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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Asking for help    

Asking for help



kiscsepo
Hungary

Asking for help
 
Dear Friends, I´ ve just done a grammar task and I still don´ t understand why my answer was wrong. Can anybody help me with a clear explanation? He denied ....( lie) to them about the theft. My answer was : having lied as I supposed lying happened earlier. But the answer key says: lying is the correct solution. I still don´ t get it. I would be grateful if u could help. Have a nice day. :)

8 Jan 2019      



tacumaki
Hungary

deny belongs to the group of verbs after which you have to use the gerund (ing form). Similar verbs are suggest, spend, etc.

8 Jan 2019     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

You would most commonly hear that form there: he denied lying and that would be my choice between those answers. I don´t think anyone would turn a hair if you said ´ he denied having lied´though... 
This thread might help explain (as well as tacumaki´s reply)Page down a bit and it addresses your point. 

8 Jan 2019     



yanogator
United States

I agree with Lynne, and would soften Tacumaki´s answer by saying that you usually use the gerund after "deny", not that you have to.
 
Bruce 

8 Jan 2019     



kiscsepo
Hungary

Thank you for the answers. Yes, I understand that a gerund form is required after "deny". The thing that I was unsure about was whether "perfect gerund" is acceptable or not. But if it sounds strange, I ´ll use the "simple gerund form".
Thanks for your suggestions. 

8 Jan 2019     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

Yes, it is counter-intuitive - as you say, the lying happened first! Whoever  said English was easy and logical? Not me;-) 

9 Jan 2019     



kiscsepo
Hungary

So true :)

9 Jan 2019     



aperkins4
United States

Both answers are correct and would be marked as correct by any reasonable teacher. The main requirement is to have an object following "denied". You used "having +PP" as the gerund instead of "lying" as the gerund, but both fufill the requirements of the grammar and syntax.

The only ambiguity (confusion) which could occur is if the sentence was talking about two different events. E.G. "He denied, having hidden the evidence, lying to them about the theft."

However, as you can see, this sentence structure requires additional information and additional commas. Your sentence, "He denied having lied to them about the theft." is 100% grammatically correct and sounds natural to native speakers.
 
The only other argument I can think of is that, perhaps, "lying" would have immediately happened prior to the sentence whereas "having lied" could have been any period of time in the past--minutes, hours, days, or even years. Even this possibility does not make one answer better than the other, however. You can be proud of your answer; it simply wasn´t the answer the grammar task was looking for. It´s not uncommon for even native speakers of English to overlook multiple possible answers to their grammar tasks. Mistakes and oversights are easy to make when creating grammar activities.

15 Jan 2019