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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Default Help with adjective structures please!

    Hi guys
    I'm planning a lesson on adjective structures and have come across a few little problems - would be grateful for any clarification!!

    1. adj. + for + object + infinitive
    It is embarrassing for him to watch his parents dance.
    embarrassing = subject complement here? As it follows the verb 'be' and describes the subject?

    2. adj. + infinitive
    I find it amusing to annoy my sister
    amusing = subject complement also???? Or object complement??

    Help!!
    Thanks...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Default Re: Help with adjective structures please!

    Subject complements follow forms of the verb To Be. For example,

    [1a] It is embarrassing for him to watch his parents dance. <subject complement>
    [1b] For him to watch his parents dance is embarrassing. <subject complement>



    Object complements (click here) rename or describe the verb's object:

    [2] I find it amusing to annoy my sister. <object complement>

    Does that help?

  3. #3
    jonjrguitar is offline Newbie
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    May 2009
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    Default Re: Help with adjective structures please!

    I think the examples presented are adjective complements that involve clarifying the main subject of the sentence, not subject complements.

    In this example, it is clear that "it" is an undefined idea (i.e. "dummy"), needing an antecedent to clarify its true meaning. In this case, "it" is equal to "for him to watch his parents dance", and "embarrassing" is a modifier to that idea.

    As demonstrated "For him to. . . is embarrassing," it becomes clear that the function of the idea "embarrassing" is adjectival in nature, and does not follow the phrase "for him to. . ." to the beginning of the sentence. Therefore, the adjective is not DIRECTLY modifying the idea, it is serving as a complement to "it."

    Now, in this example:

    "He is an ambitious student", it is clear that "ambitious" is merely modifying the subject complement "student." To rearrange the sentence would clearly identify it as such: "An ambitious student is he."

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