I am an ESL teacher trying to help a student prepare for a test that will have a lot of sentence parsing. We are both stumped by the second verb in causative sentences. For example:

She asked the child to read a book. She made her dog take a bath.

I've read that both the verbs "to read" and "take" are infinitives--the "take" is just a "bare infinitive." But how do you parse these verbs? To me, they seem like adverbial infinitive clauses, modifying the main verbs "asked" and "made." But other sources say that they are actually infinitive phrases acting as objects of those verbs.

I know there are similar questions on this website, but I appreciate your patience in explaining this phenomenon to me again. I didn't totally understand the reasoning behind the other examples.

THank you!

  • A related question has gone unanswered at english.stackexchange.com/questions/392936/…. – Green Grasso Holm Apr 2 '18 at 21:28
  • Might have more luck on English Language Learners. A search for "causative verb" on there gets a few results that might be helpful. – Pam Apr 2 '18 at 21:33
  • Study 'control verbs' and 'raising verbs'. – AmI Apr 2 '18 at 23:36
  • Pehaps I am repeating the verb form advice in the other comments, but I want to point out (IMO) that the issue is not "take" or "read" but the verb "made" . "She asked the child to take a bath" works fine. "She told her dog to take the ball to Dad" ..it is the use of 'made' that I think needs examination – Tom22 Apr 3 '18 at 1:00
  • From what I can tell , the issue is that certain verbs require use of the "zero infinitive" ef.edu/english-resources/english-grammar/infinitive – Tom22 Apr 3 '18 at 1:13

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