Study this example situation:
Henry is very old. Nobody knows exactly he is, but:
It is said that he is 108 years old.
or 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:
alleged believed considered expected known reported thought understood
Compare the two structures:
– Cathy works very hard.
It is said that she works 16 hours a day.
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 sweater and blue jeans.
The boy is believed to be wearing a white sweater and blue jeans
The strike stared these weeks ago.
It is expected that it will end soon.
The strike is expected to end soon.
A friend of mine has been arrested.
It is alleged that he hit a police officer.
He is alleged to have hit a police officer.
The two houses belong to the same family.
It is said that there is a secret tunnel between them.
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:
It is reported that two people were injured in the explosion.
Two people are reported to have been injured in the explosion.
(Be) supposed to
Sometimes (it is) supposed to … =(it is) said to …:
– Let’s go and see that movie. It’s supposed to be good. (= it is said to be good)
– Mark is supposed to have hit a police officer, but I don’t believe it/
But sometimes supposed to has a different meaning. We use supposed to to say what is intended, arranged, or expected.
Often this is different from the real situations:
– The plan is supposed to be a secret, but everybody seems to know about it. (= the plan is intended to be a secret)
– What are you doing at work? You’re supposed to be on vacation. (= you arranged to be on vacation)
– Jane was supposed to call me last night, but she didn’t
– Our guests were supposed to come at 7:30, but they were late.
– I’d better hurry. I’m supposed to meet Chris in 10 minutes.
You’re not supposed to do something = it is not allowed or advisable:
– You’re not supposed to park your car here. It’s private parking only.
– Mr.Bruno is much better after his operation, but he’s still not supposed to do any heavy work.