Why do we use 'zu haben' and what kind of grammatical construction is used in this sentence:

"Manchmal überrumpelte er einen, indem er schlagartig die Position des anderen zu seiner eigenen machte und abstritt, je anders gedacht zu haben." (Steve Jobs, Die autorisierte Biografie des Apple-Gründers, s. 146)

I understand everything before

je anders gedacht zu haben

But then I'm missing kind of grammatical construct used there. Maybe it is some kind of idiomatical construction?

  • 3
    Not very different from the English construction, "to have thought otherwise", where you also use the infinitive of "have" together with "to". – Beta Feb 3 '18 at 7:09

Shortened sentence:

Er stritt ab, je anders gedacht zu haben.
He denied ever having thought otherwise.

This construction is called »Infinitivsatz«. You can replace it with a dass-Satz (Nebensatz, der mit »dass« eingeleitet wird):

Er stritt ab, dass er je anders gedacht hat.
He denied that he ever had thought otherwise.

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