At completing vs at having completed


Here is an example sentence from

There's a sense of elation at having completed a race of such length.

Is the part of this sentence “at having completed a race” a gerund working as noun?

Can't I just say “There's a sense of elation at completing a race of such length”?


Posted 2017-01-22T01:52:24.303

Reputation: 2 492



The pattern is known as a perfect participle. It indicates a completed action. So, you use it if you want to express(or emphasize) that the action is completed. And yes, you are right "having completed.." is a gerund clause.

You also use this pattern if you wish to emphasize that one action is before another. Some examples are here

" There's a sense of elation at completing a race of such length" is OK, but you only tell the existence of the sense at completing the race, and you do not emphasize the accomplishment.


Posted 2017-01-22T01:52:24.303

Reputation: 7 435