Verbs of senses:

  1. I see him work in the garden.
  2. I see him working in the garden.
  3. I see him be in the garden (wrong) => I see that he is in the garden.

Other verbs:

  1. I consider him to work in the garden. Wrong

  2. I consider him to be working in the garden.

  3. I consider him to be in the garden. Wrong

But: I consider him to be a promising writer. – correct Sentence 3 is clear – to be doesn’t allow to follow a general rule with verbs of senses. Do all other verbs allow to use such a construction when the Object Complement is expressed as a NP only, as in sentence 5?

Why 4 and 6 are wrong?

Thank you!

  • 1
    I'm not convinced #6 is "wrong". It just might imply a slightly contrived context (perhaps he's standing right on the boundary of my property, and although in my opinion he's "in the garden", someone else might say he's actually "in the street" outside my house). The "rule" here is that if you consider [someone] to be [something adverbial or adjectival] this must be a matter of opinion. As opposed to the normal I think he's here, where my assertion can only be true or false (it's not a "judgement / assessment" call). Oct 23, 2021 at 16:00
  • ...so although it's perfectly okay to say I think the Sun is 93 million miles away from Earth, you can't naturally say I consider the Sun to be 93 million miles away from Earth. That's because even if I personally am unsure of the exact distance, at least I know that either the assertion is true or it isn't - there's simply no scope for anyone to think anything different. Oct 23, 2021 at 16:09
  • FumbleFingers, thank you a lot! Would it be right to use To be-Infinitive with verbs of NON-perception as in : Mary thought she was grown up. => mary thought herself to be a grown up.??? thank You!
    – IRINA
    Oct 23, 2021 at 16:44
  • I think you've got it. But see this... Oct 23, 2021 at 16:55
  • ...and this... Oct 23, 2021 at 16:55


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