Read about using it is ... (that) and X is ... to with reporting verbs to report what people believe or say. Then, when you are ready, try these reporting passives practice exercises.
It is known / believed that + statement
This is a common way to report information in academic English, news reports and other types of formal English. Use it is past participle that + statement.
It is known that smoking can cause cancer.
It has been argued that girls do better in single sex schools.
X is known / believed to + verb
Another similar structure starts with the person/thing that does the action. Use X is past participle to + verb to report what people believe or say about X.
Smoking is known to cause cancer.
If you want to talk about an action in the past, use to + have + past participle.
He is believed to have murdered 6 people.
Common reporting verbs
Verbs for mental processes:
It is assumed, believed, felt, hoped, known, thought, recognised, understood ...
Verbs for speaking:
It has been acknowledged, agreed, alleged, announced, argued, claimed, confirmed, estimated, pointed out, proposed, predicted, reported, said, suggested ...
Verbs for research:
It has been demonstrated, discovered, established, observed, found, proved/proven, seen, shown ...
Note you can use different forms of 'to be', depending on the situation. For example, research is usually reported with 'it has been' or 'it was'.
- It is thought ... (now)
- It was believed ... (past)
- It has been shown ... (before now, still true)
- It could be argued ... (possibility)
- It will be seen ... (future fact / prediction)
Now try these passives practice exercises to test yourself on using reporting passives structures.