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  1. #1
    destesabad is offline Newbie
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    Default Passive report structures

    I would really appreciate if someone could help me out explaining these structures:


    "He is believed to have been kidnapped." =
    "It is believed he was kidnapped"

    "He is believed to have been kidnapped."=
    "It is believed he has been kidnapped".

    "He is believed to have been kidnapped"=
    "It is believed he had been kidnapped (before he got sick).

    Why are they all the same when I start my sentence with HE and change when I start with IT?

    I think it has to do with the perfect infinitive doesnīt it?
    Could you please explain it to me as well?

    Thanks so much,
    Deborah

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    Default Re: Passive report structures

    [CAUTION: I am not a teacher:take the advice and or corrections offered in this post at your own risk.
    If you doubt the information, please get a qualified opinion from one of the teachers on these forums.]



    The infintive works like a particle, it can't decline and as you may have noticed, the sentence changes around it to modify the specific meaning.

    I hope to see him.

    It was my wish to see him.

    It has been my dream to see him.

    Presented kind of "backwards" and in a passive construction as you write it, it seems more confusing.

    We have to ask:what is "to see him." in this sentence? It is inconsequential and can be removed from the sentence, but remains as a dependent component to provide detail, but the verbs are "hope", "it was" and "It has been" respectively.


    To review:
    He is believed to have been kidnapped.--The verb is "is believed to have been"
    It is believed he was kidnapped.--The verb (in the main clause) is "was".

    I recognise that my answer here still leaves some things unexplained, but this is a little out of my depth, can anyone else shed more light on it? (I would even like to see the initial poser of the question attempt it)
    Last edited by weiming; 04-Sep-2007 at 11:13.

  3. #3
    engee30's Avatar
    engee30 is offline Key Member
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    Smile Re: Passive report structures

    Quote Originally Posted by destesabad View Post
    I would really appreciate if someone could help me out explaining these structures:


    "He is believed to have been kidnapped." =
    "It is believed he was kidnapped"

    "He is believed to have been kidnapped."=
    "It is believed he has been kidnapped".

    "He is believed to have been kidnapped"=
    "It is believed he had been kidnapped (before he got sick).

    Why are they all the same when I start my sentence with HE and change when I start with IT?

    I think it has to do with the perfect infinitive doesnīt it?
    Could you please explain it to me as well?

    Thanks so much,
    Deborah
    The sentence, 'He is believed to have been kidnapped.', is a very good example of the so-called quasi passive.

    Just have a look at the following sentences, and please note the changes in the sentences converted from the 'normal' passive voice into the quasi passive):

    1. It is said that she lives in Janeiro.
    1. She is said to live in Janeiro.

    2. It is known that she lived in Cairo.
    2. She is known to have lived in Cairo.


    3. It is supposed that she will live in Cairo again.
    3. She is supposed to live in Cairo again.

    4. It was said that she lived in Janeiro.
    4. She was said to live in Janeiro.

    5. It was known that she had lived in Cairo.
    5. She was known to have lived in Cairo.


    6. It was supposed that she would live in Janeiro one day again.
    6. She was supposed to live in Janeiro one day again.


    One thing should be clear to you by now - we use the perfect infinitive (in its simple form, i.e. (not) to have + past participle) if the subordinate clause expresses something happening earlier than that in the main clause (2 and 5, all in blue).

    *******************************************

    7. It is said that she is writing a novel.
    7. She is said to be writing a novel.

    8. It is known that she was writing a short story then.
    8. She is known to have been writing a short story then.


    9. It is supposed that she will shortly be writing a detective story.
    9. She is supposed to be shortly writing a detective story.

    10. It was said that she was writing a short story at that time.
    10. She was said to be writing a short story at that time.

    11. It was known that she had been writing a thriller then.
    11. She was known to have been writing a thriller then.


    13. It was supposed that she would be writing a novel at some point in the future.
    13. She was supposed to be writing a novel at some point in the future.


    Another thing should be clear to you - we use the perfect infinitive (in its continuous form, i.e. (not) to have + been + present participle) if the subordinate clause expresses something happening earlier than that in the main clause (8 and 11, all in blue again).

    I think it's all you ought to be familiar with about the quasi passive.


    Remember - I am not a teacher!
    Last edited by engee30; 04-Sep-2007 at 12:25.

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