The man they said was her husband, seated in a chair ...

I always think 2 verbs can't be linked.

  • "The man [they said] was her husband, seated in a chair". "They said" is a clause to modify "the man".
    – dan
    Mar 15, 2019 at 9:42

1 Answer 1


Verbs about what people say, claim, imply (etc.) can behave differently. Because people can make claims about the nature or identity of things, you have to be able to incorporate them into verb phrases.

This is the leaflet you allege they put through your door?
This is the man you claim attacked you?
This is the play she said made her cry.

You can rephrase these to avoid having the verbs next to each other, but it is entirely unnecessary. This is a normal way to speak and write. It doesn't just apply to verbs that report what other people have said or written, either, though those are the easiest examples. You could also have:

He's the man I wish were my husband.
That's the team I hope wins.

It is possible that all of them, the verbs that you can use in this way, relate to imagination, allegation or perception, or possibly aspiration as well.

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