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It was rumoured that he had been in prison for a while.

From: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/rumoured


Does the sentence above have its active counterpart?

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I think it doesn't.

I've tried to replace dummy It with the raised subject He in He was rumoured to be in prison for a while, but even such a construction doesn't seem to have an active counterpart.

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tkacka15Does the sentence above have its active counterpart?

It would be something like "People rumoured that he had been ..." if it existed. The use of "rumour" as a verb in active voice is so extremely rare, however, that for all practical purposes I think we should say that this active form does not exist. Only an oblique active counterpart is possible.

People were spreading the rumour that he had been ...

CJ

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I would classify rumored as a pseudo-passive noun modifier as it is frequently used to modify a noun, can have a modifier and follows a linking verb. Here are some examples:

The long-rumored next generation iPhone was announced today.
Duvalier himself is rumored to be ill and appears too frail to return to power.
If Apple releases a tablet in the rumored $700 to $800 price range, it will die.
Google has just launched its much-rumored Flipboard competitor, Google Currents.
They were looking for the rumored dancer, but missed her by about eight months.

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Thank you for the reply.

 AlpheccaStars's reply was promoted to an answer.
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