I've learned from my text book named Meaning into Words that “If 'seem' is followed by an adjective, we can leave to be and If 'seem' is followed by a noun, we can't leave to be.

According to the rule, the following sentences are correct:

  1. She/He seems to be married.

  2. She/He seems married.

Now, I want to use perfect infinite in the sentence below:

  1. She/He seems to have got married.

The context could be:

  • A man or woman who is wearing a ring, or type of clothes which makes them "look" as if he or she is married.

  • I heard a rumour that he/she got married. (Someone who I haven't met for a long time.)

Does it mean he or she "seems" to be already married?

Are the sentences above used to express uncertainty whether someone is married or not?

  • 1
    This old question might help. Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 15:14
  • I'm actually not sure about the rule you cite for 1 & 2, but 2 would be a commonly used construction. At least to me, there is a difference in nuance. "Seems to be married" is something I would associate with confirmation of evidence (I've seen the marriage certificate so she seems to be married; the paperwork appears to be in order). "Seems married" reflects more of an internal assessment that might be based on subtle clues such as the person's behavior, manner of dress, etc.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 20:00

2 Answers 2


"To have got" isn't the perfect infinitive of "to be", that would be "to have been".

a) "She/He seems to have got married."

At some point in the past, this person had a wedding. You could also say "seems to have got married and divorced", saying that it appears both events have happened. You can't say "seems to be married and divorced", that sounds contradictory.

b) "She/He seems to have been married."

They were married, but this phrasing implies that it's no longer the case.


All your examples (1, 2 and 3) are grammatically correct. There is a difference though.

1 and 2 both use "married" as an adjective. They are suitable for your context "A man or woman who is wearing a ring, or type of clothes which makes them "look" as if he or she is married."

3 uses "married" as the past participle of the verb "to marry". This is suitable for your context "I heard a rumour that he/she got married."

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