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What is the grammatical function/ part of speech of "to increase funding" and "to help countries adapt?"

The United States has been under pressure to increase funding to help countries adapt to climate risks already upon them.

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    They look like [Adverbs of Purpose](thefreedictionary.com/… to me. (Why is the US under pressure? Why should the funding be increased?). Nov 8, 2021 at 18:16
  • Welcome! Can you help us by editing your question to include what you think about these phrases so far? Nov 8, 2021 at 18:16
  • They're prepositional phrases.
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 8, 2021 at 18:20
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    They both belong to the category (your part of speech) 'infinitival clause', and they are both functioning as 'purpose adjuncts'.
    – BillJ
    Nov 8, 2021 at 19:31
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    As @BillJ said, they're purpose infinitives, like the last two words of He stopped to smoke, which does not mean the opposite of He started to smoke like He stopped smoking does. Nov 8, 2021 at 21:19

2 Answers 2

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To increase funding and to help countries adapt are to-infinitive constructions.

We follow certain adjectives—such as happy, pleased, relieved, sad, reluctant, and surprised—with to-infinitives. It happens that under pressure is a prepositional phrase idiom functioning like these adjectives here. You can swap one in to see:

The United States has been reluctant to increase funding to help countries adapt to climate risks already upon them.

The pattern there is noun (the United States) + linking verb (has been) + adjective (under pressure) + to-infinitive (to increase).

To help is an infinitive of purpose here. It functions like an adverb to answer the “why”:

Why increase funding? Increase funding [in order] to help countries adapt...

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The United States has been under pressure to increase funding [in order] to help countries adapt to climate risks [that are] already upon them.

The United States -subject

has been - verb

under pressure - prepositional modifier (adjectival) as complement

to do this - infinitive as prepositional adverbial modifying "under pressure"

{[in order] - introducing a subordinate clause of purpose

to help -

countries - noun, object of "to help"

[to] adapt [infinitive complement of "help"]

to climate risks - prepositional adverbial modifier modifying "adapt"

[that are] already upon them. - relative clause modifying "climate risks".} subordinate clause of purpose (adjectival)

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