I am reading Micheal Swan's English Grammar. There is a point in passive section:
- We hope to make a profit this year (active)
But it cannot be made passive as:
*It is hoped to make a profit this year (wrong)
Why is it wrong ?
The problem with the passive voice of 'It is hoped' is that standards have changed. Where once the voice carried a regal formality, today it is awkward and screams for attention.
In the phrase It is hoped, who did the hoping? It does not say, a red flag suggesting a mystery. Now, if we have that hope, just say that we hoped. If we are the agent taking action, why would we hide that responsibility?
Occasionally, there are good reasons to reach for the passive voice. You might not be able to identify the agent: Stores nearby were burglarized. Or you better not say, such as in meeting minutes where participants like to bury their opinion. In that case, you can still avoid A point was raised concerning... by saying The committee considered the suggestion that...
The classic spoof of the passive voice, A good time was had by all, displays the problem: Aside from the clumsy construction, does it sound like anyone had a good time, let alone that all had a good time?