FORM OF THE TENSES.
12. a) The • only tenses that are not formed by means of auxiliaries are the present and the preterite. We may assume the present to be a kind of base from which the preterite is formed or, which comes to the same thing, the absence of preterite inflection may be said to constitute the present tense, Thus (l) saw and (I) learned may be understood as inflected forms of, respectively, (I) see and (I) learn.
b) Verbals having no inflection for tense, the fact that the action or state expressed by them belongs to a time-sphere anterior to that of the action or state expressed by the finite verb, with which they are syntactically connected, is expressed by means of the auxiliary to have, formerly also to be. (14.) Compare:
1) I know that he was here a minute with I know him to have been here a ago. minute ago.
2) I thank you that you did alt this — I thank you for having done all for me when I was away. this for me when I was away.
3) As he was bom on May 3th 1900, — Having been bom on May 4th 1900, he has now completed his twentieth he has now completed histwehyear. tieth year.
c) A change of tense of the finite verb does not affect the tense of the verbal syntactically connected with it.
1) He wants (wanted, will want) him to apologize.
He regrets (regretted, will regret) to have been absent.
2) In coming home, he takes (took, will take) his way through the park. He remembers (remembered, will remember) having seen him.
3) His father being a soldier, he wants (wanted, will want) to go into the army. His father having been a soldier, he wants (wanted, will want) to go into the army.
d) Complex predicates, however, substitute the perfect infinitive for the imperfect when the primary dividing-point is exchanged for the secondary dividing-point of the past. Compare:
It is strange that we should meet here, with: It was strange that we should
have met there. 'v