Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    angelene001 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    243
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default prefect infinitive

    I've got a problem with this sentence:

    I watched TV yesterday.

    If I want to use 'He claimed', which infinitive should I use?
    1.He claimed to watch TV yesterday.
    or
    2.He claimed to have watched TV yesterday.

    And similar situation with this one:
    They thought that he watched TV.
    1.He was thought to watch TV.
    or
    2.He was thought to have watched TV.

    Is present infinitive used only for future simple, future continuous and present simple, present continuous?
    Or can we use it for past tenses to show that the tense of reporting verb (past simple) is the same as the tense of the infinitive?

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    22,509
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: prefect infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by angelene001 View Post
    I've got a problem with this sentence:

    I watched TV yesterday.

    If I want to use 'He claimed', which infinitive should I use?
    1.He claimed to watch TV yesterday.
    or
    2.He claimed to have watched TV yesterday.

    And similar situation with this one:
    They thought that he watched TV.
    1.He was thought to watch TV.
    or
    2.He was thought to have watched TV.

    Is present infinitive used only for future simple, future continuous and present simple, present continuous?
    Or can we use it for past tenses to show that the tense of reporting verb (past simple) is the same as the tense of the infinitive?
    #2 in both cases.

  3. #3
    angelene001 is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    243
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: prefect infinitive

    I understand there is no situation when we can use present infinitive for past tense.

    What about the rule that perfect infinitive shows that the action of the infinitive happened before the action of the verb?
    It doesn't work in this example:

    They thought that he watched TV.

    2.He was thought to have watched TV.

    Here both actions happened at the same time.

    Or maybe the rule that the perfect infinitive refers to the past is more important.

  4. #4
    TheParser is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    4,971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: prefect infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by angelene001 View Post
    I understand there is no situation when we can use present infinitive for past tense.
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Angelene:





    I found your question very interesting, for this matter confuses me, too.

    I have found some information that may interest you. Every word is an expert's -- not mine!

    1. The scholar writes: "Probably teachers are right to insist on the Choice English usage -- present infinitive for contemporaneous time, perfect infinitive for previous time."

    a. That expert says that one should say, "I intended to stop in to see you when I was in Kalamazoo."

    b. That expert says that "General English often blurs the time distinction" by saying "I intended to have stopped in to see you when I was in Kalamazoo.


    The expert was Professor Paul Roberts in Understanding English (1954), pages 203 - 204.

  5. #5
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: prefect infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    The expert was Professor Paul Roberts in Understanding English (1954), pages 203 - 204.
    I think that, if we are trying to establish what is acceptable today, we probably need to look for back-up in books that are less than 58 years old.

Similar Threads

  1. present prefect
    By hooshdar3 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-Dec-2011, 05:09
  2. [Essay] Prefect Ways to Get Good Grade
    By Danielsnake in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 19-Dec-2010, 14:58
  3. [Grammar] I had been a subject prefect
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-Sep-2008, 15:19
  4. question about present prefect or past?
    By MIRIAMTTI in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 06-Dec-2005, 00:18
  5. present prefect
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-Aug-2004, 15:01

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •