0

This phrase is from Aladdin cartoon. I can't understand grammatical structure of this sentence - tense, voice, he's = he is or he has?

  • It's an imperative clause, and imperatives use the plain (infinitival) form of the verb and hence are tenseless. The embedded subordinate clause "he's never found", though, is present tense, passive voice. ("He's = "he is") – BillJ Jan 5 '18 at 19:39
1

The usage is

Make sure he is never found.

The incomplete sentence

Make sure he has never found

would require an object, such as

Make sure he has never found gold.

but that sentence doesn't make sense, unless it is about tampering with historical records.

  • Weather Vane, thank you. But here we talk about future - "Make sure he is never found (in future)"? I thought that it is more appropriately to say "Make sure he will never be found"? – Alwind Jan 6 '18 at 15:53
  • Present tense can be used to refer to any time frame, in the right context; see How do the tenses in English correspond temporally? Further, “never” means “not at any time”, so “I never eat green eggs” means, roughly, “I have never eaten green eggs, I am not currently eating green eggs, and I will not ever eat green eggs in the future.”  It’s perfectly normal to use present tense in a command that refers to the future, e.g., “Never eat moldy bread.”  In fact, I’m not sure how I could say that in the future tense, absent a passive clause (“Make sure the bread is never eaten”). – Scott Jan 7 '18 at 2:28
  • Scott, good explanation about "never". But why not use passive voice future: "Make sure the bread will never be eaten", "You will never be forgotten" etc? Is this correct to say: "You are never forgotten?" and is it equivalent to "You will never be forgotten"? – Alwind Jan 7 '18 at 7:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.