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I gave her medicine to keep from falling sick.

Is this sentence right?
Intended meaning is that I have a friend who is not feeling well therefore, I gave her medicine so that she will not be sick.

I took medicines from her to keep from falling sick.

Is this sentence right considering the intended meaning - I am not feeling well. And I want to keep from falling sick. therefore, I took medicines from her.

For me they both sound right and seems to convet the intended meaning which is clear from context. But the issue is that I have learnt that infinitive modifies the subject of the sentence. For example (see the link) here it is suggested that infinitive modifies to the subject only. Therefore, we need to rewrite the sentence. Passive form of a sentence that has "promise to [verb]"

Please let me know how infinitive modifier works? Can it go to object or not? OR depending on the meaning it can modify anything. If that's the case then both of these sentences should be right.

  • 'to keep from falling sick' must refer back to the subject in the independent clause, and thus doesn't make much sense here. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 9 '15 at 15:37
  • (a) there is no way to make the infinitive clause passive; (b) making the main clause passive will not solve the problem; (c) "infinitive modifier" does not describe this construction; both of these are infinitive purpose clauses, which are adverbial clauses of purpose. Purpose infinitives can be optionally preceded by in order; and, like all adverb clauses, they may be fronted. I.e, (In order) to keep from falling sick, I gave her medicine. Clearly the subject of the infinitive in the inverted sentence is I, but equally clearly that can only make sense in a very strange situation. – John Lawler Apr 9 '15 at 16:01
  • I understood that " I gave her medicine to keep from falling sick" will not convey the meaning I wanted to convey. (The meaning I want to convey is that I have a friend who is not feeling well therefore, I gave her medicine so that she will not be sick.)....1)What can I change in my sentence so it conveys this meaning. (want to keep infinitive there) 2) pls confirm if the second sentence in my post is fine. 3) I want you to go to supermarket. Here this infinitive modifies "you". If you shed some light on this how these modifiers works. It will be a great help. – Jov Apr 9 '15 at 17:19
  • falling sick suggests that she's not sick now, but might become sick. If she's already sick, you would say help her get better. – Barmar Apr 9 '15 at 20:19
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The infinitives in your two examples are called infinitive of purpose and have the meaning of "in order to do". They are an additional sentence part answering the question why/what for. They are no modifier, but an adverbial sentence part.

To make your first sentence clearer you should say: He gave her medicine to keep her from falling sick.

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Possibilities:

I gave her medicine to prevent her becoming sick again.

I gave her medicine to avoid her falling sick again.

I gave her medicine to prevent her getting sick again.

E.g.,

Accidentally on Purpose - Page 200 Michael York, ‎Julie Rubenstein - 1993

He also confirmed that the incident had not been caused by the conditions in India, but by the pills prescribed by a Harley Street colleague to prevent her getting sick there.

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