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  1. Kaylee's Avatar
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    #1

    Smile Infinitive Verbs

    Hello again, guys! I hope my question isn't much of a bother.

    I want to make sure I'm right... because three people tell me I'm wrong.
    I know that an Infinitive verb is: to + verb = infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by Taken example from chompchomp.com
    Wherever Melissa goes, she always brings a book to read in case conversation lags or she has a long wait.
    But what is this?

    I wanted to see a lion!
    Is it still a Infinitive verb? I checked through my grammar books (again) and they didn't mention what to call these, only to + verb = Infinitive. The three people tell me "wanted to" is the Infinitive verb, but I thought "to see" was...

    Am I horribly wrong or am I...right?

    Well, thank you (again) for reading my thread! :>

    Kaylee~
    Last edited by Kaylee; 15-Dec-2010 at 08:22.

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    #2

    Re: Infinitive Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaylee View Post
    Hello again, guys! I hope my question isn't much of a bother.

    I know that an Infinitive verb is: to + verb = infinitive



    But exactly what is a sentence like this?


    Is it still a Infinitive verb? I checked through my grammar books (again) and they didn't mention what to call these, only to + verb = Infinitive.

    Or is this the Infinitive Verb in the sentence:


    Well, thank you (again) for reading my thread! :>

    Kaylee~
    Infitive is a form of verbs with which they can perform many functions:

    I wanted [to see a lion]! Wanted what? The bracketed infinitive clause acts as the direct object of "wanted".

    Why "to see a lion" is a clause? Each clause has a subject. This one has too. It is just that you can't see it. The verb in this clause is "to see", a verb in infinitive form (see) preceded by a preposition "to", an infinitive marker.

    ----
    Wherever Melissa goes, she always brings a book to read.

    to read = infinitive in form; adjectival postmodifier in function; it modifies "book"

    You have more questions, whistle!

  3. Kaylee's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Infinitive Verbs

    Thank you for stopping in to answer my questions, corum. :)

    I think I understand. But I'll ask just in case. :>

    In the "wanted to see a lion!" sentence, how can you tell the subject of the clause? I think it is lion, but I'm not sure.

    to read = infinitive in form; adjectival postmodifier in function; it modifies "book"
    So does an infinitive always modify another word? Or is it in some cases? And Infinitive verbs have "to" preceding it and never "to" after the verb, right?

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    #4

    Re: Infinitive Verbs



    I wanted to see a lion.
    This is a complex sentence, which means it comprises a main clause:

    "I wanted to see a lion."

    and a subordinate clause:

    "to see a lion".

    The subordinate clause acts as the object of "wanted". It has its verb too: "to see". However, as opposed to the main clause, which has a (visible) subject, "I", the subordinate clause has not an overt subject. It has an implied subject, "I", because my "wanting" involves my seeing a lion. What function does "a lion" perform? It receives my seeing, but then it is the direct object of "to see".


  5. Kaylee's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Infinitive Verbs

    The subordinate clause acts as the object of "wanted". It has its verb too: "to see". However, as opposed to the main clause, which has a (visible) subject, "I", the subordinate clause has not an overt subject. It has an implied subject, "I", because my "wanting" involves my seeing a lion. What function does "a lion" perform? It receives my seeing, but then it is the direct object of "to see".
    Hm, so its:"to see a lion" is the object of "wanted". "To see" is the verb but "I" is an implied subject?

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    #6

    Re: Infinitive Verbs

    Yes, you have understood Corum's (excellent) explanation correctly: 'I' is indeed the implicit subject of the non-finite clause 'to see a lion'.

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    #7

    Re: Infinitive Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaylee View Post
    The three people tell me "wanted to" is the Infinitive verb,...
    There are some that would argue that WANT to (~ wanna) is similar to a quasi-modal/semi-modal/semi-auxiliary (e.g., 'BE going to (~ gonna); 'like to'):


    a) I want to see.

    • I (subject)
    • want (modal)
    • to (particle)
    • see (base verb)




    The alternative:


    b) I want to see.


    • I (subject)
    • want (verb)
    • to see (infinitive marker)

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    #8

    Re: Infinitive Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by lauralie2 View Post
    There are some that would argue that WANT to (~ wanna) is similar to a quasi-modal/semi-modal/semi-auxiliary (e.g., 'BE going to (~ gonna); 'like to')
    Are there any serious writers on grammar who argue this?

    It seems to me that if one were to include two catenative verbs (like and want) in some form of quasi-/semi- modal/auxiliary class, one would have to include so many verbs that the class itself would be valueless in terms of analysis.

  8. lauralie2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Infinitive Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    Are there any serious writers on grammar who argue this?
    Go back to the post and click on 'some'. It's a link.

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    #10

    Re: Infinitive Verbs

    I want to see a lion.
    I want a seeing of the lion.

    Looks like not even a catenative, lauralie. I think "want" is closer to a main varb than a semi-modal.

    Semi-modals are introduced by "be" or "have" and they satisfy seven criterions for auxiliaries:

    1. Operator in negation with not
    2. Negative and verb contractions
    3. Inversion of subject and operator
    4. Emphatic positive
    5. Operator in reduced clauses
    6. Pre-adverb position
    7. Quantifier position

    AFAIK, want can perform none of these.

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