Can I use a verb as an interrupter?

For instance, if I would like to mean:

He is said to be leaking secrets

can I also express it like this?

He, is said, is leaking secrets

1 Answer 1


No, but it can be expressed like this:

He, it is said, is leaking secrets.

For every verb with tense, there needs to be a subject. Both instances of "is" are conjugated verbs, so they need subjects. It's not clear in your sentence whether "He" is the subject of the first or second "is". I guessed the second, and inserted a subject, "it", for the first.

  • 6
    "He is, it is said, leaking secrets" would be more idiomatic. Dec 1, 2021 at 9:10
  • 12
    @KateBunting: Actually I'd disagree that one is more idiomatic than the other - the difference is in emphasis rather than acceptability.
    – psmears
    Dec 1, 2021 at 15:47
  • 1
    @KateBunting Maybe with different word choices that would be more idiomatic, but "is it is" makes for an awkward sentence. Maybe it sounds better but it's not pleasant to read.
    – piojo
    Dec 1, 2021 at 18:00
  • 2
    Or maybe just different word choice/construction altogether would be more idiomatic: "He is allegedly leaking secrets.". Dec 1, 2021 at 23:37

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