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Thread: To

  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    To

    The tall cone-shaped roofs of chateauís towers are thought by the French to resemble witches hats.

    I don't understand the sentence structure. Why do we need "to" here?
    Thank you for your help and corrections!

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    #2

    Re: To

    This fairly common passive structure is: (BE) thought to-infinitive

    The active form is:

    The French think that the tall cone-shaped roofs of the chateau's towers resemble witches' hats.

    The passive form works well to focus the sentence more upon the roofs, and less on the French.

  3. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: To

    Technically, the active correlate of Those roofs are thought by the French to resemble witches' hats is The French think those roofs to resemble witches' hats.

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    #4

    Re: To

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    The French think those roofs to resemble witches' hats.
    That sounds unnatural to me.

    Are you going to claim that the active version of He is said to be rich is *People say him to be rich?

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    #5

    Re: To

    I suppose Phaedrus meant to omit that "to" from the second sentence.

  6. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: To

    Are you going to claim that the active version of He is said to be rich is *People say him to be rich?
    What else would it be?

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    #7

    Re: To

    I suppose Phaedrus meant to omit that "to" from the second sentence.
    No, I meant to include it.

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    #8

    Re: To

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    Technically, the active correlate of Those roofs are thought by the French to resemble witches' hats is The French think those roofs to resemble witches' hats.
    Yes, technically, that's right.

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    #9

    Re: To

    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    What else would it be?
    People say him to be rich is not a correct sentence in English. we need to say People say (that) he is rich.

  10. Phaedrus's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: To

    People say him to be rich is not a correct sentence in English. we need to say People say (that) he is rich.
    I agree with you, but the syntax is what it is.

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