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  1. #1
    learnerr is offline Newbie
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    about "to infinitive"

    Hi, I'm a student majoring in English grammar and got some questions

    I know that in some cases "to-infinitive" is used as a noun after the intransitive verb. (as a kind of an object for intransitive verb)

    Like "I agree to leave", "He failed to make his case" (quoted from Wikipedia)

    The question is,

    In the case of "He tends to be unhappy" , is 'to-infinitive' also used as a noun-like infinitive? just like the ones used in the examples above?

    Or is 'tend to do' just one of special phrases like 'have to do, ought to do, get to do"?

    Hope you'd answer me!
    Last edited by learnerr; 30-Mar-2011 at 12:39.

  2. #2
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: about "to infinitive"

    Quote Originally Posted by learnerr View Post
    Hi, I'm a student majoring in English grammar and got some questions

    I know that in some cases "to-infinitive" is used as a noun after the intransitive verb. (as a kind of an object for intransitive verb)

    Like "I agree to leave", "He failed to make his case" (quoted from Wikipedia)

    The question is,

    In the case of "He tends to be unhappy" , is 'to-infinitive' also used as a noun-like infinitive? just like the ones used in the examples above?

    Or is 'tend to do' just one of special phrases like 'have to do, ought to do, get to do"?

    Hope you'd answer me!
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) I have checked my books, and I believe the following to be

    accurate.

    (2) First, "He tends to be unhappy" is NOT the same as so-called

    "complementary infinitives": I have to go; I am going to study; I used

    to work there. As Descriptive English Grammar points out, those

    three sentences could be expressed as: I must go; I shall study; I once

    worked there. It is my opinion that "He tends to be unhappy" does not

    fit that pattern.

    (3) Yes, you are 100% correct. We could say that in "I agree to leave,"

    "to leave" is the direct object of the verb "agree." Here's another

    example from Descriptive English Grammar: He helps (to) support his

    parents.

    (4) Re: "He tends to be unhappy," both Descriptive English Grammar

    and A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language point out that

    "tend to" is similar to "seem to."

    In other words, the infinitive "to be unhappy" has the function of an

    adjective. It is a subjective complement. Obviously, you cannot say:

    He tends. You need a complement (the word "complement" comes from

    the word "complete") to complete the meaning of the sentence. Thus, we

    can probably conclude that the infinitive phrase "to be unhappy" is a

    subjective complement -- NOT an object.

  3. #3
    learnerr is offline Newbie
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    Re: about "to infinitive"

    Thank you so much, your reply truly helped me out.
    Makes me feel free now.
    Thanks for your help!

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