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  1. #11
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Re: personal construction in the passive

    Quote Originally Posted by angelene001 View Post
    But sentences starting "People believe ..." are common in grammar books.
    People believe all kinds of things. But "People believe thousands of birds died" is unnatural, because we can't be talking about people in general. It means some specific people, and you need at least "The people believe ..." or "Some people believe ..."

    You have to change such a sentence into personal construction and the right answer is "He is believed to win" or "The missing jewellery is believed to have been found"

    As a learner I have no idea what sounds unnatural and what doesn't.

    But from a purely grammatical point of view, "He is believed to win" or "He is hoped to win" is correct, isn't it?
    It probably sounds silly, nobody uses such sentences but theoretically it's ok. Right?
    "He is believed to win" is wrong, as is "He is hoped to win." Grammatically wrong.

  2. #12
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    Re: personal construction in the passive

    Quote Originally Posted by angelene001 View Post
    But sentences starting "People believe ..." are common in grammar books.
    You have to change such a sentence into personal construction and the right answer is "He is believed to win" or "The missing jewellery is believed to have been found"

    As a learner I have no idea what sounds unnatural and what doesn't.

    But from a purely grammatical point of view, "He is believed to win" or "He is hoped to win" is correct, isn't it? No.
    It probably sounds silly, nobody uses such sentences but theoretically it's ok. Right?
    People believe he will win --- It is believed [by some people] that he will win.
    We hope he wins --- It is hoped [by us] that he will win.

    The reason it's very unnatural to turn some sentences into the passive is simply that we would never have any reason to say them in the passive! We've said it here many times - just because something can be done, doesn't mean it should be.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #13
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    Re: personal construction in the passive

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    We've said it here many times - just because something can be done, doesn't mean it should be.
    This statement is agreed with by me.

  4. #14
    angelene001 is offline Member
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    Re: personal construction in the passive

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    "He is believed to win" is wrong, as is "He is hoped to win." Grammatically wrong.

    Now I'm totally confused :(

    "CPE Use of English" by Virginia Evans is one of the most popular advanced-level grammar book, at least in Poland.
    You can find there:
    They believe she is a spy --> She is believed to be a spy

    Does the book give the wrong information?

    "He is believed to ..." can be found in other books too:
    "English Grammar in Use" by Raymond Murphy
    The boy is believed to be wearing a white pullover.


    I understand that nobody uses such constructions.
    But how can it be grammatically wrong when all these books give it as an example?

  5. #15
    angelene001 is offline Member
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    Re: personal construction in the passive

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    We've said it here many times - just because something can be done, doesn't mean it should be.
    And I'm only asking if it it can be done :) Just for the pure joy of doing it ;)
    I understand that it shouldn't be done.

  6. #16
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: personal construction in the passive

    Quote Originally Posted by angelene001 View Post
    Now I'm totally confused :(

    "CPE Use of English" by Virginia Evans is one of the most popular advanced-level grammar book, at least in Poland.
    You can find there:
    They believe she is a spy --> She is believed to be a spy

    Does the book give the wrong information?

    "He is believed to ..." can be found in other books too:
    "English Grammar in Use" by Raymond Murphy
    The boy is believed to be wearing a white pullover.


    I understand that nobody uses such constructions.
    But how can it be grammatically wrong when all these books give it as an example?
    Look at the difference in construction between:

    She is believed to be a spy (She is believed + infinitive + article + noun) = It is believed that she is a spy
    And
    He is believed to win (He is believed + infinitive) = It is believed that he will win.

    "He is believed to be the winner" would be OK, if a little unnatural. That statement would be given after the race or competition, if there were some confusion over the result.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  7. #17
    angelene001 is offline Member
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    Re: personal construction in the passive

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    This statement is agreed with by me.
    I get it ;)

    The problem is that doing exercises I come across many sentences which seem extremely unnatural. Still, I have to change them into passive, for example.

    Look at this one:
    From the manner in which the committee spoke of her, you would have thought they were going to promote her. -->
    From the manner in which she was spoken of, it would have been thought she was going to be promoted.

  8. #18
    angelene001 is offline Member
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    Re: personal construction in the passive

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Look at the difference in construction between:

    She is believed to be a spy (She is believed + infinitive + article + noun) = It is believed that she is a spy
    And
    He is believed to win (He is believed + infinitive) = It is believed that he will win.

    "He is believed to be the winner" would be OK, if a little unnatural. That statement would be given after the race or competition, if there were some confusion over the result.

    Thank you :)

    Ok, I've got a little obsession with formulating rules ;)

    It shouldn't be like that that a book gives some examples which are only small parts of the bigger whole.
    It says that the passive of verbs of reporting such as believe, say, etc is formed in two ways (personal/impersonal constructions). It gives an example "She is believed to be a spy". How can I know that there is some hidden rule?:(

    What about this one:
    The missing jewellery is believed to have been found.

  9. #19
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    Re: personal construction in the passive

    Quote Originally Posted by angelene001 View Post
    Now I'm totally confused :(

    "CPE Use of English" by Virginia Evans is one of the most popular advanced-level grammar book, at least in Poland.
    You can find there:
    They believe she is a spy --> She is believed to be a spy

    Does the book give the wrong information?

    "He is believed to ..." can be found in other books too:
    "English Grammar in Use" by Raymond Murphy
    The boy is believed to be wearing a white pullover.


    I understand that nobody uses such constructions.
    But how can it be grammatically wrong when all these books give it as an example?
    No, these are all examples of "He is believed to be ...." You can't just substitute any verb for "be".
    "Being something" takes place over a period of time which includes the past, present, and future.
    Winning takes place once (in most meanings). "He is believed to win" can make sense if this winning is also an ongoing action like being. Let's say 'he' is a poker player. We are talking about whether he normally wins or loses. If he always wins, I can believe that he wins. Does he win? Yes, he is believed to win most of the time. He is believed to win.
    This means "He does win (usually or always)", not "He will win". (It still doesn't work with 'hope').

    The missing jewellery is believed to have been found. Yes, this right

  10. #20
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    Re: personal construction in the passive

    Quote Originally Posted by angelene001 View Post
    But sentences starting "People believe ..." are common in grammar books.
    You have to change such a sentence into personal construction and the right answer is "He is believed to win" or "The missing jewellery is believed to have been found"

    As a learner I have no idea what sounds unnatural and what doesn't.

    But from a purely grammatical point of view, "He is believed to win" or "He is hoped to win" is correct, isn't it?
    It probably sounds silly, nobody uses such sentences but theoretically it's ok. Right? No, these are not just silly, they are not correct.
    Bhai.

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