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.