Verbs that refer to saying or thinking ( think, believe, say, report, know, consider, presume, hope…) are often followed by a to-infinitive formin the passive.
Example: The police think he is in Argentina.
He is thought to be in Argentina.
There are four Infinitive forms, which we will use depending on the tense we have in theactive sentence.
Simple to write escribir
Continuous to be writing estar escribiendo
Perfect to have written haber escrito
Perf. Continuous to have been writing haber estado escribiendoIn order to make this type of passive sentence, we
Take the subject of the second sentence: He
1. Passive verb of the Reporting verb in the same tense as in the active: isthought
2. The verb of the second sentence in the Infinitive form: to be
Which form of the Infinitive do we use?
• If it carries an idea of present or future ( Simple: to write
• Itit carries an idea of past, whatever the tense (Past Simple, Past Perfect, Present Perfect) ( Perfect: to have written.
• If either of them are in a continuous form, you use the adequateInfinitive continuous form ( to be writing or to have been writing
Some more examples:
They say she works hard. She is said to work hard.
They say she played well. She is said to haveplayed well.
They said she has done well. She was said to have done well.
They believe he is having an affair. He is believed to be having an affair.
They believe he has been having an affair. Heis believed to have been having an affair.
She believes the repairs have been finished. The repairs are believed to have been
1. People believe that English isthe most widely spoken language
It is believed that English is the most widely spoken language.
English is believed to be the most widely spoken language.
2. Police have reported that it was...