OPEN WITH A PERFECT INFINITIVE

The present infinitive to have + the third principal part of the verb (or its past participle) = the perfect infinitive (to have written).  Perfect infinitives form phrases in the same three ways as the present infinitive:

  1. by combining with adverbs:

To have talked more loudly, I would have needed a microphone.

  1. by combining with prepositional phrases:

To have arrived on time, I would have had to come by air.

  1. by taking objects:

To have given an answer, I should have heard the question.

As noted in the preceding models, the comma usually follows the perfect infinitive used as a sentence opener.

EXAMPLES

1.  To have spoken at the convention, I would have needed an invitation.

2.  To have gone by train, I would have needed a reservation.

3.  To have thrown the ball, I would have needed a catcher.

4.  To have known about the book, I would have had to see the ad.

5.  To have eaten such a big dinner, I would have had to go without food for a day.

6.  To have written the letter would have meant I would have had to own a typewriter.

7.  To have chosen that coat, I would have had to have spent a fortune.

OPEN WITH A DIRECT OBJECT

The word transitive means “crossing over.”  A transitive verb carries action from the doer of the action to the receiver.  The usual pattern of the English sentence follows the order of subject-verb-direct object.  By placing the direct object as the sentence opener, the writer gives much more emphasis to the receiver of the action.

EXAMPLES

1.  Strands of colored weeds she had made into a blanket.

2.  Long life I love better than figs.

3.  Real estate Jeff Sherwood sells.

4.  A better job I never had.

5.  A Jaguar Uncle Terry owns, but he rarely drives it.

6.  Mary, rather than John, the director chose.

7.  Civilized ways of doing things you must learn if you wish to assume a role in society.

8.  Soup, a salad, a porterhouse steak, a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a chocolate cream pie, he ordered from the waitress of the Plumed Horse; then he asked if his date were hungry.

9.  Siblings Jonny loves terrorizing.

10.  Fresh blood Dracula craves!

OPEN WITH A PERFECT GERUND

The perfect gerund= having + the third principal part of the verb (having deposited, having kissed, having begun, having promised.)

Again, it looks identical to the perfect participle; but whereas the perfect participle functions as an adjective, the perfect gerund operates as a noun.

Perfect gerunds place the action prior to the tense indicated by the main verb.  Gerunds, by contrast, can be read as depicting an action that happened prior to the main verb or that is concomitant to the main verb.

Compare these sentences:       Shan regretted wearing a hat.  vs.  Shan regretted having worn a hat.

David likes eating Doritos.      vs.  David likes having eaten Doritos.

Perfect gerunds form perfect gerund phrases in the same three ways as perfect participles do:

  1. by combining with adverbs: having shrieked loudly
  2. by combining with prepositional phrases: having come to the abandoned quarry
  3. by taking objects: having kissed his forehead

In its most frequent usage, the perfect gerund will appear as the object of a preposition (as it does in all of the examples).  Gerund phrases end with a comma.  The noun or pronoun immediately following the comma must serve as the person, place, or thing doing the action of the gerund; otherwise the gerund phrase will be a dangling or misplaced modifier.

EXAMPLES

1.  After having written the essay, I analyzed it carefully for errors.

2.  By having gone through one ordeal, I felt better about coping with future problems.

3.  On having attained the promotion, I began to search for other goals.

4.  From having deduced the answer, I can handle future problems more accurately.

5.  Before having reached the summit, I should have rested more often.

6.  Upon having reached twenty-one, he received his inheritance.

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