1. ## Subordinate Clause Analysis

1. They reported that some schools were denying their brightest students an equal opportunity to choose a vocational pathway.
- This that-clause is acting here as the Object of report. Do we have an Indirect Object with 'their brightest students' and a Direct Object with 'an equal opportunity'? Or should we combine both? Am I right in thinking that the infinitive-clause 'to choose a vocational pathway' fills a Complement slot?

1. Some schools (Subject: noun phrase), were denying (verb: verb phrase), their brightest students (?????), an equal opportunity(?????), to choose a vocational pathway (object complement: infinitive-clause)

2. They are keen to encourage more youngsters to stay in education.
- Here we've got the subordinate clause filling the Object slot of the matrix. Can we analyze this clause thus:

1. to encourage more youngsters (subject: infinitive clause), to stay in education (Object: infinitive-clause)

Many thanks in advance for any assistance.

2. ## Re: Subordinate Clause Analysis

Hello, Gyvermac:

I agree with most of your excellent analysis of #1. we can, perhaps, more clearly see the relationships if we replace the indirect object with a prepositional phrase:

Some schools + were denying + an equal opportunity to choose a vocational pathway + to their brightest students.

IF I understand my books correctly, "to choose a vocational pathway" is an adjectival infinitive phrase. That is to say, it modifies the noun phrase "an equal opportunity." Here are some examples from one of my favorite books:

His attempt to fly.
A trap to catch the thief.
Nothing to do.

James

Source: House and Harman Descriptive English Grammar (1950).

3. ## Re: Subordinate Clause Analysis

Originally Posted by gyvermac

2. They are keen to encourage more youngsters to stay in education.
Hello, Gyvermac:

I believe that there are at least two ways to parse that sentence.

First Way

They = subject.
to encourage = infinitive that modifies the adjective "keen"
more youngsters to stay in education = the object of "to encourage."

(more youngsters = the subject of the infinitive phrase "to stay in education"
to stay = the infinitive
in education = prepositional phrase that modifies the verb "to stay")

Second Way

They = subject
to encourage = infinitive
more youngsters = object of "to encourage"
to stay in education = objective complement of the object "more youngsters"

*****

I personally prefer the first way.

James

4. ## Re: Subordinate Clause Analysis

Many thanks for getting back to me, TheParser. Certainly helped me formulate things a little more solidly in my head. Somewhat. I did, however, have to go a little bit deeper. For some inexplicable reason, I could not fully understand the idea that second clauses could function within their superordinate clauses as, in these cases, Direct Objects. Seems so simple now.

1. They reported that some schools were denying their brightest students an equal opportunity to choose a vocational pathway.

Clause 1:that (conjunction), some schools (Subject: noun phrase), were denying (verb: verb phrase), their brightest students (Indirect Object: noun phrase), an equal opportunity to choose a vocational pathway (Direct Object: noun phrase).
Clause 2: to choose (Verb: Verb Phrase), a vocational pathway (Object: Noun Phrase)

2. They are keen to encourage more youngsters to stay in education.

Clause 1: to encourage (Verb: verb phrase), more youngsters (Indirect Object: noun phrase), to stay in education or training (Direct Object: infinitive-clause)
Clause 2: to stay (Verb: Verb Phrase), in education or training (Adverbial: Prepositional Phrase)

5. ## Re: Subordinate Clause Analysis

Pardon me; I'm just curious.

Why is an infinitive phrase also called an infinitive-clause? A clause has to have a subject and a predicate, whereas an infinitive phrase contains a verbal and its object (plus modifiers). So, there is no subject, and I doubt verbals can be categorized as verbs because both have completely different functions.

So, I treat the second sentence as a simple sentence; where the infinitive phrase at the end modifies the preceding infinitive phrase, and the combination of both infinitive phrases functions as an adverbial modifying "are keen".

6. ## Re: Subordinate Clause Analysis

I agree that it is an infinitive phrase, not a clause.

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