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  1. #1
    greegorush is offline Member
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    Passive construction

    Hello!

    1. It is said (alleged, believed, supposed etc.) that
    2. He is said to

    I've got a few questions about the structures above:

    1. Could I leave out that in the 1 case?
    2. It is not clear to me what form of a verb we should use:

    It is reported that two people were injured in the explosion (is it possible to use have been injured here?)

    A friend of mine has been arrested. It is alleged that he hit a policeman (could I say has hit?)

    3. Am I right that It is supposed to could be used as alternative to the other possible verbs without changing the meaning?
    For an example: It is suppose (instead of reported) that two people were injured; it is supposed (instead of alleged) that he hit a policeman.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by greegorush; 10-Jun-2009 at 09:01.

  2. #2
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Re: Passive construction

    It is said that he is not sad.

    This is a complex sentence that is a result of ' He is not sad is said' being cleft into two parts by a well-aimed blow.

    'It is said' is the main clause.
    What is said? That he is sad. This is the subordinate cluse because it is subordinate in importance to the main clause. Not only is it a subordinate clause but it is also the object of the verb 'said'. Nominal because objects can only be realized by nouns.

    It is said... -- we use clefting as a device to give hightened prominence to the postponed NP, which, in our case, expresses what is said.
    It is an expletive that fills an obligatory space (subject territory). So it has grammatical function. What it does not have is meaning. It is therefore called an empty subject, grammatical subject, as opposed to the real or deep subject realized by the subordinate clause.

    You can drop 'that'.

    -------

    It is reported that two people were injured in the explosion (is it possible to use have been injured here?) Yes.

    A friend of mine has been arrested. It is alleged that he hit a policeman (could I say has hit?) Yes.

    -----
    It is supposed to be so.
    It is supposed that it is so.
    It is alleged that it is so.
    It is rumoured that it is so.
    Rumour has it that it is so.

    Broadly speaking, they all mean the same thing.
    Last edited by svartnik; 10-Jun-2009 at 12:02.

  3. #3
    Daruma is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Passive construction

    It is reported that two people were injured in the explosion.
    It would be possible to say "have been" in place of "were," but doesn't it change the meaning of the sentence?

    A friend of mine has been arrested. It is alleged that he hit a policeman.
    It would be possible to say "has hit" in place of "hit," but doesn't it change the meaning of the sentence?

  4. #4
    greegorush is offline Member
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    Re: Passive construction

    Thanks for the detailed answer, Svartnik.

    Daruma, check this please.

    It is reported that two people were injured in the explosion.
    Two people are reported to have been injured in the explosion.

    Do you suppose they have the same meaning or not quite? They are given as the examples to the unit. Both should mean that:

    They have reported that two peolpe have been injured (or were injured) in the explosion.

    So I supposed that I could change were injured in the first sentence into have been injured.

    Please, tell me if I'm wrong.

  5. #5
    Daruma is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Passive construction

    greegorush,

    It is reported that two people were injured in the explosion.
    Two people are reported to have been injured in the explosion.

    I think these two mean the same thing.

    ????????????????????????? : ???????????
    It is reported that he was injured in the accident last night.
    = He is reported to have been injured in the accident last night.

  6. #6
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Re: Passive construction

    Yes, they mean the same thing. The focus is on different parts, though.

  7. #7
    svartnik is offline Banned
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    Re: Passive construction

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post

    It is reported that two people were injured in the explosion.
    Two people are reported to have been injured in the explosion.
    The first sentence is the cleaved equivalent of the second sentence.

    In the first, the focus is on the word 'reported'.
    In the second, however, 'two people' gets the highest prominence.

    Mind you, I am a learner too. Take what I say with what, Daruma? Pinch of...

  8. #8
    greegorush is offline Member
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    Re: Passive construction

    Svartnik, could you answer the Daruma's question please?

    It is reported that two people were injured in the explosion.It would be possible to say "have been" in place of "were," but doesn't it change the meaning of the sentence?

    A friend of mine has been arrested. It is alleged that he hit a policeman.
    It would be possible to say "has hit" in place of "hit," but doesn't it change the meaning of the sentence?

    Thanks.

  9. #9
    orangutan is offline Member
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    Re: Passive construction

    Just to step back for a moment from the question of tense...

    Quote Originally Posted by greegorush View Post

    1. It is said (alleged, believed, supposed etc.) that
    2. He is said to

    I've got a few questions about the structures above:

    1. Could I leave out that in the 1 case?
    Yes, though it strikes me as slightly less usual in this case.

    2. It is not clear to me what form of a verb we should use:

    It is reported that two people were injured in the explosion (is it possible to use have been injured here?)

    A friend of mine has been arrested. It is alleged that he hit a policeman (could I say has hit?)
    See above posts.

    3. Am I right that It is supposed to could be used as alternative to the other possible verbs without changing the meaning?
    For an example: It is suppose (instead of reported) that two people were injured; it is supposed (instead of alleged) that he hit a policeman.

    Thanks in advance!
    "It is supposed to" seems to me to be conflating the two constructions in your original question. We can say "it is supposed that [X did Y]" or "X is supposed to [have done Y]". (Of course X can also be "it", but I don't think that is what you meant.)

    It seems to me that these two are not quite synonymous, with each other or with your first examples. "He is supposed to have hit a policeman" is similar in meaning to, but less specific than, "reported". The "it is supposed that" construction is rather less usual, and suggests (to me) some kind of assumption or inference.
    Last edited by orangutan; 11-Jun-2009 at 12:58. Reason: punctuation

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