Tell me please if the following sentence is correct.

He claims to have done his homework yesterday.

It is well known that it is grammatically incorrect to use time markers, such as yesterday, last week etcetera with the present perfect. But what about that sentence?

  • hmm but is that really the present perfect? What would the simple past version be? Would you say he claims that he has done his homework yesterday? – user96060 Jun 10 '19 at 14:15
  • I would say "have done" is perfect in construction, but past tense in meaning. The sentence is no different from "he claims that he did his homework yesterday". The perfect construction is employed simply because "to" cannot be followed by a tensed (finite) verb. – user178049 Jun 10 '19 at 14:16
  • There's nothing wrong with the sentence. I'm more intrigued by the ambiguity of the past-tense version: He claimed he did his homework yesterday. Was it yesterday when he made the claim—or is his claim that he did it the previous day? The version in the question is actually better semantically, because it's unambiguous. – Jason Bassford Jun 10 '19 at 15:54

Your Answer

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

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.