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He told me that he has locked the door.

How can this be rewritten as a simple sentence? A simple sentence is one that consists of just one independent clause.

Can it be written as

He told me to have locked the door.

In this sentence, the actual agent (doer of action), which is 'he' here, is not just beside the Infinitive. So I think it does not work.

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  • Define 'simple sentence'. – BillJ Mar 27 at 8:35
  • Sentence that consists of just one independent clause. Can we re-write this sentence without using that clause and using Infinitives. – RADS Mar 27 at 8:55
  • No, because there are two actions: the telling and the locking. Each action requires a verb phrase as head of a clause. – BillJ Mar 27 at 9:12
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'He told me that he has locked the door'.

How to write it in simple sentence?

Can it be written as 'he told me to have locked the door' but in this sentence, actual agent(doer of action),which is 'he' here, is not just beside the Infinitive. So I think it to be wrong


'He told me that he has locked the door'.

In this sentence the tense is wrong "told" is past tense so we would use "had" not "has". Also a native speaker would not usually say "he told me that" but just "he told" me in this context.

'He told me, he had locked the door'

If we bring the event into the present

'He says, he is locking the door' Here the action is is still ongoing.

'He says, the door is locked' or 'He says, he has locked the door' Here the action "locking the door" is already complete but it is being reported in the present time.


What you are actually trying to say I cannot determine because of the mixed tenses. However from the 3 alternative sentences it is clear they cannot be reduced to a simple sentence. A simple sentence would be something like "He locked the door."

A simple sentence is a sentence that consists of just one independent clause. A simple sentence has no dependent clauses. (An independent clause (unlike a dependent clause) can stand alone as a sentence.) Ref Simple sentence


Can it be written as 'he told me to have locked the door' but in this sentence, actual agent(doer of action),which is 'he' here, is not just beside the Infinitive. So I think it to be wrong

Lets re-write the sentence to what a native speaker would say 'he told me to lock the door' "told me to" means that "me" needs to complete the action. "Me" has been requested to perform a task.

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  • And how is that a 'simple' sentence, as requested by the OP? – BillJ Mar 27 at 10:05
  • I found a sentence on grammarquizes.com under the heading 'Infinitive clause with subject'....Ed intends for Frida to do the portraits'. It says that since 'intend' is an Intransitive verb and here in the context Ed wants Freda to do the portraits...not himself...so we have to add 'for+ noun/accusative pronoun' as doer of action in Infinitive clause. The same sentence can be re- written in passive as ' Ed intends the portrait to be done by Freda', it says..........So,in the same way can we write that sentence as 'He told me the door to have been locked by him'. – RADS Mar 27 at 12:42
  • @RADS You asked for a simple sentence. That is not one. Do you actually know what a simple sentence is? – BillJ Mar 27 at 12:54
  • @BillJ 'He told me that he had locked the door' is compound sentence as it has two independent clause. In the sentence 'he told me the door to have been locked by him' (if it's a correct sentence structure) there are no two independent clause to be a compound sentence nor it has any dependent clause for being a complex sentence. Then the only option remaining is Simple sentence. I don't know I am right or wrong please do correct me if I am wrong. And I have read somewhere that a sentence can have many non-finite clause but if It has only one main verb then it is a simple sentence. – RADS Mar 27 at 14:12
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    @BillJ yes your are correct to have hammered home the issue of the simple sentence. I focused to much on the tense and what a native speaker would possibly say in this situation. So, I have edited my answer inline with your suggestion. Thank you. – Brad Mar 31 at 1:25
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He told me that he has locked the door.

He told me to have locked the door.

Both examples are unnatural. The 1st one can be modified as

He told me that he had locked the door.

The locking had happened first, and then he told you about it.

To do without a 'that clause', we can try direct speech.

I have locked the door,' he told me.

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  • Yeah, 'Had' should be used in place of 'Has'. But how to write the whole sentence without using that clause. – RADS Mar 27 at 8:51
  • I have added a suggestion to use direct speech so as to avoid a 'that clause'. – Seowjooheng Singapore Mar 27 at 9:38
  • It's still not a 'simple sentence' because "locked the door" is a subordinate clause as complement of "have". – BillJ Mar 27 at 9:44

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