I read this sentence in a book recently:
What I should have done is given him the...
(Emphasis mine) I'm not a linguist but I thought it should be:
What I should have done is give him the...
Can anyone tell me which is right and why? Thank you.
Going by what most people have said, if the first is grammatically correct (which I do not argue), the explanation I can think of is this: from the first part of the sentence (the subject)
What I should have done, there is a present perfect tense (i.e.
have done). This influences the second part of the sentence (the predicate, I think that's what it is called as I'm not an English student) and makes it a present perfect tense, too (
given, in this case).
Going by this reasoning, as I asked in a comment, this example should be grammatically correct:
What I did was gave him...
I'm sorry if it seems I'm pushing this too far. I'm quite particular about trivial matters.