Archive for the ‘Passive Voice’ Category

Impersonal Passive passive


Passive is used whenever the action is more important than its author.

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The impersonal passive is used whenever the speaker wants to make clear that the statement was made by someone else. burglar

In that case the statement is introduced by expressions such as the following:


  • People say…
  • Everyone believes that…             the thief was caught red-handed.
  • They claim that…


Although possible, their passive form is more commonly used.

it + passive verb ( be+ past participle)+ that clause


  • It is said that…
  • It is believed that…                  the thief was caught red-handed.
  • It was claimed that…


An alternative form is using the subject of the second clause as the main subject.

the subject of the main sentence + passive verb + to-infinitive.


  • The thief is believed to have been caught red-handed.

If what is being reported is in the present or future, one should use a simple infinitive (to infinitive)

If the event is in the past , one should use a perfect infinitive (have + past participle).

Below you can find the PPT we used in class and some more exercises:


Exercise 1

Exercise 2


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