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  1. #1
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    Default to have been delivered?

    Hello, I've got a question regarding the usage of 'to have p.p.'
    Here is a dialogue that I've read.

    A(customer): I ordered a stuffed animal for my child.
    B(shop clerk): Let me check. Right. Didn't you get the delivery yet? It was supposed to have been delivered yesterday.
    A: Yes, I got the delivery, but it's not what I ordered........

    Why does B say like an underlined sentence above? I mean, instead of the original sentence, what about saying like this-'It was supposed to be delivered yesterday'?

    I just want to know the difference in meaning, or usage between 'to(infinite) verb' and 'to have p.p(present perfect form)'.

    p.s. I wonder if my question is clear enough. Please understand my poor English, and let me know if you are not sure of what my question is about.

    Anyway, thank you so much for your great help in advance!

  2. #2
    2006 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: to have been delivered?

    Quote Originally Posted by je2ks2 View Post
    Hello, I've got a question regarding the usage of 'to have p.p.'
    Here is a dialogue that I've read.

    A(customer): I ordered a stuffed animal for my child.
    B(shop clerk): Let me check. Right. Didn't you get the delivery yet? It was supposed to have been delivered yesterday.
    A: Yes, I got the delivery, but it's not what I ordered........

    Why does B say like an underlined sentence above? I mean, instead of the original sentence, what about saying like this-'It was supposed to be delivered yesterday'? You can certainly say that.




    I just want to know the difference in meaning, or usage between 'to(infinite) verb' and 'to have p.p(present perfect form)'.

    "supposed to have been delivered" would also be correctly understood in this context, but in a different context "was supposed to have been delivered" can also mean 'was assumed to have been delivered'.


    p.s. I wonder if my question is clear enough. Please understand my poor English, and let me know if you are not sure of what my question is about.

    Anyway, thank you so much for your great help in advance!
    2006

  3. #3
    Clark is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: to have been delivered?

    Quote Originally Posted by je2ks2 View Post
    Hello, I've got a question regarding the usage of 'to have p.p.'
    Here is a dialogue that I've read.

    A(customer): I ordered a stuffed animal for my child.
    B(shop clerk): Let me check. Right. Didn't you get the delivery yet? It was supposed to have been delivered yesterday.
    A: Yes, I got the delivery, but it's not what I ordered........

    Why does B say like an underlined sentence above? I mean, instead of the original sentence, what about saying like this-'It was supposed to be delivered yesterday'?

    I just want to know the difference in meaning, or usage between 'to(infinite) verb' and 'to have p.p(present perfect form)'.

    p.s. I wonder if my question is clear enough. Please understand my poor English, and let me know if you are not sure of what my question is about.

    Anyway, thank you so much for your great help in advance!
    In 'it was supposed to be delivered' delivery is understood as a perspective action.
    In 'it was supposed to have been delivered' delivery is understood as a retrospective action.

    I think in your context the perfect infinitive 'to have been delivered' is appropriate.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: to have been delivered?

    In addition, there is a slight difference in meaning:

    Presumption
    Ex: It was supposed to have been delivered / was believe to have been delivered, but wasn't
    Ex: Max was supposed to have been rude to Pat / was believed to have been rude, but wasn't.

    Required or under orders
    Ex: It was supposed to be delivered, but wasn't / *was believed to be delivered.
    Ex: Max was supposed to be rude to Pat; we told him to do it, but he wouldn't / *was believed to be rude.

    Note, I've used the symbol * to show that the phrases marked so express an awkward meaning. That is, 'supposed to' meaning required can't at the same time also mean believed.

    Last edited by Soup; 24-May-2008 at 08:54.

  5. #5
    Clark is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: to have been delivered?

    By saying 'to have been delivered' the shop clerk gives the customer to understand that he takes his words (that the goods weren't delivered) for granted. 'To be delivered' would just mean 'we planned to deliver them'.

    Soup, could you take a look at my post 'surrounded by vs. with' on the General Language Discussions forum. I'm very interested to hear your opinion.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: to have been delivered?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    By saying 'to have been delivered' the shop clerk gives the customer to understand that he takes his words (that the goods weren't delivered) for granted. 'To be delivered' would just mean 'we planned to deliver them'.

    Soup, could you take a look at my post 'surrounded by vs. with' on the General Language Discussions forum. I'm very interested to hear your opinion.
    Sure. What's the link? (Psst. PM me next time ).

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