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?


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.

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 ...



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.

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