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Unit 44. It is said that … He is said to … (be) supposed to …
(использование оборотов It is said that …, He is said to … и (be) supposed to …)

Study this example situation:

Unit 44. It is said that …, He is said to … (be) supposed to … Henry is very old. Nobody knows exactly how old he is, but:
It is said that he is 108 years old.
He is said to be 108 years old.
Both these sentences mean: ‘People say that he is 108 years old.’

You can use these structures with a number of other verbs, especially: thought believed considered reported known expected alleged understood

Compare the two structures:

  • Cathy works very hard.
    It is said that she works 16 hours a day. or She is said to work 16 hours a day.
  • The police are looking for a missing boy.
    It is believed that the boy is wearing a white pullover and blue jeans. or The boy is believed to be wearing a white pullover and blue jeans.
  • The strike started three weeks ago.
    It is expected that it will end soon. or The strike is expected to end soon.
  • A friend of mine has been arrested.
    It is alleged that he kicked a policeman. or He is alleged to have kicked a policeman.
  • Those two houses belong to the same family.
    It is said that there is a secret tunnel between them.or There is said to be a secret tunnel between them.

These structures are often used in news reports. For example, in a report about an accident:

(Be) supposed to

Sometimes it is supposed to… = it is said to…:

But sometimes supposed to has a different meaning. ‘Something is supposed to happen’ = it is planned, arranged or expected. Often this is different from what really happens:

‘You're not supposed to do something’ = it is not allowed or advisable for you to do it:

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