Tensed from Tenses 3

A Writer's Reference with Writing about LiteratureReference: A Writer’s Reference with Writing about Literature

Tenses with infinitives and participles

Use Present Infinitive

Show action at the same time or later than the main verb

  • The club had hoped to have raised raise $1000 by May.
    (“have hoped” happened before “raise”)

Use Perfect Infinitive

For an action occurring earlier than the main verb

  • Dan would like to join have joined the navy but he did not pass the physical. (“like” is now, “join” was in the past)

Use Past/Present Perfect Participle

For an action occurring before the main verb

  • Discovered off the coast of FL., the Atocha yielded many treasures.
  • Having worked her way though college, Lee graduated debt-free.


Use base from of verb and were is the only past-tense verb used

IF + Contrary-to-fact clauses

The verbs are for conditions that are not true

  • If I was were a member of Congress, I’d vote for that bill.
  • We could be less cautious if Jake was were more trustworthy.

But when the IF clauses is about something that exist or may exist, then don’t use subjective.

  • If Dana wins the contest, she’ll leave for Spain in June.

Wishing + Contrary-to-fact clauses

  • Formal: I wish he were my friend.
  • Informal: I wish he was my friend.

Clauses for request

Because the requests haven’t come true, subjunctive is used. Look for verb like: ask, insist, recommend, request, suggest.

  • Prof. Moore insists that her students are be on time.
  • We recommend that he files file this report.