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Questions tagged [infinitive-constructions]

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Is it true that 'for' in the 'for-to construction' has no identifiable meaning of its own?

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 1183) has this: For must occupy initial position in the subordinate clause. We have noted that it can’t occur in the interrogative and wh relative ...
JK2's user avatar
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Is the use of present infinitive wrong in the sentence? Also, what are the other uses perfect infinitive?

while reading JC Nesfield, I came across a para saying "It was rude of him to have done it" is grammatically wrong and it should be written as "It was rude of him to do that". Why ...
Akshit Raj's user avatar
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1 answer
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What is the grammatical term for a noun after a gerund/infinitive

For instance, there are the sentences "Reading books is good" and "To be a hero is your duty." Could I say that books and "hero" are objects of the verbs reading and To ...
The_Soul_Eater's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
165 views

"and has as one of its Healthy People 2020 goals to “create social and physical environments that promote good health for all.”"

I would like to ask you about the bold-faced part in the following sentence: (1) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines social determinants of health as “conditions in the places ...
yasukotta's user avatar
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2 answers
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I do not understand the structure of a sentence which has two "that", two "is", and one "this" [closed]

I don't understand how the sentence below is constructed. But to think that’s all that this is about is to miss part of the picture.
Abc1997's user avatar
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3 answers
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If "to X" signifies an infinitive, what form is the phrase "to be able to X", and can it be split?

"To slowly walk" is a split infinitive which is sometimes frowned upon, in which case "slowly to walk" or "to walk slowly" is often preferred. "To be able to walk&...
TylerDurden's user avatar
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1 answer
87 views

What is the name for the phenomenon where an English verb that takes a clausal complement either does or does not mark the infinitive with "to"?

Let them go home. *Let them to go home. *Allow them go home. Allow them to go home. Make them go home. *Make them to go home. *Force them go home. Force them to go home. What is the reason that &...
Sam Engel's user avatar
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Why "Harry enter" and not "entered" the room? [duplicate]

Consider this paragraph: Far from wishing Harry a happy birthday, none of the Dursleys made any sign that they had noticed Harry enter the room, but Harry was far too used to this to care. I ...
Masked Man's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
294 views

What are the roles of ‘can’, ‘do’, and ‘is’ in ‘All a man can do is smile back’?

What roles (Subject, Head etc) do the words can, do and is each play in this sentence in terms of its syntactic grammar, either individually or as a group? Death smiles at us all, but all a man can ...
ali hashemi's user avatar
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2 answers
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"It sounds weird to me to not see a subject in the sentence"

I am writing a comment about a sentence's grammaticality and I feel uncertain about these options that came to mind: It (the sentence) sounds weird to me to not see a subject in the sentence. I ...
desmo's user avatar
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Function of non-finite infinitive clause in catenative constructions

I am bit perplexed as to the function of the infinitive subordinate clause in the following examples: I know him to be a good man. I persuaded him to leave. In analyzing this sentence, "know&...
Med Jr's user avatar
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to-infinitival subordinate clause [closed]

saw a sentence in the class's slide: "Missy began to think when will he arrive." I think "to think when will he arrive" and "when will he arrive" are two subordinate ...
Tsuki's user avatar
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1 answer
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Are these uses of infinitive phrases syntactic modifiers or syntactic complements, and of what?

I have two questions about the grammatical roles of the infinitive phrases in these two sentences: He is the person to contact if you will need any advice. There is a person to connect A PC to B PC. ...
user465498's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
301 views

Use of "to" in "updates to come"/"more to follow"

I'm confused by the construction of "Noun + to infinitive". Is it short for "Noun is + to infinitive?" "Updates to come" becomes "update is to come". "More ...
Jembot's user avatar
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1 answer
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Omitting 'for NP' in 'for NP to VP'

(1) He waited (for her) to be released. Here, the construction for her can be left out without affecting the acceptability, only the semantic subject of be released is now he without for her. Almost ...
JK2's user avatar
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The difference in meaning between to infinitive and gerund in catenative structures

I saw some examples in a paper on gerund and infinitive as follows. ... deciding whether to use a gerund or an infinitive after a verb can be perplexing among students for whom English is a second ...
Englishy's user avatar
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"No one is easy to talk to"

Do clauses with predicates that take infinitival complements like easy or ready such as the examples in (1) combine naturally with negative subjects? Are the examples in (2) OK? (1a) John is easy to ...
Zoltan's user avatar
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Question on prepositional constructions

Consider the below sentences. We do not have much time in which to do it. There is the item with which to do the task. I think these constructions are called infinitival relative clauses, a ...
Eric's user avatar
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4 answers
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A to-infinitive is formed with 'to' plus the base form of a verb. What part of speech does 'to' belong to?

I want to go home. Here the word to belongs to what part of speech?
Mizanur Rahman Mithun's user avatar
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1 answer
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To help and gerund clauses

I've reached an impasse with my girlfriend (both non-native speakers) about this sentence she used: Maybe we didn't have enough of it for it to become routine again and help measuring time To me, ...
Radu's user avatar
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"To not undertake" or "not to undertake" [duplicate]

In Buckingham Palace's statement on Prince Andrew they say this: [He] will continue not to undertake any public duties... This strikes me as a very awkward phrase. Would it have been better had they ...
Fraser Orr's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
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Can "the idea" ever idiomatically take an infinitive?

I just ran across this sentence in an Ars Technica article: The idea to use a marble came from a scene in the pilot, in which Holmes uses a marble to determine a building’s floor is slanted. And it ...
Eddie Kal's user avatar
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What's the grammatical function of "to luxuriate in their style and emotions" in this sentence?

These are films to live in, to luxuriate in their style and emotions. (source: LA Times) This sentence grates on my ear, and I am not sure it can be parsed as a grammatical sentence. The infinitive &...
Eddie Kal's user avatar
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Are the infinitive phrases adverbial or adjectival in these sentences?

I am looking for water to drink. The infinitive "to drink" is obviously an adjectival infinitive that modifies "water". I am looking for water to quench my thirst. I feel iffy ...
Eddie Kal's user avatar
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2 votes
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What is the number of the verb in "We require that"? [duplicate]

I am writing a paper in which I need an object to satisfy a condition. (I can give the specifics here, but it seems to be irrelevant to the question.) The object is singular, so I originally wrote (...
LSpice's user avatar
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1 answer
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When to use "whom" and "who" when the direct object is also doing an action

"I just saw that guy throw a ball." "[T]hat guy," the direct object, is now doing the action of "throw[ing]." So, could one ask, "Whom did you see throw the ball?&...
user429547's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
327 views

Is the "Actor" a Proper Element of an Infinitive Phrase?

[THIRD EDIT]: A well-written question from two years ago hits on essentially the same point as my question, but from a different direction. Unfortunately, the one or two responses to that question ...
Matthew Rips's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
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“There is to be no more loss today” sentence [duplicate]

There is to be no more loss today. In this sentence, I don’t understand the grammar structure. Why does “to be” come after “there is”?
Mutlucan's user avatar
22 votes
6 answers
6k views

Is there such a thing as a future infinitive in English?

I am currently working on the English idiomatic phrase "Someone is said (to do/to be doing/to have done) something," and, try as I might, I cannot find any worthwhile piece of information ...
user58319's user avatar
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A Specific Case of Infinitive as Adjective

To see him, you would have supposed he had been doing this for years. Having first thought that to see him was an adverb, I then noticed it wasn’t exactly doing the work of an adverb and might just as ...
David Roth's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
209 views

You can have 'it is important to do X'; can you have 'it is urgent to do X'?

I'm proofreading an academic text, and I came across 'It is urgent to develop new theories for...' Intuitively this use of 'urgent' seems non-standard to me, and while I've resolved (or I suppose ...
Jevere's user avatar
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-1 votes
3 answers
416 views

Active perfect infinitive

I was happy to have finished everything early I was watching a video on active and passive infinitive and this example was in the video. I don't understand why the present perfect is used "to ...
Rich Handsome Guy's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
404 views

Should this verb be in the third-person singular form, the infinitive form, or the present participle form? [duplicate]

Watching a game review, I've noticed a phrase whose meaning confused me. The reason why I got confused is that the author used a base form of the verb "to explore" in pair with the singular ...
Maxyeet's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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omission of semantic subject

Toni Morrison began writing when she was in college, but she did not produce anything good enough to publish for many years. Her troubled marriage, divorce, and life as a single mother made it even ...
jinku's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
205 views

Is there any 'for + NP + to-infinitive' where the NP is not the semantic subject of the infinitive?

In (a), for example, you is the semantic subject of apologize: a. I've been waiting for you to apologize. Is there any for + NP + to-infinitive where the NP is not the semantic subject of the ...
listeneva's user avatar
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0 answers
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when should "to" be preposition or be part of infinitive? [duplicate]

When "to" is a preposition: I look forward to receiving your letter. When "to" is part of the infinitive: I expect you to come over. My question is, how could I know whether "to" is a preposition or ...
HypnoticBuggyWraithVirileBevy's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
82 views

Matrix clause or infinitival clause?

What is the function of “the doctor” in the following sentences? Is it a constituent of the matrix clause or of the infinitival clause? I wanted the doctor to examine my daughter. I persuaded the ...
user300887's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
85 views

Is 'to' a part of infinitive when using 'to + verb' and 'to' has the same meaning as 'in order to'

Please, take a look at the examples below. I started to cry. I opened my eyes to see them. ('to' = 'in order to') In the first example the 'to cry' part is sure an infinitive. It corresponds to ...
chumakoff's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
1k views

"Love to see this happen?" or 'Love to see this happens?" What's the grammar rule behind this? [closed]

It confuses me sometimes. It looks likes the former is far more common. But what's the logic behind that?
Joshua Yip's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
158 views

It is not + noun + to infinitive

I do know an adjective (without a noun) in this construction can be followed by a to-infinitive, as in: It is not acceptable to kill a goat in that way. It is not good to kill him here. But, is it ...
Fadli Sheikh's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
220 views

What is the subject in a passive infinitive sentence saying "to be considered for a promotion"

Once the employees have completed the company's largest project successfully, they will be offered an opportunity to be considered for a promotion. I found that sentence in my English book and ...
Jean's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
991 views

Usage of infinitive or gerund

For him to sail back is unthinkable For him sailing back is unthinkable. Why is the second sentence considered as wrong? Can the first sentence be paraphrased as (1) It is unthinkable that he could ...
user329742's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
576 views

"To hunt is my favorite pastime." What part of speech is "to hunt" in this sentence?

The function of infinitives seems to be up for grabs at the last post I commented at. I either need to be schooled or my interlocutors do. May your answers bring some clarity. These are your choices....
Joseph O.'s user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
191 views

What is the trail of logic in the sentence

Consider the sentence You don't need to patronize me. To patronize is an infinitive. But I can't understand why use of me is right. Is it the object of the infinitive or of the need verb? Can an ...
Manish Kumar Balayan's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Changing the passive infinitive into the active voice

This problem has been bothering me for almost a week. I was hoping for that lightbulb moment but it's still dark in the attic, so here I am. In the English coursebook, MyGrammarLab Advanced C1/C2, ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
60 views

Is the sentence "We see this problem be unsolvable." grammatically correct? [closed]

This is supposed to be the correct answer to one of the exercises from a B2 textbook written by a non-native author. It struck me as odd, but my teacher (also a non-native speaker) told me that such ...
Matthew Estevez's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
380 views

Grammatical term for a noun coming after an infinitive?

I didn't come to offer help. As far as I can tell, this is how I would analyze this sentence from a grammatical perspective. I = pronoun didn't = aux. verb with "not" for negation. come = zero ...
PlagueDoc's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
2k views

Which one is true: try to not repeat it or try not to repeat it? [closed]

Which one is true: try to not repeat it or try not to repeat it? English is my favorite lesson😁😁😁
Paria's user avatar
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1 vote
4 answers
4k views

Question marks in titles, in particular those beginning 'How to ...'

I found the following blog title without a question mark from The Hindu site: How to ease Afghanistan’s progress in cricket Is it grammatical, if we don't put question mark in questions of titles? ...
Ahmed's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
427 views

Bare infinitive with exceptions

Reading the sentence: "We were still talking about what we should do when we heard the children shouting". in the above sentence, why don't we write "heard the children shout", as the verb 'hear' ...
user261207's user avatar