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    #1

    Question the first person to be killed OR the first person killed?

    He was the first person to be killed in the fire.
    OR He was the first person killed in the fire?
    I am an English teacher , and there is a grammatical rule: when a noun is modified by words like the first , the second, if you have to choose a non-predicative verb(to do, doing ,and done, for example) to modify it, you have to choose infinitive(to do) .However, I am confused when I tried to translate sentences above.Which is right?OR the rule just doesn't make any sense?
    Any response will be appreciated.

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    #2

    Re: the first person to be killed OR the first person killed?

    He was the first person to be killed in the fire.
    He was the first person killed in the fire?

    there is a grammatical rule: when a noun is modified by words like the first , the second, if you have to choose a non-predicative verb(to do, doing ,and done, for example) to modify it, you have to choose infinitive(to do).
    Correct.

    However, I am confused when I tried to translate sentences above.Which is right?
    Both.

    OR the rule just doesn't make any sense?
    I do not understand why you have problem with that rule.

    He was the first person [PRO to be killed in the fire].
    "to be" is a predicative verb, a linking verb, a copula. In the bracketed non-finite clause above, it can be ellipted. Your rule refers to non-predicative verbs and the necessary resort to ellipsis, which do not concern us in the matter at hand. What is of issue here is the fact that, with a non-finite linking verb in the postmodifying adnominal clause, ellipsis is an option.

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    #3

    Re: the first person to be killed OR the first person killed?

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    He was the first person to be killed in the fire.
    He was the first person killed in the fire?



    Correct.



    Both.



    I do not understand why you have problem with that rule.

    He was the first person [PRO to be killed in the fire].
    "to be" is a predicative verb, a linking verb, a copula. In the bracketed non-finite clause above, it can be ellipted. Your rule refers to non-predicative verbs and the necessary resort to ellipsis, which do not concern us in the matter at hand. What is of issue here is the fact that, with a non-finite linking verb in the postmodifying adnominal clause, ellipsis is an option.
    Thanks a lot,corum.I have problems with this rule because we have to choose only one of the two expressions above in multiple-choice exam.That is why I am coufused.Now it seems clear to me, but I really have difficultu dealing with it in exams.

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