claimed to enter

Curiosity777

Senior Member
Korean
The police claimed to enter the house to investigate the murder. (I myself made this sentence)
  1. Does this sentence sound natural?
  2. What is the possible interpretation of the sentence, given A and B below? I think the sentence implies A or B according to context and I wrote the sentence to mean A or B by context.
A. The police claimed that they were going to enter the house to investigate the murder"
B. The police claimed that they entered the house to investigate the murder"

(Edited : claim > claimed, are > were, enter > entered)
 
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  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It doesn’t make much sense with the present infinitive after a past-tense verb.

    They claimed to do it :confused: (this implies a habitual action, which is not what’s meant)
    They claimed that they were going to do it :tick:
    They claimed to have done it :tick::thumbsup:
    They claimed that they did it because/in order to… :tick:
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I interpret the sentence as having the second meaning, but I would use the past perfect in this sentence. The past perfect puts the action before 'claimed.'

    The police claimed that they had entered the house to investigate the murder.

    For meaning 'A' you should use that sentence:

    The police claimed that they were going to enter the house to investigate the murder.
    (Cross-posted.)
     

    Curiosity777

    Senior Member
    Korean
    They claimed to do it :confused: (this implies a habitual action, which is not what’s meant)
    For this reason, is "to be" and "to have" commonly used as direct objects of "claim" as in these following examples?

    1. He claimed to have reached the top of the mountain.
    2. Bob claimed to be the only pupil for the job.

    So, when the infinitive "to do" is used as a direct object of "claim", does "to do" have to be interpreted as a habitual action?
     

    Curiosity777

    Senior Member
    Korean
    I have one more question,
    Does this sentence "The police are claiming to enter the house" mean the same thing as "The police are claiming that they are going to enter the house" ?
     
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    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    So, when the infinitive "to do" is used as a direct object of "claim", does "to do" have to be interpreted as a habitual action?
    Your two sentences in #4 are both fine. But I’m not sure what you mean by the above. “To do” is a specific infinitive, but I suspect you’re asking about present infinitives in general?

    The simple present tense is not used in everyday speech to describe single actions happening now, such as: I eat a sandwich, the train arrives, it starts to rain. So neither does the present infinitive.

    He claims to be on his way home :tick: to feel unwell :tick: to speak Russian :tick:
    He claims to paint the house :confused: to be painting the house :tick:
    He claims to wait on a park bench :confused: to be waiting on a park bench :tick:
    He claims to cook for his family :tick: to go cycling at weekends :tick: (habitual)
    Does this sentence "The police is claiming to enter the house" mean the same thing as "The police is claiming that they are going to enter the house" ?
    Firstly, I shudder when I see this, because in the UK we would only use a plural verb for the police. Your usage may even be unidiomatic in AE – I’m not sure. It’s not obvious what “The police are claiming to enter the house” might mean. It’s an unnatural thing to say, although it would make more sense as part of a longer sentence, e.g. “The police are claiming to enter the house legally because they have a search warrant”. But “claiming to enter” and “claiming that they are going to enter” are not the same — one’s present, the other future.
     
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