Lecture Nonfinite Verb Phrases Infinitive Phrases. English 3318: Studies in English Grammar. Dr. Svetlana Nuernberg

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1 Lecture English 3318: Studies in English Grammar Nonfinite Verb Phrases Infinitive Phrases Dr. Svetlana Nuernberg

2 Objectives Identify Infinitive Phrases Recognize infinitives with or without to and those preceded by for Distinguish between infinitives and prepositional phrases Recognize functions of infinitive phrases Distinguish between present-participle and gerund phrases Recognize past participle phrases Recognize functions of participle phrases Identify the nominal functions of gerund phrases

3 Infinitive Phrases The prototypical infinitive phrase in English is to plus a form of the verb that is unmarked for tense or number: to do, to see, to have can have subjects, objects, complements, and modifiers I urge [something] + you should deliver this package on Friday. deliver = [TENSE + MODAL [should] + deliver I urge that you should deliver this package on Friday. I urge [something] + you should deliver this package on Friday. deliver = [TENSE + MODAL + deliver I urge you to deliver this package on Friday. For Lee to fix a flat tire would be astonishing.

4 Diagramming Infinitive Phrases To ride NP without helmet S III a is dangerous VP Grammatical transformation delete the subject of the infinitive (someone) and TENSE (shown by deletion of the -s suffix of ride) and inserts the infinitive marker to S I MVP ADJP NP VP MV link MVP ADVP MV int [someone rides without a helmet] is dangerous someone To rides without a helmet is dangerous

5 Clauses Embedded Within Infinitive Phrases A complex sentence can also be reduced and become an infinitive phrase. one of the dependent clauses will remain within the infinitive phrase The pilot attempted to stop the airplane before it rolled off the runaway. Main clause: The pilot attempted something Mv tr + NP 2 + Type V Infinitive phrase: to stop the airplane sometime (DO) MV tr + NP 2 + ADVP = Type V Adverbial subordinate clause: before it rolled off the runaway MV int + ADVP time = Type I

6 Passive Infinitives An infinitive derived from a passive finite verb clause will itself be passive I expect that all the calamari will be eaten before 7:00. passive verb will be eaten I expect all the calamari to be eaten before 7:00. passive infinitive (contains [BE+{-en}] passive marker) I expect they will eat all the calamari before 7:00. eaten is transitive verb (when active) it will have a subject (indefinite pronoun they) and a direct object (all the calamari) I expect them to eat all the calamari before 7:00. active infinitive to eat When the subject is included for introduces the infinitive phrase I am hoping for the school to publish this poem. It is time for everyone to go home.

7 Infinitives Without To Occasionally it is difficult to find the infinitive if the initial to has been deleted Did you watch him leave the package on the doorstep? the subject pronoun (him) is in the objective form the verb lacks 3 rd person singular, past tense inflection (he left the package) All we did wrong was lock the keys in the car. no subject is expressed for the infinitive lock has the same form (we lock as if present tense) to can be inserted to give a more familiar form All we did wrong was to lock the keys in the car. Examples can be paraphrased as unreduced clauses Did you watch [while] he left the package on the doorstep? All we did wrong was [that] we locked the keys in the car.

8 Tests for Identifying Functions of Infinitive Phrases Adverbial 1. Wh-question using why Karen will need fifty pizzas to feed this crowd. Why will Karen need fifty pizzas? 2. Movability To feed this crowd, Karen will need fifty pizzas. 3. Paraphrase with in order to Karen will need fifty pizzas in order to feed this crowd. Adjectival 1. Usually can be restated as a relative clause 2. Modifies a noun that precedes it He is building a cupboard to fit in that corner. He is building a cupboard that will fit in that corner. He is building a cupboard to fit in that corner. Nominal She wants to ski in Austria during the holidays. 1. Substitute something or it for the infinitive phrase She wants something. 2. Wh-question using what What does she want?

9 Functions of Infinitive Phrases Nominal infinitives 1. Subject of sentence 2. Direct object 3. Subject complement 4. Object complement 5. Adjective complement Adjectival Infinitives Noun modifier Adverbial infinitives 1. Sentence modifier 2. Verb modifier To be an adolescent can be difficult. She wants to travel to the South Pacific. My New Year's resolution is to jog thirty miles every week. The court found him to be competent. They were pleased to see so many people in the audience. This is a good place to begin the race. To be honest, I can't remember his name. She dieted to loose weight.

10 Differences Between Infinitives and Prepositional Phrases To can be either an infinitive marker or a preposition phrase the base form of a verb follows the infinitive marker a noun phrase follows the preposition Juan plans to enter college next fall. to + verb (to enter) - infinitive phrase The letter was delivered to the wrong office. to + noun phrase (the wrong office) prepositional phrase I want to address this package to Mr. and Mrs. Smith. to + verb (to address) infinitive phrase I accidentally sent it to the wrong address. to + noun phrase (the wrong address) prepositional phrase

11 Peripheral Case Ought To How would you analyze the following examples? He tried to sell his broken-down Ford. nominal infinitive - He tried something. He ought to sell his broken-down Ford. not a nominal infinitive - *He ought something can not substitute (to sell his broken-down Ford) with a single noun, verb, adjective or adverb not a constituent must (might, should) could be substituted for ought to it is a constituent: phrasal modal verb fit into a modal slot of the main verb phrase: TENSE + MODAL [ought to] + HAVE + {-en} + Verb [do] He ought to have done well on the test. TENSE + MODAL [ought to] + BE + {-ing} + Verb [do] He ought to be doing well on the test. Ought to is a two-word modal auxiliary (ought + to) with the approximate meaning of should.

12 Exercise 1 Identify the function of the italicized infinitive phrases in the sentences below. 1. After school, Mel's plan was to play tag football with some friends. 2. His parents expected him to finish his homework before he did anything else. 3. He hoped to complete his homework after the game. 4. When the game was over, several of his friends sat down to talk. 5. Mel's decision to join them was a mistake. 6. He was surprised to discover that an hour had passed. 7. To arrive home before his parents was uppermost in his mind as he hurried along the street. 8. As he turned the corner, he was upset to see his father's car in the driveway.

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