1

I'm confused by the use of these two tenses "I saw him TAKE it" and "I thought he KNEW it" Why I saw him + infinity form verb but I thought he + past tense??

  • Your second sentence is not grammatical as written. It ought to be "I thought he knew it." – fjack Oct 6 '18 at 21:50
2

These are just the constructions that those particular verbs happen to take.

"Think" takes a "that" clause, which is finite and therefore tensed (the "that" is often omitted):

I thought [that] he took it.

"See" (in this sense) takes a non-finite clause (and if its subject is a pronoun, it is in the oblique case):

I saw him take it.

You can say "I saw [that] he took it", but it has a rather different meaning: something like "I saw something that led me to conclude that he took it, but I didn't necessarily see him actually take it".

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.