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    #1

    People believed he was innocent->He was believed to be innocent

    I've already mentioned this problem here.

    Unfortunately, I still don't get it :/

    My teacher explained it this way:

    1. People said he was innocent.
    He was said to be innocent.

    2. People said he had been angry.
    He was said to have been angry.



    But it is contrary to what I've learned here:
    https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/t...ect-infinitive

    Here someone suggest that #1 is correct:
    http://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/gram...e/exercises?09

    They found that the mission was impossible.
    → The mission was found to be impossible.

    His collegues thought that he was on holiday.
    → He was thought to be on holiday.


    I would be grateful for any help.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: People believed he was innocent->He was believed to be innocent

    In what way is it contrary to what I told you here https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/th...ect-infinitive?

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    #3

    Re: People believed he was innocent->He was believed to be innocent

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    In what way is it contrary to what I told you here https://www.usingenglish.com/forum/th...ect-infinitive?
    According to my teacher:
    If the action of the main verb is not earlier than the action of the reporting verb, we use the present infinitive.
    1. People said he was innocent.
    He was said to be innocent.

    In my example from the earlier post, I had the same situation and you suggested using the perfect infinitive:
    "They thought that he watched TV.
    2.He was thought to have watched TV."

    I've just found an example in "Practical English Grammar" by A.J. Thomson and A.V. Martinet, which is contrary to what my teacher says and is in accordance with your suggestion quoted above:

    People believed that he was waiting for a message.
    -> He was believed to have been waiting for a message.

    But "was waiting" didn't happen before "believed". Why is the perfect infinitivr used?

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    #4

    Re: People believed he was innocent->He was believed to be innocent

    Do we apply different rules to appear, happen, pretend, seem + infinitiveand different to acknowledge, believe, consider, find, know, report, say, suppose, think, understand in the passive?

    A) appear, happen, pretend, seem + infinitive
    We check the tense of the action of appear, happen, pretend, seem and the tense of the action of the verb from the second sentence and we decide if we need perfect infinitive.
    It seems that he is a great singer.
    --> He seems to be a great singer.
    It seemed that he was a great singer.
    --> He seemed to be a great singer,
    It seemed that he had been a great singer.
    He seemed to have been a great singer.

    B) acknowledge, believe, consider, find, know, report, say, suppose, think, understand in the passive

    What are the rules here?
    Are they the same as in A?

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    #5

    Re: People believed he was innocent->He was believed to be innocent

    I've probably found the answer.

    According to "Practical English Grammar" by A.J. Thomson and A.V. Martinet:

    People said that he was jealous of her.
    --> He was said to be jealous of her.

    But when the thought concerns a previous action we use the perfect infinitive:
    People believed that he was = He was believed to have been ...


    It seems that both versions are possible in some contexts.
    It all depends on how we see the action of the second sentence.

    But given a sentence in a test, not knowing if "was" is seen as a previous action or not, which answer should I choose?

    People believed that he was ill.
    A. He was believed to be ill.
    B. He was believed to have been ill.


    Can a teacher take such sentence (People believed that he was ill) out of context and say arbitrary that "was" isn't seen as a previous action and only "to be" is possible in a passive construction and "to have been" is a mistake?


    I would really appreciate your input here as you are native speakers and this is natural for you. You see "People believed that he was ill" and automatically choose option A or B.

    The problem is that we, learners, are given single sentences out of context, and some arbitrary rules are presented to us, whereas it often depends on a particular situation whether we should choose this or that.
    For example reported speech. Everything is oversimplified. We are given the rule that when "say" is in the past we have to change "here" into "there", "tomorrow" into "the following day". But there are situations when we report something out-of-date but being in the same place, so "here" is ok, or on the same day, so "tomorrow" is still understandable.

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