(His) having seen/seeing so much in the war has made him more thoughtful

Mensu

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

In this case:
- Henry doesn't seem like the same person.
- _____ so much in the war has made him more thoughtful.

I have to fill some words in the blank to get the sentence to mean something like 'He saw (has seen) so much in the war and thus he has become more thoughtful'

I've come up with these answers:
#1. His seeing so much in the war has made him more thoughtful
#2. His having seen so much in the war has made him more thoughtful
#3. Seeing so much in the war has made him more thoughtful
#4. Having seen so much in the war has made him more thoughtful

I am wondering which of them would be correct and natural to use.

Personally I would choose [#4. Having seen so much in the war has made him more thoughtful]
Because I think there's no need to use 'His' (this can be assumed from the context) and the fact is 'He has seen so much..', so I choose 'Having seen'

Maybe they are all correct and natural?
I am not sure so I am posting to ask. Please feel free to tell me which or what you would use even if you can't explain why.

Could you please help me? Thanks!
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    "Having seen" sounds the most natural to me. The versions with "his" sound excessively formal (NKmarkSE's suggestion with "him" is an error). "Seeing" is okay, but would be a more natural fit if the verb later in the sentence were "made" instead of "has made." I like "having seen ... has made."

    In short, I agree with your analysis. :)
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I've come up with these answers:
    #1. His seeing so much in the war has made him more thoughtful.
    #2. His having seen so much in the war has made him more thoughtful.
    #3. Seeing so much in the war has made him more thoughtful.
    #4. Having seen so much in the war has made him more thoughtful.
    All of these are correct answers, and if this is from a test and there is supposedly only one correct answer, it's an unfair question.
    Personally, I'd use the shortest one, #3.
    "Him having seen" (post #2) is incorrect.
     
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