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Why does the following sentence need a passive participle (having been involved)?

He has worked in different Southern cities and some years in Europe, and considers himself semi-retired, having involved in trading and investment for the last couple of years.

Now, 'Having been involved' is used when somebody involves you. Here, he is involving himself.

Other examples are:

  1. Having stopped the car, the police officer wanted to see the documents. (He stopped the car).

  2. Having written the test, we felt relieved (we wrote the test)

  3. Having been typed by the secretary, the boss signed the letter. (passive here as typing is done by another person( secretary).

  4. Having been interrupted several times, he was rather annoyed. (Somebody interrupted him)

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  • (3) is an example of a dangling modifier - the boss wasn't typed by the secretary! Dec 18, 2023 at 15:41
  • Okay. Let us avoid that by modifying it "The letter, having been typed by the secretary...
    – brp7
    Dec 18, 2023 at 15:57
  • No one uses: having been typed by the secretary. It is not necessary, We'd use: The letter, typed by the secretary, was signed by the boss. Most of your examples are awkward...The boss signed the letter typed by the secretary. having been is just poor sounding here. You need a really good reason to use those. 4) sounds ok but most of the others would be written differently.
    – Lambie
    Dec 18, 2023 at 16:01
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    All these verbs have an object (the car, the test, the letter, 'him'.) Involve needs an object too - Having involved himself or having been involved (by himself, not necessarily by someone else). Dec 18, 2023 at 16:06
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    "Having been involved" normally means having some sort of past experience. "Having involved" usually means inviting or bringing someone into a situation. "Having been involved with attorneys, he offered an opinion on the contract" means he had previous experience with attorneys, so he felt like he could offer an opinion. "Having involved attorneys, he had to pay to get an opinion on the contract" means he chose to bring attorneys into the situation.
    – barbecue
    Dec 19, 2023 at 18:40

2 Answers 2

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"having involved in ..." here is definitely wrong. Involve is always transitive so needs an object. The " ...in trading etc." doesn't provide an object. you need to simply add "been", i.e. "having been involved in trading and investment". Even if the subject has involved themselves this is necessary. If you wanted to emphasise that fact you could say "having involved himself in trading and investment".

By the way "Having been typed by the secretary, the boss signed the letter." reads very odd. The structure says that the "the boss" was typed, although in this case the intended meaning would be obvious from context. It would jar though. This would work ... "Having been typed by the secretary, the letter was signed by the boss."

In your other examples the object of the second clause is the subject of the first so they work.

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  • I know that it is wrong. Transitive could not be a reason. Written is a transitive word. Other examples: 'She cried, having been told that she couldn't pass the test.' Told is transitive. 'Having been sent to counter 6, I had to return to counter 3.' -sent is transitive again.
    – brp7
    Dec 18, 2023 at 15:52
  • Tim, don't you mean 'needs an object'? Dec 18, 2023 at 16:07
  • Thanks kate, that's corrected Dec 18, 2023 at 16:13
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    @brp7 the phrase "having involved in trading and investment" has no object. What is being involved? You need to make it passive to make it clear that the subject of the first phrase is the object of the second. "write" is transitive (in your example) and in "Having written the test", the test is the object of written. "told that she could etc." - "that she could etc." is what is being told so is the object. "having been sent" is passive so has an implied object, i.e. the "I" of the second phrase. Dec 18, 2023 at 16:22
  • @timchessish Okay. Thanks, Tim. I have upvoted.
    – brp7
    Dec 18, 2023 at 17:30
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Having involved all those people in the scandal, he was now looking to exonerate himself. [transitive]

Having been involved in the scandal himself, he was now looking for redemption.

To involve someone in something is not to be involved in something.

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