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A friend and I are having a quarrel about the sentence:

"For operational reasons I am not able to downgrade as requested. For this reason we ask you to take it for a (dud) until I've the access restored."

My friend is saying the sentence sounds weird, but I disagree. We gathered that it's using Present Perfect but we're not sure of the placement of the noun (access) and verb (restore + ed) as it also works if we switch them around.

Is this sentence grammatically correct? For what reason?

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  • "take it for a (dud)" is very unclear and I'm not sure what it's supposed to mean. Did it actually say "(dud)" in the original sentence? I can only assume the writer meant something like "accept that this is not working", but it's a very non-idiomatic phrasing.
    – stangdon
    Feb 21, 2023 at 12:10
  • What do you know about word order in sentences that use the present perfect? What functions do you think "restored" and "access" have in this sentence? (How do they relate to other words?) Providing such details (the results of your research) will help people to write more useful answers. Feb 21, 2023 at 15:57

2 Answers 2

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In English, sentence structure follows the subject-verb-object (SVO) word order, which helps to identify which nouns are subjects (the doers) and which nouns are the objects (the receivers of the action). As noted by the OP, the example uses the present perfect tense, so in addition to the verb itself ("have"), we also have a participle ("received"). Typically, verbs and their participles are not separated from each other, so the most clear and common construction would be, "For this reason we ask you to take it for a (dud) until I've restored the access."

The word order in the OP's example ("I've the access restored"), where the object intercedes between the verb and the participle, is also possible, but unusual. Occasionally this ordering is used in poetry (such as song lyrics) for effect, but in typical prose or conversation it is rare.

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  • Thank you Ben! You understood what I asked and explained it impeccably!
    – Zork Bork
    Feb 22, 2023 at 21:46
  • You're welcome! Feb 22, 2023 at 23:55
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You can only use a contracted form of have or is when it's acting as an auxiliary verb. In "I've the access restored", "have" is not an auxiliary verb, so you can't contract it.

You can use the contraction by rewording to make 'have' an auxiliary, as in "I've restored access"; or you can remove the contraction, as in "I have the access restored". Both of those read just fine.

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  • There are plentiful counterexamples. It may not be universally current in modern colloquial English, but it's not wrong. Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore. Search some British newspapers and you'll see that it's alive and well in the UK, at least.
    – phoog
    Feb 22 at 13:32

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