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    tzfujimino's Avatar
    tzfujimino is offline Key Member
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    Default try to have done something (the perfect infinitive)

    Hello, everyone.

    A while ago, I found a sentence using this construction ('try to have done...') in somebody's thread.
    I'm used to the 'perfect infinitive (to have + past participle)" which is used when speculating about the past, such as

    "The bombs seem to have contained mustard gas, and perhaps the nerve agent sarin."
    (= It seems that the bombs contained mustard gas, and perhaps ...)

    or (with modals)

    English Grammar | LearnEnglish | British Council | Modals ? deduction past

    So, when I read "Try your best to have finished...", it didn't sound natural/grammatical to me.
    However, after some research, I found that "hope to have done...", "need to have done..." and "try to have done..." are all possible.

    Now, I'd like to check if I understand these expressions correctly, so I'm going to make my own sentences using them:

    1. I hope to have decorated the room before my daughter comes back.
    2. I need to have finished writing the report by the time I meet Mr. X.
    3. I'll try to have collected enough information by the next meeting.

    Do these sentences above work?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: try to have done something (the perfect infinitive)

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    Hello, everyone.

    A while ago, I found a sentence using this construction ('try to have done...') in somebody's thread.
    I'm used to the 'perfect infinitive (to have + past participle)" which is used when speculating about the past, such as

    "The bombs seem to have contained mustard gas, and perhaps the nerve agent sarin."
    (= It seems that the bombs contained mustard gas, and perhaps ...)

    or (with modals)

    English Grammar | LearnEnglish | British Council | Modals ? deduction past

    So, when I read "Try your best to have finished...", it didn't sound natural/grammatical to me.
    However, after some research, I found that "hope to have done...", "need to have done..." and "try to have done..." are all possible.

    Now, I'd like to check if I understand these expressions correctly, so I'm going to make my own sentences using them:

    1. I hope to have decorated the room before my daughter comes back.
    2. I need to have finished writing the report by the time I meet Mr. X.
    3. I'll try to have collected enough information by the next meeting.

    Do these sentences above work?

    Thank you.
    Yes, they are fine.

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