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The following sentences need to be parsed:

  1. I see a boy running towards you.
  2. I tell you to go home.
  1. What is the sentence pattern that applies to these two sentences? I think it is Subject-Verb-Object-Object Complement (S-V-O-OC). Is it right?
  2. If so, which part of speech does the verbal (bold parts in the sentences) function as in each case; why? (Verbals can only function as nominal, adjective and adverbial.)
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You seem to be adopting one particular grammatical approach (amongst many) here. For instance, many would say: "As in sentence 1 the string running towards you may be dropped and still leave a valid (if short) sentence, running towards you is an optional syntactical element, which complements aren't." 'Home' is similarly droppable in 2. I'd just label 2 a complex catenative structure involving tell and a to-infinitive (... tell X to-inf (...)). Home is a directional particle. 1 is analysable as a (complex) catenative or a participial clause structure. –  Edwin Ashworth May 15 '13 at 10:13
The OP's sentences brought to my mind a picture of a movie director who is coaching an actor on how to envision a scene the actor is in. The director says, "I see a boy running toward you. He's exhausted, but you can tell by the look on his face he has something exciting to tell you. Let's pretend I'm the boy," the director says. "I tell you to go home. How do you think you'd feel at that point?" Would the "make believe" nature of these scenarios change the parsing of the sentences? I'm just curious. –  rhetorician May 15 '13 at 14:32
@Edwin, thank you for your response. I think catenative verb can explain these two sentences' structure well. Thank you. However when I examine "catenative verb", I meet another sort of phrase which I cannot fully parse them structure. They are: have you hair cut; have the machine repaired, etc. Is the verb HAVE also a catenative verb(according to the definition, it seems catenative verb cannot be followed by past participle)? If, it is not, how to parse it structure? How to parse the sentence pattern which includes catenative verb? For example, I tell you to go home, does it apply "S-V-O-?" –  Jacky Zhang May 16 '13 at 12:51
@Edwin, since above comments are too long, no place left to say "Thank you very much"! –  Jacky Zhang May 16 '13 at 12:53
Collins lists the usage you now mention: have (13). to cause, compel, or require to (... be done): have my shoes mended. ( thefreedictionary.com/have ) Get may (at least usually) replace have in this usage, although there is a slight change in emphasis and a larger one in formality. Fairly similar structures such as ensure / see (that) my shoes are / get mended and arrange for / pay for my shoes to be mended and get Jean to cut your hair perhaps indicate elision, perhaps from a passive form. The catenative and / or auxiliary question is still under debate. –  Edwin Ashworth May 16 '13 at 21:52
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closed as not a real question by MετάEd, kiamlaluno, Hellion, Kristina Lopez, Mitch Jun 7 '13 at 23:42

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