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  1. #1
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default to fall vs to have fallen

    "Many of the drops were small enough to have slowly fallen with constant velocity."

    OR

    "Many of the drops were small enough to fall slowly with constant velocity."

    Would the sentences be grammatically acurate? Would there be a difference in meaning?
    Last edited by ostap77; 20-Oct-2012 at 15:53.

  2. #2
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: to fall vs to have fallen

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    "Many of the drops were small enough to have slowly fallen with constant vilocity velocity."

    OR

    "Many of the drops were ​are small enough to fall slowly with constant vilocity velocity."

    Would the sentences be grammatically acurate? Would there be a difference in meaning?
    The first sentence is fine. The drops fell in the past.
    The second sentence is flawed. "to fall slowly" refers to the present, and, because of this "were" should be replaced with "are".

  3. #3
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    anhnha is offline Member
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    Default Re: to fall vs to have fallen

    Hello,
    Can anyone tell me what kind of this grammar structure in the bold phrase?
    Many of the drops were small enough to have slowly fallen with constant velocity.
    This action happened in the past, why I cann't use the following sentence:
    Many of the drops were small enough to fall slowly with constant velocity.
    Last edited by anhnha; 20-Oct-2012 at 16:29.

  4. #4
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: to fall vs to have fallen

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    The second sentence is flawed. "to fall slowly" refers to the present, and, because of this "were" should be replaced with "are".
    I don't agree. The non-perfect infinitive is nor restricted to the present.

    I am/was/will be happy to see her.
    The raindrops are/were small enough to fall slowly with a constant velocity
    .
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  5. #5
    ostap77 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: to fall vs to have fallen

    Would they be equally acceptable? If so, what's the difference in meaning?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: to fall vs to have fallen

    Quote Originally Posted by ostap77 View Post
    Would they be equally acceptable? If so, what's the difference in meaning?
    I believe that they are equally acceptable. The 'to fall' version tells us that they had this innate quality. It does not tell us, without more context, whether they did actually fall slowly. The 'to have fallen' version tells us that they have the innate quality that means that their past falling slowly is a possibility. Once again, we don't know whether they did fall slowly.

    In practical terms, the difference in meaning (if any) depends on the context.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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