Results 1 to 3 of 3
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Twi
      • Home Country:
      • Bhutan
      • Current Location:
      • Tuvalu

    • Join Date: Jun 2011
    • Posts: 124
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    sentence structure (role of infinitive)

    Hi forum!

    Could you be so kind and break this sentence down for me:

    I wanted to claim more money.

    I = subject
    wanted = verb
    to claim = infinitive
    more = adverb
    money = object

    (This sentence only has one clause.)

    Here it seems to me as if "wanted to claim" belongs together.

    How does the infinitive grammatically function in this sentence? Is it part of the verb?

    Thanks for your help!


    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 5,312
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: sentence structure (role of infinitive)

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Congratulations
    on the fine parsing job.

    I do, however, believe that most books would parse "more" as an adjective in your sentence. For example, The New Oxford American Dictionary has this example of its adjective use: "I poured myself more coffee."

    *****

    Tom: I wanted.

    Mona: What did you want? Ice cream? A girlfriend? To visit Paris?

    Tom: Oh, sorry. I wanted to claim more money.

    Mona: Oh, now I understand.

    I think that most books would say that the so-called infinitive phrase is the object of the verb "wanted."


    James

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 5,312
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: sentence structure (role of infinitive)

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello,
    1. I have found some more information (about infinitives) that may interest you.

    2. In American high schools (secondary schools), most teachers would be thrilled, I believe, if their students were able to

    understand the explanation that I gave in my first post.

    3. In college (university), however, linguists (grammar experts who study the subject very deeply) are not satisified with

    high school grammar.

    4. One linguist gives this sentence: I want to leave at once.

    a. In high school, we would just say that "to leave at once" is an infinitive phrase used as the object of the verb "want."

    b. This scholar, however, asked: Exactly what is an infinitive?

    c. Here is her answer:

    i. The "to" means nothing.
    ii. The "to" only tells you that the subject of "leave" is not present in the sentence.
    iii. In other words, she says that the sentence that you see comes from another sentence that you do not see.
    That sentence that you do not see is "I want I leave at once."

    (a) As you know, English speakers will not accept that sentence. So we (i) delete (drop) the second "I" and insert a "to" in its place.

    5. If we accept that scholar's theory, then maybe "I wanted to claim more money" comes from this "unseen" sentence:
    I wanted I claim more money."

    6. My reference was A Primer of Transformational Grammar for Rank Beginners (1975) by Suzette Haden Elgin.

    a. "Rank beginner" means absolute beginner (like me).
    b. Since 1975, linguists have developed many theories about language. As far as I know, they still believe in Ms. Elgin's theory about infinitives. Maybe a linguist will join this thread and let us know.
    c. Transformational grammar is too difficult for me, so I just concentrate on high school-level English. I assume that you are a young person. So -- when you have time -- you may wish to check out articles on the Web that deal with transformational grammar.


    I want I thank you for your question. In doing this research, I learned a lot.


    James
    Last edited by TheParser; 16-Oct-2012 at 11:37. Reason: deleted a hyphen

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 16-Sep-2011, 22:10
  2. structure a sentence
    By ostap77 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-Feb-2011, 19:56
  3. Which one of these sentence structure is better?
    By scott833 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 16-Jun-2010, 18:15
  4. sentence structure
    By blacknomi in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-May-2009, 09:42
  5. Have + subject + bare infinitive structure?
    By asad hussain in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-Sep-2007, 05:29

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •