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    #1

    Use of Perfect Infinitive

    1 He is understood to have left India for good last year.
    2 The scientist claim to have discovered cure for AIDS and the medicine will be put on sale very soon.
    3 He pretended to have lost her contact number.
    4 We hope to have finished the project by the end of march.
    5 I'm sorry to have disturbed you.
    In all these sentences its use "to have", but purpose is different. For example in 4 it uses for future perspective while in 3 for past. Can someone explain the concept of "to have"? I find it difficult where to use "to have" or not. For example I would write 4th sentence as "We hope to finish the project by the end of march (if I haven't seen this sentence in my book). I also read that we can use perfect infinitive construction to talk about plans which didn't happen. But this rule doesn't follow with 5 sentence.
    Thank you
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 13-Sep-2015 at 09:23. Reason: Enlarging font size.

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    #2

    Re: Use of Perfect Infinitive

    I am not a teacher

    We do not always use perfect infinitive form for unreal past situations.We can use it show possibility of something.

    I wish to have gone to the theater of dreams before I die.
    Last edited by gurpreetgill4u; 13-Sep-2015 at 09:19.

  1. tkacka15's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Use of Perfect Infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by taruns1008 View Post
    1 He is understood to have left India for good last year.
    2 The scientist claim to have discovered cure for AIDS and the medicine will be put on sale very soon.
    3 He pretended to have lost her contact number.
    4 We hope to have finished the project by the end of march.
    5 I'm sorry to have disturbed you.
    In all these sentences its use "to have", but purpose is different. For example in 4 it uses for future perspective while in 3 for past. Can someone explain the concept of "to have"? I find it difficult where to use "to have" or not. For example I would write 4th sentence as "We hope to finish the project by the end of march (if I haven't seen this sentence in my book). I also read that we can use perfect infinitive construction to talk about plans which didn't happen. But this rule doesn't follow with 5 sentence.
    Thank you
    I understand those sentences this way:

    1 He is understood to have left India for good last year. = People understand that he left India for good last year.
    2 The scientist claim to have discovered cure for AIDS and the medicine will be put on sale very soon. = The scientist claim that he discovered cure for Aids and the medicine will be put on sale very soon.
    3 He pretended to have lost her contact number. = He pretended that he (had) lost her contact number.
    4 We hope to have finished the project by the end of march. = We hope that we will have finished the project by the end of March.
    5 I'm sorry to have disturbed you. = I'm sorry that I have disturbed you.
    I'm not a teacher and I'm not a native speaker of English.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Use of Perfect Infinitive

    Please use a larger font, taruns. My aged eyes can hardly read your posts.

    1. It is understood that he left India ... - past simple
    2. He claims that he has discovered ... - present perfect
    3. He pretended that he had lost ... - past perfect
    4. We hope that we have finished ... - present perfect
    5. I am sorry that I disturbed you ... - past simple

    In those sentences with the perfect infinitive replaced by a that clause, you can see that in #1-3 and 5, the situation in the that clause precedes that in the main clause. This is why we use the perfect form if we use an infinitive. It functions in some ways as a past infinitive (just as the past perfect aspect can sometimes function as a past past).

    In #4, the situation in the that clause follows that in the main clause, , but in the that clause we have naturally used a present perfect (in a temporal clause) to refer to a future situation. That is why we use a perfect infinitive


  3. engee30's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Use of Perfect Infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by taruns1008 View Post
    I also read that we can use perfect infinitive construction to talk about plans which didn't happen.
    I'd put it as 'about things that are hypothetical or incorrect', as in:
    Sam was getting very anxious about her exam results, because she was hoping to have got/gotten (AmE) them by then. (she still hadn't received them at the time)
    I believed the Germans to have won the match. (but, in actual fact, on this rare occasion they didn't)

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Use of Perfect Infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by engee30 View Post
    Sam was getting very anxious about her exam results, because she was hoping to have got/gotten (AmE) them by then. (she still hadn't received them at the time)
    I believed the Germans to have won the match. (but, in actual fact, on this rare occasion they didn't)
    Your first example is a good one. The second sounds unnatural to me.

  5. engee30's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Use of Perfect Infinitive

    How would you put it then to convey the same meaning?

  6. Piscean's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Use of Perfect Infinitive

    The only natural way I can think of at the moment is "I believed that the Germans had won the match"

  7. engee30's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Use of Perfect Infinitive

    And mine's exactly what you can do to make use of the perfective infinitive out of yours.

  8. Piscean's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Use of Perfect Infinitive

    Fine. It just does not sound natural to me.

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