I'm a middle school grammar teacher, and I am absolutely stumped on how to diagram the following sentence:

I will have had been known to do that.

  • I know "I" is the subject.
  • I know "that" is the object.
  • I know "to do" is the infinitive so it goes up on stilts.
  • I don't know anything else.

I realize this is a horrible sentence; a sentence that I'd never encourage my students to use. It's purely hypothetical, but it's been driving me bananas. The context of the sentence is as follows (so you can be certain that it is grammatically correct): I'm living in the future, and I travel to the past (which is the present) and then the people who live farther in the future from where I'm from, upon reflection, are saying I'm a notable time traveler.

Thank you for your consideration and help.

Most kindly, Ali

  • Who writes such hypotheticals? It doesn't make sense. It is written by someone who does not know English. – Xanne Apr 27 '17 at 19:24
  • Looks like an episode from Big Bang Theory when they were discussing hypothetical situations of alternate realities in Back to the Future. – Cascabel Apr 27 '17 at 20:23
  • 3
    The sentence is not grammatical. English does not have a plu-pluperfect (‘have had been’). “I will have been known to do that” is grammatical. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Apr 27 '17 at 20:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.