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  1. nininaz's Avatar
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    #1

    Exclamation Grammatical role of Infinitive phrases

    Hello,
    What is the grammatical role of infinitive phrases in these sentences:

    1-For some, the attempt to understand his writing is a challenge.
    2-They find it hard to understand the sixteenth-century expressions.
    3-However, most people like to see the plays performed.

    2- "hard to understand the sixteenth-century expressions" is adjective
    3- direct object : to see the plays performed.
    Am I right?!
    Thanks.
    Last edited by nininaz; 27-Sep-2014 at 14:01.

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    #2

    Re: Grammatical role of Infinitive phrases

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


    Hello, Nininaz:

    From my beloved books:

    1. "Darius Green's attempt to fly proved a failure."

    a. The book cites this as an example of an infinitive that modifies a noun.

    i. My note: Darius Green's attempt proved a failure.
    ii. What attempt? Answer: to fly.

    b. That sentence seems similar to your first sentence. (What kind of attempt is a challenge? Answer: to understand his writing.)


    2. "I find it impossible to like him."

    a. "To like him" is the TRUE direct object.
    b. MY NOTE: native speakers feel that "I find TO LIKE HIM impossible" is not acceptable.
    So native speakers use a so-called "expletive" IT, which is a substitute for the TRUE direct object.
    c. "Impossible" is an objective complement.
    d. If you were diagramming this sentence, it would be:

    I + find + it (to like him) + impossible.
    e. I think that your second sentence is similar:

    Mona: I find IT hard to understand.
    James: WHAT do you find hard to understand?
    Mona: Oh, excuse me for not defining "it." I meant to say that I find it hard to understand the sixteenth-century expressions.
    James: Now, I understand. To understand the sixteenth-century expressions is hard for you.
    Mona: Exactly, dude!




    James



    Sources: Pence and Emery, A Grammar of Present-Day English (1963).
    House and Harman, Descriptive English Grammar (1950).
    Last edited by TheParser; 27-Sep-2014 at 15:38. Reason: quotation marks

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