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Perfect infinitive, passive infinitive & gerund

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The perfect infinitive is most commonly found in type 3 conditional sentences, as it is used to express an unreal, hypothetical situation from the past, although it can be used in other places as well.

The perfect infinitive has the following structure: (to) have + past participle.
For example: to have missed, to have written, to have worked, to have left etc.

The perfect infinitive often refers to things that might have happened in the past:

You seem to have annoyed him

But perfect infinitive can also refer to something that will be completed at a point in the future:

We hope to have finished the car repair by the end of May.


A perfect infinitive is an infinitive in the form of  “to have + past participle”. It is mainly used after some verbs to emphasize that something happened in the past.

For comparison:

She seems to be very optimistic.
She seems to have been very optimistic.
She seemed to have been very optimistic.

Further examples:

He pretended not to have noticed me.
I happened to have seen that film before.
I’d like to have met him.

Perfect infinitive also appears in the passive voice:

He is supposed to have met the American president.
Mia is considered to have been the best manager of the company.


Perfect infinitive continuous is an infinitive in the form of “to have been + verb + ing”. It is used after some verbs to emphasize that something happened in a particular moment in the past.

He seems to have waited for a long time.
When I saw him, he seemed to have been waiting for somebody.

Other examples both in the active and passive voice:

She pretended to have been reading, but in fact, she was listening to their conversation.
He is reported to have been talking to a spy.


The passive infinitive is used in some constructions of the passive voice and is common after modal verbs. We use the passive infinitive when we want to focus on the receiver, or when we do not want to mention the agent (the person who does the action):

The carpet needs to be washed.
These doors should be shut at night.
He is going to be interviewed tomorrow.

The passive perfect infinitive form is used to talk about the past.
The corporation may have been sold last week.
We should have been told about the dangers.
The passive -ing form is used to express a continuous action.

I don’t like being cheated.
He remembers being given the book



A passive gerund is nothing but a verb with -ing ending in the passive voice. It may appear in one of two forms: present (e.g. being shown) and past (e.g. having been shown).

The passive gerund in present

I remember being taken to the hospital.
I hate being spoken to as if I’m a child.

The passive gerund in past

He showed no signs of having been warned.
The notice, having been written in small letters, was not clearly visible.

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