112

Gollum's speech is consistently shown as non-standard. He regularly adds an additional "-es" to already plural words (eg "pocketses"). This is a case of adding "-s" to a verb form that does not need it. I'm not aware of any real dialect of English, or any common speech pathology, that has these characteristics: as far as I know, Tolkien invented it for the ...


42

Help is a special verb in that way - the to is usually dropped from an infinitive when it is modifying help. This form of infinitive is called the bare infinitive: The bare infinitive is used as the main verb after the dummy auxiliary verb do, or most modal auxiliary verbs (such as will, can, or should). So, "I will/do/can/etc. see it." Several ...


34

Let's change the main verb to "see". All the following adjectives accept an infinite I was happy to see her I was sorry to see her I was surprised to see her I was disappointed to see her 5a . I was sad to see her (go) 5b. I was saddened to see her ‘I was saddened to see their lack of commitment.’ I was mad to see her Incidentally, mad in ...


29

The verb be followed by a to-infinitive is used in historical narratives to convey that something took place later than the narrative moment. In your example, Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. the translator uses this construction to ...


27

The word "can," meaning to put in a can, has the infinitive "to can." The modal verb "can," meaning to be able, is invariable and defective, the latter meaning it has no infinitive or participle forms.


25

In English, the form V + -ing is called a gerund if it serves as a noun. For example, the gerund form of "run" is "running". (I like cats, I like dogs, I like running). However, not all V + ing forms are gerunds--in "I am running", "running" is another verb. This blog post explains that there are a few cases where you use to + V + -ing: 1) If the to is ...


21

The semantics of the verb allow meaning "permit" has three arguments, making it a trivalent verb. Using the linguistic terminology for thematic relations, there is the entity that is granting the permission (the agent), the entity that receives the permission (the patient), and the thing that is permitted (the theme). The verb allow can be used in three ...


21

Both are correct, but they have very different meanings. I stopped working means I once worked, and now no longer do. I stopped to work means that I once was doing something (unspecified, based on context), and I ceased from doing it so that I could work. The infinitive (to work) here has the meaning of in order to work and so that I could work. So I ...


17

I have decided on + object I have decided to + verb The usage is based on the construction of the sentence. You could say: I have decided to buy a blue carpet for the bedroom. I have decided on emigrating [or emigration] to Australia. EDIT As mentioned in John Lawler's comment, there is a subtle difference between the two. Decide to suggests that ...


16

Not all verbs have infinitives. From Wikipedia: Defective verbs The modal auxiliary verbs, can, may, shall, will and must are defective in that they do not have infinitives; so, one cannot say, *I want him to can do it, but rather must say, I want him to be able to do it. The periphrases to be able to, to have to and to be going to are generally used ...


16

It's ungrammatical, but Tolkien knew what he was doing. It's possible that Gollum is purposely trying to sound childlike and pathetic here. Tolkien might also have been trying to represent that Gollum, who had spent centuries in hiding, spoke an archaic rural dialect. He similarly "translated" Westron as English and the dialects of the Shire, Rohan and ...


15

In that construct, the subjunctive mood should be used, which happen to be “be” for to be. No, let me say that again: the present subjunctive of the verb be at the third person of the plural is “that they be”. The distinction between subjunctive and indicative moods, however blurred it may appear to be in Modern English, is still retained in both the spoken ...


15

None of them are incorrect. English sense verbs, unlike most complement-taking verbs, can take either gerund or infinitive complements. I saw/heard him leave/leaving. This is most common with long-distance senses, of course; -- She smelled him leaving is a fairly unlikely (though not ungrammatical) thing to say. It may be (and undoubtedly some people ...


15

The construction used here is help + object + bare infinitive. Here are two more examples: Can you help me fix my bike? I helped my father cut the grass. An equally grammatical equivalent to the above construction is to include the to before the bare form: Can you help me to fix my bike? I helped my father to cut the grass. It is clear that ...


15

If I had to guess, it would be that this form "{subject} {verb} {adjective} {infinitive phrase}" does not always work. The sentence you described, "I was happy to help you" will work but replace happy with other adjectives to see if it works. I was hungry to help you I was eager to help you I was sad to help you I was mad to help you Out ...


15

“He is wished to be here” is marginally grammatical, but in practise very unlikely. Although he may be cast in the “object” case with an infinitival complement (I wish him to be here), it is not an actual object of the verb wish. It is actually the subject of the clause complementing wish, (I wish that he were here) and only formally ...


14

The particle to is what's called a Complementizer. It marks the verb following as an Infinitive (in English, that's necessary because English infinitive verb forms are identical with the present tense forms -- to go, I go; to sit, I sit, except for the single verb be (I am, to be). More on infinitive complements here To is not a part of the verb that ...


14

The normal form of a negative infinitive is "not to X", in all contexts. The form "to not X" is grammatical (notwithstanding the generations of people who have moaned about "splitting the infinitive"), but unusual, and would only be used in order to convey a special meaning. So "I try not to care" would be normal, but "I try to not care" would be spoken ...


14

In many cases — and this is one of them — there is no difference between start with an Equi (PDF) infinitive complement clause to work again in Things started to work again. and start with an Equi gerund complement clause working again in Things started working again. Some people sometimes might use this distinction in form to signal a distinction ...


14

It explains in this book that while "believe him to be" is a phrase commonly used in English (as is "consider him to be"), "think him to be" is not, and, further, that there is no apparent logic for why this should be so. So the correct answer is (b), but if you're learning English as a second language, you shouldn't feel bad for not getting this right.


14

EDIT: Added modals including quasi-modals; added examples and exceptions; note that these lists are only “complete” for the modals and quasi-modals. That’s because make does not take a to-infinitive. It takes a bare infinitive, without the to particle. Not all infinitives have a to attached to them. You really have to learn the sort of complement each ...


14

The sentences are quite similar. They convey similar meanings. Without being overly technical (not that I'm capable of it), I suggest sentence number one sounds more definite than sentence two. An appropriate comment coming after sentence one might be, for example, "[He is planning to do something.] We are not sure what he is planning, but we know he'...


14

This is a situation where Neg-Raising is useful. You want the negative in the main clause: This does not appear to work any longer in any web browser. Double any's in the sentence is fixable by Neg-Raising the whole phrase no longer This no longer appears to work in any web browser.


13

The vast majority of native speakers do not say *I think him to be about 50. This isn't some arbitrary idiomatic quirk, as has been suggested elsewhere - it's a subtle distinction based on the precise range of meanings covered by words such as think, believe, assume, judge, know, etc., and the implications of (pro)noun with "to be" + adjective constructions ...


13

The problem is not that you used due to at the beginning of a sentence. The problem is that due to must be followed by a nominal phrase, since to is a preposition and prepositions are (almost) always followed by nominal phrases. For this reason, you need to use a verbal noun or a gerund after to: Due to having less features than an actual standard system, ...


12

There is no grammatical limit. The sentence could continue The witness refuses to consider to agree to testify to help to free . . . However, anyone writing like that would quickly try the patience of the reader.


12

I would say that they both can be correct. "I should have seen it glow" implies that you should have taken notice at the time the item started to glow. (Effectively, "I should have seen it [when it started to] glow.") "I should have seen it glowing" implies that the item was glowing for a significant length of time, and you never noticed it during that ...


12

Grammatically, all the sentences are correct. There are usually differences in implication depending on context. Subtle changes in meaning can be imparted by what is called semantics. Note also that some forms/ constructs may be idiomatic in some places but not in others. So what sounds natural to some people may be odd to others. It is important to ...


12

I’m afraid the answer is ultimately a very disappointing “because it is”. There are various types of adjectives, and like verbs, different adjectives have different properties of valency. Some cannot take any complements; some can take one or more optional complements; and some must take one or more mandatory complements. Of those that can or must take ...


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