to have completed / to complete

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
as it is/as it turns out/
used for saying what the situation really is when something different might have happened
He was expecting to have completed his training by now. As it is, he’s only halfway through it.
(MED)

The sentence, as I understand, is telling that he doesn't expect to complete his training any more. What I don't understand is the use of the perfect infinitive.
I think it would be enough to just say "He was expecting to complete his training by now. As it is, he’s only halfway through it"
because I think that to have completed implies that "completing" should have taken place in the past, not "by now". E.g.:
He was expecting to have completed his training a month ago. As it is, he’s only halfway through it.
Though, even in this case I'd be likely to use to complete.:(
I'd be sure to use the perfect infinitive in this case:
He was expected to have completed his training a month ago. As it is, he’s only halfway through it.

Tell me please where I'm wrong
 
  • lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Yipes! Let's slow down:
    He was expecting to have completed his training by now. As it is, he’s only halfway through it.
    This sentence actually doesn't tell us whether he still expects to complete his training or not. The part in blue means: He expected (when he began the training) that he would have completed his training by now / He expected that at this point in time his training would already have finished. He no longer expects that, because he is currently only halfway through his training. We really don't know if he still expects to complete his training or not, or by when he now expects to have completed it.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thank you.
    I really should have been more attentive. But the question remains almost the same:(, slightly corrected:
    The sentence, as I understand, is telling that he doesn't expect to complete his training any more by now. What I don't understand is the use of the perfect infinitive.
    I think it would be enough to just say "He was expecting to complete his training by now. As it is, he’s only halfway through it"
    because I think that to have completed implies that "completing" should have taken place in the past, not "by now". E.g.:
    He was expecting to have completed his training a month ago. As it is, he’s only halfway through it.
    Though, even in this case I'd be likely to use to complete.:(
    I'd be sure to use the perfect infinitive in this case:
    He was expected to have completed his training a month ago. As it is, he’s only halfway through it.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    I still don't quite follow this:
    The sentence, as I understand, is telling that he doesn't expect to complete his training any more by now.
    Right now, he is only halfway through his training. So he cannot, logically speaking, expect that he is finished with his training, because he isn't. Today he expects either A) not to finish his training ever or B) to finish his training at some date in the future / to have finished his training by some date in the future.

    The only change that you make to go from your original sentence to the final one...

    He was expected to have completed his training a month ago. As it is, he’s only halfway through it.
    ... is to shift the voice from active to passive. This doesn't affect the logic of the verb tenses/aspects at all. The following sentences are all correct:

    He expected to have completed his training by now.
    He was expected to have completed his training by now.
    He expected her to have completed her training by now.
    etc.
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    He was expecting to have completed his training by now. - He himself expected this.
    He was expected to have completed his training by now. - Someone else expected this.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thank you
    Today he expects either A) not to finish his training ever or B) to finish his training at some date in the future / to have finished his training by some date in the future.
    Yes, that's the very thing that I don't understand: he expects to have finished his training by some date in the future.
    As I've believed up till now, "to + have + participle II" is used when we speculate about events preceding those expressed by the main verb. But:
    He was expecting to have completed his training by now. As it is, he’s only halfway through it = He was expecting that he would have completed his training by now. As it is, he’s only halfway through it.
    he expects to have finished his training by some date in the future. = he expects he will have finished his training by some date in the future.

    I.e. I was wrong and "to + have + participle II" can be used when describing events in the future in relation to main verb, right?
     
    Last edited:

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    The future perfect is a weird tense, so it's perfectly natural for you to be a bit confused about it! Here's a bit of the nuance:

    Imagine you give me an assignment. Later on, you come to me and ask me if I've had some time to work on it. I could say:
    A) Oh, yes. I expect that I'll finish it on Thursday.
    B) Oh, yes. I expect that I'll have finished it by Thursday.
    C) Oh, yes. I expect that I'll finish it by Thursday.
    D) Oh, yes. I expect that I'll have finished it on Thursday.

    In A) I say that I think I'll be working on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, finally finishing on Thursday.

    In B-D) I say that on Thursday it will definitely be finished, but it may be effectively finished earlier than that. I might finish it on Tuesday or Wednesday. D) could also mean that I expect to finish it late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

    Looking at sentences B-D, I do notice that they use more linguistic markers than is probably strictly necessary (using both the future perfect and "by," for instance). But that redundancy doesn't offend my English ear.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Ok:)
    But I still would like to be sure if I have understood correctly that:
    He was expecting to have completed his training by now. As it is, he’s only halfway through it = He was expecting that he would have completed his training by now. As it is, he’s only halfway through it.
    he expects to have finished his training by some date in the future. = he expects he will have finished his training by some date in the future.

    I.e. I was wrong and "to + have + participle II" can be used when describing events in the future in relation to main verb, right?
    A) Oh, yes. I expect that I'll finish it on Thursday.
    B) Oh, yes. I expect that I'll have finished it by Thursday.
    C) Oh, yes. I expect that I'll finish it by Thursday.
    D) Oh, yes. I expect that I'll have finished it on Thursday.
    A) Oh, yes. I expect that I'll finish it on Thursday. = I expect to finish it on Thursday
    B) Oh, yes. I expect that I'll have finished it by Thursday. = I expect to have finished it by Thursday
    C) Oh, yes. I expect that I'll finish it by Thursday. = I expect to finish it by Thursday
    D) Oh, yes. I expect that I'll have finished it on Thursday. = I expect to have finished it on Thursday
    is that all right?
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    Ok:)
    But I still would like to be sure if I have understood correctly that:


    A) Oh, yes. I expect that I'll finish it on Thursday. = I expect to finish it on Thursday
    B) Oh, yes. I expect that I'll have finished it by Thursday. = I expect to have finished it by Thursday
    C) Oh, yes. I expect that I'll finish it by Thursday. = I expect to finish it by Thursday
    D) Oh, yes. I expect that I'll have finished it on Thursday. = I expect to have finished it on Thursday
    is that all right?
    Yes, sorry. I wrote them out as clauses and not as infinitive phrases, which was silly of me, but you translated them all correctly.
     
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