I intend to see it carried out

Can we use a phrasal verb as an adverb or modifier? In the above sentence I think carried out is used as modifier.

If the function of carried out is different then please explain me properly. Thanks

  • The transitive multi-word verb 'carry out' can be replaced by 'do' or 'complete' here. This question then asks about the function of 'done' in 'I intend to see it done'. Commented May 24, 2018 at 15:51

2 Answers 2


I intend to see it carried out

is probably best interpreted as a shortened form of

I intend to see that it is carried out.

CED lists the relevant sense of see:

see verb (MAKE CERTAIN) ​

C2 [ + (that) ] [which may often be deleted] to make certain that something happens:

[UK] See (that) you're ready by five, or there'll be trouble.

The receptionist said he will see (that) she is warned. [modified to fit example here]

So the string 'carried out' is verbal, not modifying 'it'. Replacing the transitive multi-word verb by a simplex synonym,

I intend to see it finished / I intend to see that it is finished.


With 'I intend to see it finished', there is an alternative reading where 'finished' post-modifies the pronoun:

'I don't like seeing a half-built building; I intend to see it finished'

(with the usual sense for 'see').

And for the literal sense,

The man carried out on a stretcher was her brother

uses what some would see as a whiz-deleted construction – a reduced relative clause – modifying '[the] man'.


A modifier can be taken out without affecting the sentence structure. I do not think that is he case here.

I also think that the part that is to be named is "it carried out" as your sentence essentially is a variation of "I intend to see to X"

so in effect it is two phrasal verbs, one as object.

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