What is this non finite describing "to have third form of verb " e.g,to have been,to have crossed etc.Is this showing any completeness of a work or something else.

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    You will need to add a little bit more context. There is no third form of verb. It depends on how you number them. It is not really clear what you are asking.
    – oerkelens
    Dec 2 '14 at 16:07
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    @Araucaria a) It can't be that common: this only the third question here which has employed the term. b)The only thing worse than terminology whose meaning is difficult to puzzle out is terminology which has no meaning at all. c)The notion that one kind of terminology is less metalinguistic than another is absurd. d) Learning table headings is exactly as onerous as learning one tuple of the table: it's four terms. EFL teachers can spare their students effort by dropping rubbish like the n conditionals and the subjunctive and future perfect progressive passive. Dec 7 '14 at 4:05
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    @Araucaria In the same spirit: a)*Questions*, I said: very few of the NNSs use the term. b)There is a need for some terminology ("nth form" is terminology, too) so you can talk about it. 'Participle' has a transparent meaning if you take thirty seconds to explain it, just like 'infinitive'; and while I hold no brief for 'past ppl' and 'present ppl', they are quite as justified as 'past' or 'preterite'. c) Balderdash; if you use it to talk about language it's metalanguage. ... Dec 9 '14 at 2:18
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    @Araucaria d) Sorry about four; when I was a boy the English principal parts were plain form, past form, present participle, past participle. German and Latin have four, too, but not the same four in either; French has seven! And that's why 1st 2nd 3rd don't work, because different languages employ different paradigms. d2) We have 46 questions which employ the term 'subjunctive'; they're learning that somewhere, and it ain't from you or me. e) A participle is called that because it participates in the properties of both verb and adjective or noun ... Dec 9 '14 at 2:24
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    @Araucaria ... Besides, it's fun to say. As I said, I hold no brief for 'past' and 'present' here. Me, I'd kill two surds with one done and rename em 'DO-form DID-form DONE-form' ... But I'll take nth-form seriously if you can justify 'verb' :D Dec 9 '14 at 2:33

As miltonaut tells you, the verbform which you call the ‘third form’ is ordinarily called the 'past participle' (PaPpl). I urge you to discard the numbered term, which has no evident inherent meaning and is not in general use.

The construction HAVE + VERBPaPpl is the perfect construction; it signifies a state arising out of the prior eventuality named by VERB.

When HAVE is cast in a ‘finite’ (tensed) form, the resultant construction is named a present perfect or past perfect.

PRESENT PERFECT: John has now written the Anderson report.
PAST PERFECT: John had already written the Anderson report last week.

When HAVE is cast in the infinitive form, with or without the ‘infinitive marker’ to, the resulting construction is called the perfect infinitive. This construction is employed in the same uses as other infinitives, for instance:

As the complement of a modal verb: John may have written the report by tonight.
As the complement of a catenative verb: John wants to have written the report by tomorrow.
As a subject complement: To have written it so quickly is quite an accomplishment.

Note that HAVE can also be cast in the -ing form, having VERBPaPpl, and this construction can be used as either a gerund or participle. But the had in had VERBPaPpl can only represent the past form of HAVE, not the past participle form.

You may find a great deal more about perfect constructions at What is the perfect, and how should I use it?.


I think what you call the 'third form of the verb', I call the 'past participle'.

'To have + past participle' is the 'present perfect' tense. It has many uses. All of those uses involve actions completed in the past. However, they are different from past simple.

Past simple is usually used for one-time events, or when talking about a specific event in the past ("I went to China last year."). One of the uses of the present perfect is talking about an experience in the past that might be repeated in the future ("I have been to China, and I want to go again.").

Totally right, oerkelens! Guess that's the final sign I need to log off and go to bed.

OP, I'm sorry, I totally did not answer your question.

  • Do you have some examples which contain to have + participle.
    – 1010
    Dec 2 '14 at 16:15
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    But I have been is a finite form, and the OP asks about the non-finite form. I think that's about sentences like "To have lived is my goal in life".
    – oerkelens
    Dec 2 '14 at 16:15
  • Sorry that was infinitive.
    – 1010
    Dec 2 '14 at 16:17
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    To have + past participle is a perfect infinitive, not a present perfect. Dec 2 '14 at 18:26

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