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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Impersonal passive voice     

Impersonal passive voice



KHAWLA ALZIOD
Jordan

Impersonal passive voice
 
I would be grateful if you answered me this question :
 
When changing this sentence into the passive , we say :
 
He says that Adam has finishes this work early .
 
It is said that Adam finishes this work early .
 
Can this sentence be changed into the following ?
 
Adam is said to finish this work . 
 
 
 

7 Dec 2015      



loboclaud
Portugal

Hi!
From what I know the second sentence is also correct and it is possible to say it. I would just add "early" at the end of the sentence. 

7 Dec 2015     



maryse pey
France

As far as I remember I think that the meaning of the 2nd is different from the 1st.
 
I understand the 1st as "someone says that Adam finishes this work early" whereas the 2nd means "Someone tells Adam to finish this work early."
 
What do other colleagues would say ?

7 Dec 2015     



Gi2gi
Georgia

I agree with loboclaud; Both sentences are Ok and mean the same. 
 
The second structure is referred to as subject infinitive construction .
 
Maryse, I m afraid I have to disagree,  I think  to make the sentence mean "Someone tells Adam to finish this work early" 
we  would say   Adam is told to finish this work early. 
 
P.S. I have a WS  on the topic (called distancing) :)  
 
Giorgi 
 

7 Dec 2015     



almaz
United Kingdom

At the risk of being a wee bit pedantic, Khawla, not only is there not a grammatical relationship between your options, they dont actually make any semantic sense either: "It is said that Adam finishes this work early". In what possible context for your students would this make sense? In fact, how would you use the other sentences without shoehorning them into some unnatural utterance?
 
Apologies if Im being a bit thick.
 
Alex 

7 Dec 2015     



Gi2gi
Georgia

They say he finishes the work early =
= It is said that he finishes the work early =
= He is said to finish the work early.
 

7 Dec 2015     



almaz
United Kingdom

Context? (related to what is actually written in the OP)

7 Dec 2015     



Mariethe House
France

He says that Adam finished this work ( which work? This(the) work he had to do... the sentence needs some context) early
early being a reference to a completed past , you need the simple past in this sentence
 
It is said that Adam finished his work early .
 
Can this sentence be changed into the following ?
 
 
Adam is said to Have  finished this work in .....no time at all!. 
 
 

8 Dec 2015     



Gi2gi
Georgia

Mariethe, I can t agree that early is a reference to a completed past 
and 
you need the simple past in this sentence
 
 :)
 
IMHO, the thing that makes the sentence a bit awkward-looking and lacking a "semantic sense" is  the word this. 
 
Anyway, to stop splitting hairs here, the OP asked a general question,which was a grammar question about the structure in general, whether a sentence like

It is said that someone does something
 
can be changed like this
 
Someone is said to do something,

And I agree that such paraphrasing is Ok.
 
The lack of "contextual relevance" and "semantic sense" was obviously not something the OP was interested in
 
Giorgi 
 
 

8 Dec 2015     



Mariethe House
France

@ Giorgi: Shame he wasn t! I like things to make sense!
 
gosh! it is complicated to make oneself understood when one is not in direct communication! My hands don t allow me to be as quick as my brain! Never mind. Someone more patient than me will explain more thoroughly.
The "this" is akward! You can say: He is said to ( usually) finish (article 0  )work early but this is purely grammatical. never heard it. The common sentence would be: They say he finishes work early.
Thats all for mee! Sorry!
                                                      

8 Dec 2015     



Gi2gi
Georgia

@ Mariethe, 
 
I have a creepy feeling that  "someone more patient"  is in the process of  typing a wisely designed post right now! :)))))   
 
Have a good day! 
 
Giorgi 

8 Dec 2015