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    #1

    He's the oldest athlete to win

    Hi,

    - He's the oldest athlete ever to win an Olympic gold medal. (= ... who has ever...)

    Michael Swan's "Practical English Usage," page 259.

    I would like to ask why the author writes, "to win" but not "to have won" - which refers to up to now. Can we use an infinitive to refer to perfect tenses like that?

    - He's the oldest athlete ever to have won an Olympic gold medal.

    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: He's the oldest athlete to win

    But according to the same book, "he's" refers to "he is" or "he has." (page 121)

    P.S. I have also found this http://forum.wordreference.com/threa...he-was.502029/

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    #3

    Re: He's the oldest athlete to win

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    I think 'He's' stands for 'He was',
    The natural assumption is that he's is a contraction of he is. The was in spoken he was may be very weak, but it is never contracted to he's in writing.

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    #4

    Re: He's the oldest athlete to win

    So, what about the question in post 1?

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    #5

    Re: He's the oldest athlete to win

    Quote Originally Posted by ademoglu View Post
    But according to the same book, "he's" refers to "he is" or "he has." (page 121)
    Yes, it can. I was talking only of is/was. Did you notice that most of the members of that forum agreed that he's was not used as a written contraction of he was?

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    #6

    Re: He's the oldest athlete to win

    Quote Originally Posted by ademoglu View Post
    - He's the oldest athlete ever to win an Olympic gold medal. (= ... who has ever...)

    [...]
    - He's the oldest athlete ever to have won an Olympic gold medal.
    The second would mean He is the oldest athlete who had ever won ..., which does not work.

    However, I am sure some native speakers would produce the to have won version.

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    #7

    Re: He's the oldest athlete to win

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Yes, it can. I was talking only of is/was.Did you notice that most of the members of that forum agreed that he's was not used as a written contraction of he was?
    I wrote them to Matthew, but not to you. By the way, thanks for the answers.

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    #8

    Re: He's the oldest athlete to win

    Is it OK to say 'He is the oldest athlete to have won an Olympic gold medal'?

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    #9

    Re: He's the oldest athlete to win

    - He's the oldest athlete ever to win an Olympic gold medal. (= ... who has ever won)

    But I cannot still understand why the infinitive refers to perfect tense. Is it because of the word 'ever'? Without it, can't we say that "He's the oldest athlete to win an Olympic gold" means "He's the oldest athlete who will win an Olypic medal"?

    What I mean, how we can determine the infinitive refers to the perfect tense?

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    #10

    Re: He's the oldest athlete to win

    I asked the question in my post#9 because I found the following example:
    'If you want to emphasise his current status as the first person, then you can use the present tense, but with a perfect infinitive: "He is the first person to have reached the South Pole". '── quoted from http://english.stackexchange.com/que...e-first-person

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