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Which is correct and why,"The officer is accusing the individual of having committed a crime" or "The officer is accusing the individual of committing a crime"?

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Both may be correct depending on the frame of time involved. See How do the tenses and aspects in English correspond temporally to one another? at EL&U for a start. –  choster Aug 3 at 21:02
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I read the first sentence, "The officer is accusing the individual of having committed a crime" somewhere and I confused it with the latter.Can we use them interchangeably? –  asterisk Aug 3 at 21:07

1 Answer 1

These are both essentially correct, however there is one small difference:

(1) Accusing someone of having committed a crime can only refer to the past. That is, the policeman is referring to a crime that has already (allegedly) been committed:

She is accusing her neighbor of having poisoned her dog. (=the dog died three weeks ago, but she is accusing him now)

(2) Accusing someone of committing a crime, can refer to an act that is in progress at the time of the accusation (present):

She is accusing her neighbor of poisoning her dog. (=the dog has been sick and she suspects that the neighbor is (currently) feeding him tainted bits of food)

Note however, that (2) can be used to refer to the situation in (1) if the context is clear.

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