Impersonal passive

Form: it + passive verb + clause

active: People know Susan is a car thief.
impersonal passive: It is known that Susan is a car thief.

Verbs which can be used in the impersonal passive: agree, allege, announce, assume, assure, believe, calculate, claim, consider, decide, declare, discover, estimate, expect, explain, hope, find, know, mention, presume, propose, recommend, report, rumour, say, show, suppose, suggest, think, understand

Personal passive

1. Form: subject + passive verb + to-infinitive
(simple present, present continuous, future)

active: People know Susan is a car thief.
impersonal passive: It is known that Susan is a car thief.
personal Passive: Susan is known to be a car thief.

2. Form: subject + passive verb + perfect infinitive
(past (continuous), present perfect (continuous), past perfect (continuous))

active: People know Susan has stolen the car.
impersonal passive: It is known that Susan has stolen the car.
personal passive: Susan is known to have stolen the car.

Verbs which can be used in the personal passive: believe, expect, find, know, report, say, think, understand

Exercises

Finish the sentences using Personal passive (People know she is a jewellery thief. ⇒ She is known to be a jewellery thief) (advanced)

  • exercise 1: rewrite (part of) the active sentence using the personal passive
  • exercise 2: rewrite (part of) the active sentence using the personal passive
  • exercise 3: rewrite (part of) the active sentence using the personal passive
  • exercise 4: rewrite (part of) the active sentence using the personal passive
  • exercise 5: rewrite (part of) the active sentence using the personal passive

Useful pages

    • exercises for practising recognizing active and passive voice
    • exercises for practising the Simple Present Passive (The house is built.)
    • exercises for practising the Simple Past Passive (The house was built.)
    • exercises for practising the Continuous Passive (The house is/was being built.)
    • exercises for practising the Perfect Passive (The house has/had been built.)
    • exercises for practising the Future and Modal Passive (The house will be built. / The house may have been built.)
    • exercises for practising the passive in various tenses
    • exercises for practising the Double Object Passive (She was given a house / A house was given)