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I am trying to understand how to move the expression having been better to past perfect case in the following sentence:

They consider some period in the past having been better than the times we live at.


Something like this (although sounds odd)?

They considered some period in the past having had been better ...

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    That sentence isn't quite grammatical—it should read "some period in the past as having been," although I believe people occasionally drop the as here. The verb having been in that sentence isn't finite, so you shouldn't change it when you backshift the sentence. Jan 10, 2020 at 13:11
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    Having had been better isn't grammatical at all. English participles don't have tenses; certainly not past perfect tenses, because there's no past perfect tense in English. The entire question is a result of silly classroom instructions and rules. Jan 10, 2020 at 21:27

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The verb consider is a catenative verb. Catenative verbs take a nonfinite construction as their complement. This nonfinite verb can be in participial or to-infinitive form - or both as in the case of consider.

  • You should consider watching less Netflix. (gerund-participial)
  • I consider Netflix to be better than Disney Plus. (to-infinitive - present)
  • I consider Netflix to have deteriorated recently. (to-infinitive - perfect)

In the participial construction consider means to think about. In the infinitive construction it means to be of the opinion that. Note that the infinitive construction has to be preceded an object:

I consider [noun phrase] to [verb phrase]... .

Your sentence They consider some period in the past having been better than the times we live at uses consider in the sense of to think, to be of the opinion that. So neither of the participial constructions you suggest is possible. (And indeed the having had been + past participle construction does not exist in English.)

Amending your sentence to use the perfect infinitive results in:

They consider some period in the past to have been better than the times we live at.

A final point. You can even omit the perfect infinitive in this context. For example:

They consider the Middle Ages better than the times we live in now.

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  • Thank you for an elaborate answer.
    – Arsen Y.M.
    Jan 11, 2020 at 5:57
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They consider something developing…

They consider something having developed…

Here, let us analyze the objective part of it. “Something developing” -> Something being developed

Something having developed… -> Something having been developed….

Now this could be used in the passive voice.

Something developing is of great interest to the researchers (AV) Something being developed, was of great interest to researchers (PV) Something having developed is of great interest to the researchers (AV) Something having been developed, is of great interest to the researchers (PV)

In the absolute construction, it may be modified like, Something being developed, teachers left it to the students. Something having been developed, teachers left it to the students.

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