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hearsay

reporting
Hearsay reports describe what people say,
report, believe, think, consider, know, etc, and
are often used in news reporting.
They are introduced by a passive form of the
report verb, either in present simple or past
simple form with a to-infinitive.
The report can refer to the present, or past, or a
time before the time of reporting.
present verb, present reference
We use a present reporting verb and refer to a state
or action in the present.
The patient is said to be as well as can be expected.
Passive: is said
Present infinitive: to be

(That's what people say now about the present


situation.)
present verb, past reference
We use a present reporting verb and refer to a state
or action in the past.
The robbers are thought to have stolen more than
3million.
Passive: are thought
Past infinitive: to have stolen

(That's what people say now about the past


situation.)
past verb, reference to time of reporting
We use a past reporting verb and refer to a state or
action at the time the report was made
Last week, the Prime Minister was said to be
undecided.
past simple passive: was said
present infinitive: to be
(That's what people said then about the situation
then.)
past verb, reference before time of
reporting
We use a past reporting verb and refer to a state or
action at the time before the report was made
Mr Smith was believed to have taken the car by
mistake.
past simple passive: was believed
past infinitive: to have taken
(That's what people said then about something that
had happened earlier.)
continuous forms
Continuous infinitive forms are also possible.
The escaped men are believed to be wearing
prison clothes.
The injured man is thought to have been trying
to climb the cliff
present continuous wear to be wearing
infinitive

past continuous wear to have been


infinitive wearing
passive infinitives
Hearsay report expressions can also be followed by
passive infinitives.
There are a number of diseases which are known to
be caused by poor hygiene.
The men are said to have been recaptured.
At the time of the wreck, the diamonds were
thought to have been lost.
present passive infinitive eat to be eaten

past passive infinitive eat to have been eaten


passive participles
These can be used with report verbs like appreciate,
deny, enjoy, remember etc.
I appreciated being met at the airport.
Mr Archwood denied having been convicted of any
crime.
Note that there may be no difference between
using past and and present participles
He denied being there.
He denied having been there.
present passive continuous Eat being eaten

past passive continuous Eat having been eaten


Rewrite each sentence so that it begins
with the words underlined.
a People say that the company's European division is having a
good year.
b In contrast, they say that the Far East division has been
suffering from rising costs.
c People believe that the company has been talking to a
competitor about a possible merger.
d People know some directors have been thinking on these lines
for some time.
e People believe the CEO, Carl Graham, is making an attempt to
focus the business more sharply in some areas.
f People say he is also looking at the possibility of job cuts.
g People think the company is holding a top-level meeting about
these matters next week.
Answers
a The company's European division is said to be having a good
year.
b In contrast, the Far East division is said to have been suffering
from rising costs.
c The company is believed to have been talking to a competitor
about a possible merger.
d Some directors are known to have been thinking on these
lines for some time.
e The CEO, Carl Graham, is believed to be making an attempt to
focus the business more sharply in some areas.
f He is also said to be looking at the possibility of job cuts.
g The company is thought to be holding a top-Ievel meeting
about these matters next week.
Rewrite each sentence using appreciate, deny, enjoy, like or remember
and the word in capitals.
a Thanks for taking me to the station. TAKEN
b I was shown around the school, and I enjoyed it.
BEING
c I don't remember when they arrested me! BEING
d He said he liked it when people took him seriously.
TAKEN
e Tina said she hadn't been paid to appear in the play.
HAVING
f I don't remember when they gave me the
anesthetic. BEING
g Thanks for giving me another chance. GIVEN
a I appreciate being taken to the station.
b I enjoyed being shown around the school.
c I don't remember being arrested!
d He said he liked being taken seriously.
e Tina denied having been paid to appear in the
play.
f I don 't remember being given the anesthetic.
g I appreciate being given another chance