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  1. 1. More on Verbs: Perfect Infinitives and Unusual Uses of Ser/Estar E. Siler
  2. 2. The Infinitive • In English and Spanish, the infinitive verb form often appears after other verbs. • We sometimes say it “finishes” the verb. – Examples: I want to go to the party. – Quiero ir a la fiesta.
  3. 3. The Perfect Infinitive: English • In English, we form the perfect infinitive with the infinitive of the verb “to have” and the past participle. Ex: to have known • We use this to express the idea that the verbal activity conveyed by the infinitive happened in the past.
  4. 4. More on the Perfect Infinitive • The perfect infinitive phrase can be used as a type of subject of a verb or it can occur behind a verb. • The verb in front of the infinitive can be in either past or present tense.
  5. 5. Examples – To have known about the scandal was not fortuitous. – He claims to have known about this scandal. (claim is current; knowledge was in the past) – He claimed to have known about this scandal. – (claim was in the past; knowledge was in the past before the claim) • The perfect infinitive is NOT used with every verb in English – it is only used with those that can take an infinitive.
  6. 6. Nuances of the Perfect Infinitive • Consider the nuances of these sentences: 1. I wanted to go to the party. 2. I wanted to have gone to the party. 3. He claimed to be her long lost husband. 4. He claimed to have been her long lost husband.
  7. 7. Spanish Perfect Infinitives • The Spanish Perfect Infinitive is somewhat like that in English. • It is formed with the verb “haber” and the past participle (ido/ado) form of the verb. Example: haber sabido (to have known).
  8. 8. Example • It is used in various places in the sentence, but generally comes after certain (not all) other verbs, which can be in the past or present. • Él afirma haber sabido los hechos. (He claims to have known the facts). • Él afirmó haber sabido los hechos. (He claimed to have known the facts).
  9. 9. Translation Warning • Sometimes, the translation of a perfect infinitive in Spanish works better as a translated infinitive or even a gerund in English. • Yo niego haber hecho ese crimen. • I deny having done that crime.
  10. 10. More on Ser/Estar • As previously mentioned, Spanish has two forms of the verb “to be” --- ser and estar. • These two verbs generally are used in different ways. • There is a great deal of overlap in the way these verbs can be translated (as forms of the English “to be”). • There are times when there are significant differences in they way they are used in Spanish - -- and thus translated in English.
  11. 11. Morir • The Spanish verb for “to die” is “morir.” • The past participle is “muerto.” • When used with estar the construction means “to be dead.” • Example: Mi madre está muerta. (My mother is dead).
  12. 12. Examples • When used with a form of ser the construction means to have been killed (meaning assassinated --- not just an accident). • Nicole Brown Simpson había sido muerta por su esposo OJ Simpson. (Nicole Brown Simpson had been killed by her husband OJ Simpson). • Nicole Brown Simpson está muerta. (Nicole Brown Simpson is dead).

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