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Special passive structures

A I was given ...

Look at these sentences.

Henry gave some flowers to Claire. Henry gave Claire some flowers. An active sentence with a verb like give can have two different structures (see Unit 3).

If we use a passive sentence, either some flowers or Claire can be the subject.

Some flowers were given to Claire. Claire was given some flowers.

This is about the flowers, and it tells us who This is about Claire, and it tells us what she

received them. received.

It is quite normal in English for a person to be the subject in a passive sentence like the one about Claire. Mike was sent tickets for the concert. My wife is paid more than 1 am. Andrew has been awarded a prize for his essay.

We can use the following verbs in this structure: allow, award, fed, give, grant, hand, leave (in a will), lend offer, owe, pay, promise, sell, send, show, teach


B It is said that..

It is said that Henry is in love with Claire.

(= People say that Henry is in love with Claire.)

We can use the structure it + passive verb + clause with verbs of reporting. We use this structure when we cannot say or do not need to say who the speaker is, for example in news reports.

It is thought that the company is planning a new advertising campaign. It was reported that the President had suffered a heart attack. It has been agreed that changes to the scheme are necessary.

Here are some verbs we can use in this structure: agree, allege, announce, assure, believe, consider, decide expect, explain, hope, know, report, say, suggest, suppose, think, understand

He is said to ...

We can also use subject + passive verb + to-infinitive.

Henry is said to be in love with Claire. This structure is also used in news reports.

United were expected to win. (= People expected that they would win.)

The company is thought to be planning a new advertising campaign.

(= Someone thinks that it is planning a new advertising campaign.)

The President was reported to have suffered a heart attack.

(= Someone reported that he had suffered a heart attack.)

We can use the following verbs in this structure: believe, expect, find, know, report, say, think, understand

We often use be supposed to for things that people say.

/ might watch this programme. It's supposed to be very funny.

57 Exercises

1 I was given ... (A)

Zedco managers are writing a report saying how well the company looks after its employees.

Write sentences from the notes. Put the important underlined information at the end of the sentence.

? useful work skills / they are taught to our staff
Our staff arc taught useful work skills.

? people with initiative / they are given opportunities
Opportunities are given to people with initiative.


1 special training / it is given to new employees

2 staff who perform well / they are given extra payments

3 company shares / they are offered to most employees

4 six weeks' holiday / this is allowed to all Zedco staff

5 women who leave to have children / they are paid a full salary

2 It is said that... (B)

Report these rumours. Instead of the active (e.g. People say ...) use the passive (e.g. It is said that...).
► People say this. ____

The quiz champion It is said that the quiz champion Claude jenniiKS has

Claude Jennings has lost lost his memory.

his memory. .

Everyone expects this.

The soap opera 'Round the Corner' will end next year.

It is

2 Journalists suppose so.

The footballer Wayne

Johnson is earning £1o

million a year.

3 Lots of people believe this.

The Prime Minister

and his wife have


3 He is said to... (C)

Now report the rumours in Exercise 2 like this.

The quiz champion Claude Jennings is said to have lost his memory.

1 The soap opera 'Round the Corner'........................................................

Date: 2014-12-22; view: 3409

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