In a noun phrase (NP), a verb phrase (VP) can act as a complement of a noun as follows:

OPEC's decision to cut production by more than 1.5m barrels a day

the option to replace you with your legal guardian

the ability to regulate

the opportunity to fix that

It seems that a VP acting as a complement of a noun in an NP can only take the form of a to-infinitive phrase.

Currently, I cannot think of any other form of VP (i.e., a bare infinitive phrase or a gerund-participle phrase) acting as a complement of a noun in an NP.

I'd like to know if this is true, and if so, what the reason might be.

  • Would you consider "To stop and smell the roses was his great joy" as a bare infinitive VP acting as a complement? – rajah9 Apr 12 '18 at 2:23
  • @rajah9 Where is the NP of which your VP acts as a complement? – JK2 Apr 12 '18 at 2:56
  • Have you at least searched online for possible hints to the likely answer? – Kris Apr 12 '18 at 9:26
  • CamGEL treat the Complements you mention as clauses (headed, of course, by VPs with the same surface form). I don't know what the rationale for doing this is in each case though. In your second or third examples, though, there could easily be a subject an option for them to apply later, no opportunity for them to fix that, so analysing those Complements as clauses would make sense. I can't think of a case where a noun would take a gerund-participial clause as a Complement, and there are no examples of this happening in CamGEL in their chapter on nouns and noun phrases. – Araucaria Apr 19 '18 at 12:32

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