1. He was charged with killing 13 people.
  2. He was charged with having killed 13 people.
  3. He was charged with the crime he killed 13 people.

I suppose the phrase no. 1 is correct but the others also make sense or are they grammatically wrong?

  • 2
    3 looks as if it has two main verbs in a single phrase and would benefit from some adjustment such as "that" or ";" between crime and he
    – Henry
    Aug 6, 2012 at 11:16
  • 2
    1 and 2 are both correct, but 1, out of any context, is ambiguous: it could mean 'He was assigned the task of killing 13 people.' 3 is syntactically incomplete, as Henry says; I would write 'He was charged with the crime of having killed &c'. Aug 6, 2012 at 11:38

1 Answer 1


1 and 2 are correct.

3 is wrong. You could break it into two sentences:

He was charged with the crime. He killed 13 people.

But I think what you really mean is:

He was charged with the crime of killing 13 people.

  • 1
    3 is just missing a that after crime and before he. Whether you can skate by without it is an open question.
    – tchrist
    Aug 6, 2012 at 12:29
  • 1
    @tchrist My grammatical intuition tells me very clearly that He was charged with the crime that he killed 13 people. is wrong. I can't explain exactly why, but I'm sure it's wrong.
    – Pitarou
    Aug 6, 2012 at 12:49
  • 1
    @Pitarou, I think it's your lexical intuition - the sentence is unidiomatic, but grammatically and syntactically unexceptionable. Aug 6, 2012 at 13:56
  • @StoneyB Is this a matter that can be settled by Google NGram viewer?
    – Pitarou
    Aug 6, 2012 at 14:05
  • 1
    For the third one adding in which before the second he can fix the grammar.
    – Noah
    Aug 6, 2012 at 14:50

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