I am going to study.

Does "to study" act as an adverb, a direct object, or something else? My gut feeling says adverb. Thanks for your help.

  • 1
    Let's just call it a complement. It's a complement of the catenative verb Commented May 3, 2017 at 12:06
  • @user178049: But isn't it still a "complement" in I am going to work regardless of whether to is a preposition (work is where I'm going) or an infinitive marker (work is what I will be doing)? Commented May 3, 2017 at 13:04
  • @FumbleFingers I mean just call it a complement when we are not sure whether it's an object or adverb. Commented May 3, 2017 at 13:16
  • @FumbleFingers It's often referred to as a 'catenative complement' in this situation.. Commented May 3, 2017 at 15:06
  • @Araucaria Man: John Lawler seems to be referring to this construction where he says they are subordinate clauses and they function as nouns in the sentence. Dunno if this question is a duplicate of that one though. Commented May 3, 2017 at 15:29

2 Answers 2


In the sentence 'I am going to study", "to study" acts as the verb in fact. 'I' is the subject and as far as " To be going to" is concerned, it plays itself the role of an auxiliary verb expressing the action in a very near future. In consequence, there is no complement in this sentence, which solely composed of a subject and a verb, lacks to be meaningful.


"To study" might seem like a dependent adverbial clause, if you are going for the purpose of studying.

Or the sentence might be employing the infinitive "to study" as main verb preceded by the future construct, be + going + infinitive. [I am, you/we/they are, he/she/it is. . .going to study.]

Sources: Is "am going" a verb phrase?


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