I'm trying to understand the perfect aspect of the verbs and I am not sure whether both are correct:

He denied having killed him

He denied he had killed him.

If not, what is the problem?

And one additional question, is deny to correct? I have seen it often on the Internet - He denied to ever be there. I have read that deny to is incorrect.

  • 1
    Or more simply, He denied killing him.
    – tchrist
    Mar 20 '14 at 12:03

"denied" requires an object. This is often a noun: "he denied the accusations", a gerund: "He denied having killed him", or a subordinate clause "He denied (that) he had killed him."

However, none of this is related to the perfect. "denied" is in the simple past. The same examples in perfect would be:

"he has denied the accusations" "he has denied having killed him" "he has denied that he had killed him"

"had killed" is in the past perfect - it happened before something else:

"He denied that he had killed him." in this case the act of killing happened before the denial.

"He has denied that he had killed him" - in this case the act of killing happened before something else, not specified in the sentence.

"Deny to" - is an archaic usage meaning to refuse : "he denied to pay his rent"


The most common form of this sentence would be "He denied" followed by the continuous form of the verb. Eg. He denied killing him.

Out of the two sentences above, the second one has a missing "that" which should be added after the second "he". The first sentence is correct.

  • You don't need a "that". Mar 20 '14 at 12:52

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