I just wondering if the meaning of the following sentences are equivalent? I know the difference between past and perfect tenses. So I'm just trying to ask if I can use first sentence instead of the second and vice verse?

She refused her knowing him.


She refused her having known him.


  • In English, there is only a continuous-present (aka present progressive) form of gerunds. I have no idea what a "perfect form" gerund is for the English language. Mar 11, 2015 at 1:35
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    Neither one of these sentences is grammatical. Refuse does not take a gerund complement, for one thing. For another, perfect gerunds are composed of having plus the perfect passive participle form of the verb (known, in this case, rather than know). Mar 11, 2015 at 1:41
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    @BlessedGeek It's reasonable to talk of a gerund-participles and the perfect aspect. We can basically have a gerund form of a perfect construction, eg "having finished" as a gerund construction relating to "have finished". It's just silly on the other hand to talk of all gerunds being present continuous or present progressive. Mar 25, 2015 at 14:21

1 Answer 1


They are neither grammatical nor interchangeable. "She denied knowing him." (the first one revised) and "She denied having known him." (the second one revised) are still different. In the first she might still know him (denial or no); in the second she can't still know him.

  • This site is for Germans learning Englisch, but is instructive: link
    – wys1wyg
    Mar 11, 2015 at 2:25

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