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What's the grammatical function of not and to in this sentence?

It is legitimate for Slovenia not to allow the merger.

How do I analyse the verb phrase? Allow is the headword, but what are not and to?

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2 Answers 2

"to" is part of the "to allow" construction, the infinitive of the verb. The "not" simply negates (i.e. says "do the opposite") to this.

It would be equivalent to say this:

It is legitimate for Slovenia to prohibit the merger. It is legitimate for Slovenia to disallow the merger.

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to is a preposition. However, in this case to simply acts as a marker of the infinitive verb to allow.

not is usually considered an adverb. In this case it negates the infinitive to allow.

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I respectfully disagree with a part of your first statement: "'to' is a preposition." Here, "to" is an infinitive marker, but not a preposition. Consider "All eyes look to Slovenia to merge." The first "to" is a preposition and could be replaced with other prepositions "toward," "for" or "at." The second "to" is used to mark the infinitive, and therefore could not be replaced with a preposition. –  rajah9 Apr 20 '11 at 18:56

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