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  1. Anyone touching this wire will get a shock.

I know here the participle clause means 'anyone who touches this wire..'.
My question is, if I'd use perfect participles(having touched) instead of touching,
like,

  1. Anyone having touched this wire will get a shock.

what does here having touched mean?
( Does it mean like,'Anyone who has touched this wire.. or After anyone has touched this wire he(she) will get a shock.?)

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RULE OF THUMB: Use the perfect only if the sense may be paraphrased as a relative clause with a perfect in the tense corresponding to the Reference Time (RT) of your sentence:

NON-PAST RT
Anyone having touched this wire NonPastwill get a shock =
Anyone who NonPasthas touched this wire NonPastwill get a shock.

PAST RT
Anyone having touched this wire Pastwould get a shock =
Anyone who Pasthad touched this wire Pastwould get a shock.

You should not use a perfect here, because that names an event happening at any time before getting the shock; it would imply, for instance, that if I touched the wire yesterday I will get a shock today or tomorrow!

But in these cases the perfect is acceptable, because the prior purchase might have occurred at any time prior to the refund:

NON-PAST RT
okAnyone having bought this item NonPastcan get a refund=
okAnyone who NonPasthas bought this item NonPastcan get a refund.

PAST RT
okAnyone having bought this item Pastcould get a refund =
okAnyone who Pasthad bought this item Pastcould get a refund.

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  • Doesn't the sentence "Anyone having bought this item can get a refund" mean a sense like, 'after having bought this item anyone can get a refund" – Dinusha Oct 25 '14 at 16:35
  • @Dinusha No; that sense would be expressed by Anyone buying... OR Anyone, having bought...,. Participial perfects are tricky; avoid them unless you know exactly what you're doing. – StoneyB on hiatus Oct 25 '14 at 17:10
  • you mean that commas must be used after the subject (with perfect participle), to mean "after having bought this item anyone can..."? – Dinusha Oct 25 '14 at 17:40
  • @Dinusha Yes. The participle clause has to modify the head clause, not its subject. – StoneyB on hiatus Oct 25 '14 at 17:49
  • as you say in the answer , "Anyone having bought this item..." is equal to "Anyone who has(had) bought this item..." it means anyone is modified by 'having bought'. therefore, is it possible to use in this way like,'Do you know anyone having bought this item'? – Dinusha Oct 25 '14 at 17:52
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First of all that sentence (Anyone having touched this wire will get a shock.) sounds a bit ungrammatical to me. (I am not sure if this sentence formation is correct or not) So for me it doesn't mean anything. Because this sentence doesn't fit in either past perfect tense or in future tense.

Let's take few examples here

  1. Having got tired from work i turned their offer down to go for a movie.
  2. Having driven my car for two hours I decided to stop by to take some rest.

Here 'having got tired' means - because i got tired i turned their offer down to go for a movie.

Here 'having driven' means - after i drove my car for two hours I decided to take some rest.

So 'having + verb' can either mean after / because as per the situation.

So your example - (Anyone having touched this wire will get a shock.) It doesn't clarify whether the action has been done or it will be done in future. If it is to be done in future then the sentence would be

  1. Anyone who touches this wire will get a shock. (Action will happen)
  2. Anyone will get a shock when he or she touches this wire.

Or when the action has been completed then

  1. Whoever touched this wire got a shock. (Action completed)

  2. Having touched this wire he got a shock. (He got a shock after he touched the wire)

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