Personal Passive – Impersonal Passive – It is said
1. Personal Passive
When we put an object of an active sentence into passive, it becomes subject of the passive sentence.
- Active sentence → The professor gave the students the books.
- Passive sentence → The students were given the books.
We sometimes use a pronoun for the students or the books in its subject form (here: they).
- Active sentence → The professor gave them the books.
- Passive sentence → They were given the books.
We very often leave out the by-agent in the passive sentence (here: by the professor).
2. Impersonal Passive – It is said ...
The phrase It is said ... is an impersonal passive construction. We often use it in news.
- Passive sentence 1 → It is said that children are afraid of ghosts.
- Passive sentence 2 → Children are said to be afraid of ghosts.
The correct active sentence would be:
- Active sentence → People say that children are afraid of ghosts.