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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    He is believed to ......

    Here is a sentence whose elements are confusing me.
    He is believed to have been a reporter.
    I know "He" is the subject of the sentence. What about the others?
    1. If "is" is the predicate, what about "believed" and "to have been a reporter"? Predicative or complement?
    2. If "is believed" functions as predicate, then "to have been a reporter"? Adverbial?
    It's of great importance for me to fathom the elements of this sentence. Any of your response is a big help.
    Thanks.

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: He is believed to ......

    I consider 'is believed to have been a reporter' to be the predicate, but I am not a teacher.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: He is believed to ......

    "He is believed" is passive voice. "To have been a reporter" is part of the predicate.

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    #4

    Re: He is believed to ......

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Xxwzs:

    I have found some information that may interest you so that you can answer your own question. I certainly do not have the confidence to do so.

    One of my favorite books gives these sentences:

    1. "They thought him to be the right man." (That is the active sentence.)

    2. "He was thought to be the right man." (That is the passive sentence.)

    a. According to the two scholars who wrote the book:

    i. "was thought" is a passive verb.
    ii. "to be the right man" is the retained object

    (a) Other books say that "to be the right man" is simply a subjective complement. (That's my personal choice, too.)

    *****

    You may now wish to simplify your sentence to something like "He is believed to be a reporter." Then, based on what those two scholars said, you will be able to analyze the parts of the sentence yourself.

    As Matthew Wai reminded us, all the words after the subject are called the "predicate." Now if you wish to analyze the different parts of the predicate, perhaps those two scholars' explanation may be helpful.


    Those two scholars are R.W. Pence and D.W. Emery in their A Grammar of Present-Day English (1963).

    *****

    Some people feel that the term "retained object" only applies to a sentence such as "They gave Mona a hat." "A hat" is a retained object because it is "retained" when the sentence is changed to the passive: "Mona was given a hat." (Credit for this example goes to the website GERMAN - LATIN - ENGLISH, which specializes in teaching people how to diagram sentences using the "old-fashioned" Reed-Kellogg system of sentence diagramming.)
    Last edited by TheParser; 06-Aug-2015 at 21:49.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: He is believed to ......

    In my opinion in "to be the right man" "the right man" is a predicate nominative that belongs to the infinitive "to be".

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: He is believed to ......

    Quote Originally Posted by xxwzs View Post
    "to have been a reporter"? Adverbial?
    I think it functions as an adjective modifying the subject 'He', but I am not a teacher.

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