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  1. sterh
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    #1

    Infinitive structures

    I wonder whether such constructions with infinitives other than TO BE are correct

    I believe him to work there

    OR

    The church believed Bill to sin often

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Infinitive structures

    Quote Originally Posted by sterh View Post
    I wonder whether such constructions with infinitives other than TO BE are correct

    I believe him to work there

    OR

    The church believed Bill to sin often
    Both of these examples are wrong.

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    #3

    Re: Infinitive structures

    The active construction 'believe smb. to V' in the contemporary language is generally limited to cases where V is either a stative verb (esp. 'be')

    I believe him to be honest.

    or an auxiliary

    I believe him to have committed a terrible crime.

    Other types of verb will tend to be unacceptable:

    *I believe him to work as a doorman at the Ritz.

    (--> I believe that he works...)

    Interestingly, however, the corresponding passive construction tends to accept any type of verb, e.g.

    He is believed to work as a doorman at the Ritz.


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