the most prominent celebrity known to have contracted the virus

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  • grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    The construction is "to be known to do something". Similar constructions: "to be reported to do something", "to be said to do something" etc.
     

    forgoodorill

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thanks for your help, grassy!:):thumbsup:
    So in these constructions, 'to be' must be infinitive here?
    And what's the meaning of 'to do something' here? Does it means something already do, or will do. Because in the above context, that actor alraey contracted this virus.
    Thanks! :)
     

    billj

    Senior Member
    British English
    I saw an article recently: Mr. Hanks, known for star-making turns in films like “Saving Private Ryan” and “Forrest Gump,” is the most prominent celebrity known to have contracted the virus. So what's the function of 'to' here? I'm really confused about it, in which condition, should I use this 'to' here?
    To answer your original question, "to have contracted the virus" is a to-infinitival clause in which "to" is a subordinator functioning as 'marker'.
     
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    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It is known that he contracted the virus.
    He is known to have contracted the virus.

    It is believed that they are among the first who were infected.
    They are believed to be among the first infected.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It's useful to think of this special construction in English as arising from a passive main clause +_subsidiary that clause:

    It is believed that they are among the first who were infected.
    A sentence with an impersonal passive construction + that clause

    They are believed to be among the first infected.
    The subject of the that clause has become the subject of the sentence, and the finite verb in the that clause has become an infinitive.

    Here also, the subject of the that clause has become the subject of the sentence:

    It is known that he (has) contracted the virus.
    He is known to have contracted the virus.

    Here it's a past infinitive because its corresponding that clause contains a past tense verb.

    If you're interested in this point, I think it's all explained rather well here:
    Subject Raising: Do You Happen To Know? - EFL Magazine
     
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