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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    perfect infinitive

    Hello all!

    Firstly:
    I would like to ask about in which contextual situations do we use perfect infinitive.

    Secondly:
    Why 'I thought you lived there' and not "I thought that you lived there'?

    Big thank you for all the responses and a ' have a nice day' to everybody reading this post.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: perfect infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by michal View Post
    Hello all!

    Firstly:
    I would like to ask about in which contextual situations do we use perfect infinitive.
    This may seem a bit of a simplistic answer, but you use it in contexts that require an infinitive referring to an action that is not yet completed .

    'By the time I come back, I expect you to have written at least a paragraph.'

    There is another use, disapproved of by some, where the infinitive refers to an action already completed.

    'Darwin was the first to formulate a theory of evolution, but he is not the first to have used the phrase 'survival of the fittest.'

    This would be better: '... he was not the first to use...' . What would certainly not be better is the form '... he was not the first to have used...'.

    Another use that refers to a completed action is this (also not accepted by all):

    'Is Samantha the only one of you to have seen Casablanca?'

    I'm not sure whether to call this 'wrong', but I'd use 'the only one who has seen', to avoid arguments with grammarians who have strong views.




    Quote Originally Posted by michal View Post
    Secondly:
    Why 'I thought you lived there' and not "I thought that you lived there'?

    ...
    Either. The 'that' is completely optional. I suspect it's more common to include it in speech, as the vowel sound (/ə/) often identifies it as a conjunction.

    b

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
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    #3

    Re: perfect infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by michal View Post
    Secondly:
    Why 'I thought you lived there' and not "I thought that you lived there'?
    I agree with BobK's explanation. Relative that is optional. It functions as a conjunction in your example sentence. It's grammatical if you add it in, and it's grammatical if you leave it out.

    Ex: I thought that you lived here.
    Ex: I thought you lived here.

    Speakers omit that because it's always there, even if it's not uttered. That is, the verb thought takes a clause as its object, and that clause is always headed by that. In short, it's more efficient to leave out that.

    I thought you lived here. <clause: verb's object>
    I thought that. <demonstrative pronoun: verb's object>
    I thought that you lived here. <relative pronoun: conjunction + clause: verb's object>

    ____________________
    Food for thought: I wonder if semantics or stress might play a role.

  4. Newbie
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    #4

    Re: perfect infinitive

    Again, thank you both Casiopeia and BobK - reliable as always you are:)

    I might return with some more examples on 'that' usage in relative clauses, that I am in doubt with


    • Join Date: Jun 2006
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    #5

    , that

    ... clauses that I have problems with (some of them; no comma)
    ... clauses, which I have problems with (all of them; not 'that')

  5. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: , that

    Quote Originally Posted by michal View Post
    Again, thank you both Casiopeia and BobK - reliable as always you are:)

    I might return with some more examples on 'that' usage in relative clauses, that I am in doubt with
    Quote Originally Posted by irpond View Post
    ... clauses that I have problems with (some of them; no comma)
    ... clauses, which I have problems with (all of them; not 'that')
    I suspect michal was using 'that' as a demonstrative pronoun; the underline suggests that (though there should have been a semi-colon or full stop [period] before it).

    But why not start another thread?

    b


    • Join Date: Jun 2006
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    #7

    Re: perfect infinitive

    Apologies to Michal. Just a quick example I thought might be a problem.

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: perfect infinitive

    I wasn't annoyed in the least - apologies if I seemed a bit curt! I just thought you (or maybe michal?) would like to start a new thread.

    b

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