divorcing.

The suspect is believed to have been dealing in drugs.



Passive infintives can also appear:

The high-speed railway line is hoped to be completed by early next year.

The poet is claimed to have been buried in the church.



The reporting verb can also be past:

It was only after his death that he was discovered to have been a spy for the KGB.



Complete the following sentences:
  1. Scientists are believed  to ...
  2. The government is understood to ...
  3. The Spanish are known to ...
  4. It is expected that the PM ...
  5. The actress is said to ...
  6. It is hoped that the economy ...
  7. The painting was thought to ...
  8. Scotland is considered to ...
  9. Temperatures are reported to ...
  10. 15 million people were estimated to ...
Write another 5 of your own.





Comments

Montse said…

Hi, Graham. I’ve found this exercise really difficult. I think I’m not capable to make up another five sentences… I’ve had enough with these ten and I’m sure most of them will be wrong.
1. Scientists are believed to find a possible cure for cancer
2. The government is understood to apologize for the cuts
3. The Spanish are known to be friendly.
4. It is expected that the PM will hand in his resignation tomorrow
5. The actress is said to be director’s mistress
6. It is hoped that the economy will improve next year
7. The painting was thought to have belong to the duchess
8. Scotland is considered to resolve the crime soon
9. Temperatures are reported to rise in the next days
10. 15 million people were estimated to suffer odd diseases.
Graham said…
Montse,

You didn't do too badly. Keep an eye out for these constructions when you are reading newspaper articles.


I think I'm not able to make up....

1. Scientists are believed to have found a possible cure for cancer

5. The actress is said to be the director’s mistress

7. The painting was thought to have belonged to the duchess

Anonymous said…
Hi, Graham I'm sending you a new exercise about "passive of reporting verb". It's difficult, but I tried to do it well. See you next Monday.

PASSIVE OF REPORTING VERBS
1. Scientists are believed to KNOW THE SECRETS OF THE NEW DISEASE
2. The government is understood to WANT TO MAKE DECISSIONS VERY SOON
3. The Spanish are known to HAVE A STRONG GROWTH IN USA
4. It is expected that the PM WILL GIVE A SPEECH NEXT MONDAY
5. The actress is said to WANT THE MAIN ROLE IN THIS PLAY
6. It is hoped that the economy WILL IMPROVE NEXT YEAR
7. The painting was thought to DECORATE THE WALLS OF THE PALACE
8. Scotland is considered to HAVE GREAT REASONS TO DEMAND INDEPENDENCE
9. Temperatures are reported to BE DROPPING THROUGHOUT THE DAY
10. 15 million people were estimated to NEED URGENT ASSISTANCE IN THE AREA OF EARTHQUAKE
Write another 5 of your own.
1. IT IS BELIEVED THAT THE MURDERER WENT AWAY OF SPAIN.
2. THE SPANISH POLITICIANS ARE SAID TO BE INTERESTED FREQUENTLY BY THE ILLEGAL MONEY
3. A LOT OF PRISIONERS ARE KNOWN TO HAVE ESCAPED OF THE STATE PRISON
4. THE WRITER IS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN AWARDED WITH THE NOBEL PRIZE
5. IT IS EXPECTED THAT THE BAD WEATHER CHANGES IN THE NEXT HOURS
Graham said…
Hi JL!

I think you are getting the hang of it.

2. decisions

3. I'm not sure what you mean. When we talk about "strong growth", we are referring to the economy or sales figures in a company.
If you mean there are more Spanish in the US now then you'd say something like:
The percentage of Spanish in the population of the US is known to have increased greatly over the last few years.



It is believed that the murderer has left / escaped Spain.

Spanish politicians are said to be involved in money laundering.

... to have escaped (from) the state prison.

... to have been awarded the nobel prize.

It is expected that the weather will change in/over the next few hours.


Well done!

Montse said…
Hi, Graham. I've looked for this post and I've seen I did the exercise last year. Any way, I've read the post again.

See you tomorrow.
Graham said…
Montse is not believed to make many mistakes. :-)