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Is it correct to use the perfect infinitive in this way?

  • "I want it to have been finished by that time" instead of "I want it to be finished by that time".

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  • "I wanted it to have been finished by the next day" instead of "I wanted it to be finished by the next day"

Or with people:

  • "I want you to have finished your homework by the time I get home"
  • "I wanted them to have prepared the assignment for when it was going to be necessary."
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    The only objection I have to any of these is "for when it was going to be necessary". You have a future tense ("going to be") inside a past clause ("to have prepared the assignment"), and it's completely unclear to me why you shouldn't just use the past tense there ("when it was necessary"). – Peter Shor May 18 '15 at 14:30
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    I feel like "I want it to have been finished by that time" should actually be "I would have liked for it to have been finished by that time". Unfortunately I don't know enough about grammar to know if that is correct or the reasons one way or another. – Paarth May 18 '15 at 17:00
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    "I want it to be finished by that time" sounds more correct to me. Also IMO, it should be: ''I want you to have your homework finished by the time I get home" – Nivedita May 18 '15 at 17:06
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The sentences, "I want it to have been finished by that time" and "I want it to be finished by that time" do not convey the same meaning. So, there's no question of using one instead of the other.

  1. The first statement needs correction as: "I wanted it to have been finished by that time". (both the verbs refer to the past)

  2. In the second, there's an implication of futurity.

    "I want it to be finished by that time".

Now let's consider the next pair of sentences:

"I wanted it to have been finished by the next day" and "I wanted it to be finished by the next day" almost convey the same meaning.

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  • 1: not if the time is in the future: I want it to have been finished by noon tomorrow. I think this is what the OP is asking about. – Peter Shor May 19 '15 at 16:49
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Yes it is correct, but it is verbose and unnecessarily complicated. In all the examples you cited the meaning is conveyed just as well, and more simply, without the perfect infinitive.

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