... to have ever lived/to ever live

Shweggeh

Senior Member
Lithuanian (not certain)
She must be the coolest human to have ever lived/to ever live.
Could someone explain the difference of these two to me? Cheers.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    At all?! There has to be some! Otherwise these two wouldn't differ in structure :(
    Welcome to English! :D The idea that "something can only be said in one way" is foreign to English.

    Here are the two sentences we are discussing:

    She must be the coolest human to have ever lived.
    She must be the coolest human to ever live.

    In general, "to live" and "to have lived" have different meanings. But in your example sentence, other comments ("ever" and "-est human") override that meaning entirely. "Coolest to have ever lived" and "coolest to ever live" both mean "coolest in history". The sentence is not saying anything about her "living".

    Here is an example where the meaning is not over-ridden. These two sentences have different meanings:

    She has lived in England.
    She lived in England.
     

    Shweggeh

    Senior Member
    Lithuanian (not certain)
    Welcome to English! :D The idea that "something can only be said in one way" is foreign to English.

    Here are the two sentences we are discussing:

    She must be the coolest human to have ever lived.
    She must be the coolest human to ever live.

    In general, "to live" and "to have lived" have different meanings. But in your example sentence, other comments ("ever" and "-est human") override that meaning entirely. "Coolest to have ever lived" and "coolest to ever live" both mean "coolest in history". The sentence is not saying anything about her "living".

    Here is an example where the meaning is not over-ridden. These two sentences have different meanings:

    She has lived in England.
    She lived in England.
    Ah, makes sense, I suppose. Thanks!
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top