1

Why is rob not in the past form in this sentence?

The witness claimed that he saw a police officer rob the man."

Is it not supposed to be in the past tense also?

  • "Rob" is an infinitive in this sentence. The construction is "see [noun phrase] [infinitive]". – sumelic Jan 22 '19 at 5:16
  • Is it possible for a verb to be in an infinitive form without TO ? – Gugma Jan 22 '19 at 5:20
  • Yes; it is called a "bare infinitive". – sumelic Jan 22 '19 at 5:22
  • Yes, @Gugma, such verbs are therefore called bare-infinitives. – Zeeshan Ali Jan 22 '19 at 5:22
4

In The witness claimed that he saw a police officer rob the man., rob is used as a bare infinitive

Verbs which relate to our senses (eg hear, watch) are followed by bare-infinitives.

For more:

Uses of the bare infinitive

Using bare infinitive with verbs such as “see”, “watch”, etc.: Present tense or Past Tense?

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