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    #1

    Combinations of infinitives - the usage

    How and what for do we use the perfect progressive infinitive; an example: I'd like to have been sitting when she walked in.

    Why cannot we use just 'to be sitting' as we know that it happened in the past from the following clause. It seems cumbersome to me to use such long and complicated utterances in an average pace speech.

    Thank you

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Combinations of infinitives - the usage

    I would like (now) to be sitting (now).
    I would like (now) to be sitting (in the future) when she arrives
    I would like (now) to have been sitting (in the past) when she arrived. [= I regret that I was not sitting.]
    I would have liked (in the past ) to be sitting (in the past) when she arrived. [I regretted that I was not sitting.]

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    #3

    Re: Combinations of infinitives - the usage

    So the
    perfect progressive infinitive here functions as a 'bridge' between the present and the past as it does for example in reporting: She is alleged (now) to have stolen the money (in the past).

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    #4

    Re: Combinations of infinitives - the usage

    Quote Originally Posted by tom3m View Post
    So theperfect progressive infinitive here functions as a 'bridge' between the present and the past as it does for example in reporting: She is alleged (now) to have stolen the money (in the past).
    Not in this example: I would like (now) to have been sitting (in the past) when she arrived.

    If it's a bridge at all, it is one between the earlier past, when the sitting would have begun, and the time she arrived.

    The perfect infinitive can function as both a perfect (aspect) and a past (tense) infinitive.

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