113

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 ...


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.


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

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 ...


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 in ...


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

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'...


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

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

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 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, ...


13

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

Consider this sentence: "The teacher wanted to frequently scold tardy students." Eliminate the split infinitive without completely re-writing the sentence. "The teacher frequently wanted to scold tardy students." Does not mean the same thing. The original sentence says that the teacher wanted to scold them many times. The second sentence says that the ...


12

This sentence is a proper use of would rather. And it contains an infinitive. Would rather is an idiomatic predicate that means prefer, and has many of the same syntactic affordances and restrictions as prefer, although would rather doesn't use the infinitive complementizer to, while prefer requires it. Both are negative triggers and can trigger NPIs, for ...


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 ...


10

That's a mistake. It should be Use similes to describe the animals here below. You might want to get a different book.


10

Having written this, I've just noticed Barrie's answer. By far the easiest thing to do is to learn the constructions, but they can be analysed (as Bill Franke asked in a comment). Whether it's actually worth the effort may be a moot point. Let's deal with the second sentence first, because that's easier. The second sentence uses the phrasal verb look ...


10

I think you are misunderstanding the meaning of finite. Finite is not a category of verb but a category of verb forms and uses. Finite forms are those which must take either past or non-past tense (must is anomalous in having the same form for both tenses) and may change to agree with the person and number of their subjects. Non-finite forms, infinitives ...


10

Both are grammatical, but they imply different prior states and conditions. left free means you are otherwise free and will not be specifically impeded. let free means you are presently restricted and would like this lifted so that you may do what you otherwise would like.


10

Only individual words have tense, not multiword phrases like was to remember. Thus the tense of was is the past tense. The construction be to INFINITIVE is a periphrastic expression in English with a particular meaning. In its epistemic mode, it conveys the inevitable future or near present or near future, but not quite so near as be about to does. (In ...


9

It's grammatical, but it's probably not what the journalist intended. Would you like to have been president... asks whether election in the past would please you as you are now; would you have liked to be... asks whether a 'you' in the 19th century would have wanted to be president; would you have liked to have been... is asking whether an election in 1862 ...


9

You can certainly say . . . it's not OK to not learn from them. However, bear in mind that there are still people around who mistakenly believe that such a construction is a split infinitive and should be avoided. (They are mistaken because the particle to is not part of the verb so there’s nothing to split.) If you think your readers or listeners may be of ...


9

Confess to is what is variously called a phrasal verb or a preposition verb phrase or a prepositional phrasal verb: a combination VERB + PREPOSITION which acts together as a VERB. It takes a Direct Object, which must be a noun or noun phrase: He confessed to his admiration for his opponent. Edwards confessed to espionage on behalf of the KGB. ...


9

"He would have had to have been there" means that, in order for him to have accomplished whatever he accomplished, it would have been necessary for him both to be there and then to leave. In other words, whatever he was supposed to have done could not have been accomplished only by him being there. Most commonly, however, the action done at the place is ...


9

This is a very rare usage and cannot be regarded as idiomatic today. Dare is an odd word—it wanders back and forth between performing as an ordinary lexical verb and as a sort of modal. For instance, it is used with both marked and unmarked infinitives, and it may be used with or without DO-support: I dare tell you so. ... I dare to tell you so. I ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible