0

I am doing some passive exercises and I can not understand why

It is said that she was the greatest singer of all time.

was made to

She is said to have been the greatest singer of all time.

I am aware that it may be something about "It + passive + that - clause" and/or "subject + passive + to - infinitive" format. But I can not wrap my mind around why "was" was changed to "have been".

0

That is because the "to" needs to be followed by a verb that is not inflected for tense, which means the verb "was" cannot be used. So the only way to express past tense in that sentence is to employ the present perfect.

0
0

To have been is the past infinitive of be.

(It is usually called a "perfect infinitive", but I believe that is a misnomer: there is nothing of the special meaning of the present perfect - present relevance - in it, it is simply past relative to the matrix clause that contains the infinitive.)

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.