to be or to have been

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Elysa.mad

Member
Italian
Dear all,

I would like to ask your help with the following sentence:

It is only at the beginning of 20th centurythat their authenticity was confirmed. Still, some people were not too convinced. In those days, paleolithic human begings were believed......................unable to express themselves artistically.

I would write TO BE. Possibilities are:
to be
being
to have been
to having been

What would you write?

Really thanks
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    What do you want it to mean?
    That people at that time thought no one could express themselves artistically?
    Or that people today think that was true of people living in the paleolithic era?
     

    Elysa.mad

    Member
    Italian
    This is not my decision as the exercise asks me to fill in the gaps with the correct solution.
    But reading it again, I suppose the text is referring to what people thought at that time because of the introductory phrase IN THOSE DAYS.
    Therefore the correct solution is: TO HAVE BEEN.
    Do you agree?
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    No, I don’t agree with your reasoning, but I do agree with your answer: “to have been”.

    Looking at it again, I think neither of my suggestions applies and what’s meant is that 100 or so years ago (“at the beginning of the 20th century”) people still believed that humans living in the Stone Age were not able to draw and paint artistically.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I think both "to be" or "to have been" could work.

    The first is from the point of view of when they were alive and you put yourself mentally in their society and the second is from the current perspective (at that time in the early 20th century) looking back.
     
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