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I've got such task. My friend said that the first variant is better. But I supposed the second one to be more clear. In my country the english constructions like these are called as "complex objects". Please tell me what you'd use and why?

1.They wouldn't want her to think them not to appreciate what she has done for them.

Here are two "complex object": "her to think" and "them not to appreciate" going one after another.

2.They wouldn't want her to think that they don't appreciate what she has done for them.

Here is one "complex object": "her to think".

Also:

3.Maybe for fun, can I add many complex objects one after another? It's not convinient for perception of course but I wonder whether it is grammatical or not.

I don't want her to consider me to want her to make me do my work better for our kids to have a lot of toys.

4.And can the complex object be in the perfect or continuous forms?

I don't want her to have done that work. I want her to be hearing me (or her hearing me).


Note that the second sentence was originally the following when one of the answers was given:

2.They wouldn't want her to think that they don't appreciate that she has done for them.

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I disagree with your friend the first sentence is difficult to read, and I actually had to read it a couple of times to understand it.

Whereas your's is the version I would say.

Why anybody would prefer a sentence with 2 complex sections when 1 will do is beyond me.

  • thank you. We can prefer #1 because there is a english rule which our teachers score as the main rule: the shorter the better. So "them not to appreciate" is shorter than "that they don't appreciate". And that's why we should use the shorter variant. You, as a native, saing that such complex objects usually are not used many times one after another. But is it grammatical? If it is, I can use it as a language joke in a converisation or a letter (example #3). – user79871 Feb 4 at 11:32
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The second sentence could be modified a bit as

They wouldn't want her to think that they don't appreciate what she has done for them.

  • Thank you! So several the complexes are not possible? it's not grammatical? – user79871 Feb 2 at 10:39
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    Well, the sentence that you have in the point 3 in your question doesn't make sense. Honestly, to me it sounds like a jumbled up sentence. – zeeman Feb 2 at 10:41
  • Ok, here is other one: they wouldnt want her to think them to make her work harder. :) – user79871 Feb 2 at 10:51
  • The usage of the word 'them' in these sentences actually make no sense. You could say it as (if my assumption of what you're trying to say is correct): They wouldn't want her to think, that they're making her work harder. – zeeman Feb 2 at 10:55
  • Ok, what about this: I don't want her to consider me to want her to make me do my work better. Is it grammatical? I understand, nobody says such way. – user79871 Feb 2 at 12:57

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