Personal and Impersonal Passive

Look at this sentence:

They say he is a good man.

Now look at its impersonal passive construction:

It is said that he is a good man.

We can state the same using a personal passive construction:

He is said to be a good man.

You can use these structures with a number of other verbs such as believed, expected, known, thought, etc. 

It is believed that the weather will change soon.

They are expected to come at noon.

 The strike is expected to end soon.

It is known that Columbus discovered America.

It is thought that the thieves got in through the window.


Make personal and impersonal passive constructions with these sentences:

  1. The company makes a lot of profit.
  2. The town was hit by an earthquake.
  3. John knows Maths well.
  4. Brenda speaks three languages.
  5. He is very considerate.

(Answer key: 1) It is said that the company makes a lot of profit / The company is said to make a lot of profit. 2) It was reported that the town was hit by an earthquake / The town was reported to be hit by an earthquake. 3) It is thought that John knows Maths well / John is thought to know Maths well. 4) It is known that Brenda speaks three languages / Brenda is known to speak three languages 5) It is believed that heโ€™s very considerate / He is believed to be very considerate)

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3 thoughts on “Personal and Impersonal Passive

  1. Thank you sir
    You are doing good job, Now a days English is very essential for all . You are not helping the students but teachers are also get a lot of help..Have a good n blessed day ahead.

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