Infinitives

Gunner4

Member
Polish
I am not sure about one situation ,which I would like to show you.
1. He seemed to buy a ticket to Lisbon.
2. He seemed to have bought a ticket to Lisbon.
In my opinion the first example sounds better and it’s more grammatical, but I am still not convinced.
 
  • london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    They're both correct from the viewpoint of the grammar. That said, you have given us no context for your sentence. 1. sounds a little odd, but in a specific context it may have meaning. Can you please tell us what you wish to exxpress, that is provide some context?
     

    Gunner4

    Member
    Polish
    I want to inform someone that my acquaintance has bought the ticket and that’s why they are unable to visit me now.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    In that case neither is correct, as we are talking about something you are surmising now, in the present, ergo:

    He seems to have bought a ticket to Lisbon.

    But why use 'seem' if you know the person has bought a ticket to Lisbon? :confused: Surely you mean 'He has bought a ticket to Lisbon'?
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    You could say It seems/appears that he bought a ticket to Lisbon. The speaker is not absolutely certain (i.e. it seems to be the case that he ...).
    You could also say I would seem that he bought ...

    This would often be expressed with an adverb: He apparently bought a ticket.

    By saying He seems you are focusing on the act of buying a ticket rather than the fact of buying a ticket.
    In other words, when he went up to the ticket office and handed over something to the clerk, you are assuming that this was money and amounted to a purchase.

    Of course, if you are informing someone that he has bought a ticket, you would say He has bought, as london calling suggests.
     
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