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    #1

    The infinitive of a verb as the attribute of a preceding noun

    Hello all! Could you clarify what part the verb "to graduate" is playing in this sentence: "The Alliance wanted Grissom to address the first class of recruits to graduate from the Academy at Arcturus, a symbolic passing of the torch from a legend of the past to the leaders of the future. But a few hours before they were about to depart, the message from Shanxi had radically altered the primary purpose of his trip."?
    And do the words "address the first class of recruits" mean the same as "to appeal somebody to do something (in our case, to graduate from the academy)"?
    Last edited by Denisius; 16-Nov-2014 at 13:02.

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    #2

    Re: The infinitive of a verb as the attribute of a preceding noun

    They wanted Grissom to give a speech to the first class that graduated.

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    #3

    Re: The infinitive of a verb as the attribute of a preceding noun

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


    Hello, Denisius:

    1. I believe that "to address the first class of recruits" simply means to speak to them. For example, every year American universities invite prominent people to address the graduating class. Yes, those speakers usually deliver inspiring speeches ("Congratulations on your graduation. Now go out into the world and change it for the better!"). In the case of your sentence, it is clear that the students have already graduated. Grissom is there to congratulate them on having just graduated. He is at the graduation ceremonies as they are given their diplomas.

    2. "The Alliance wanted Grissom to address the first class of recruits to graduate from the Academy.

    a. Question: Does this sentence sound right? "The Alliance wanted Grissom to address the class of recruits to graduate from the Academy."
    b. In my opinion, the answer is NO.
    c. I feel that the word "first" is absolutely necessary: "The Alliance wanted Grissom to address the first class of recruits to graduate from the Academy."
    d. Thus, in my opinion, the infinitive phrase "to graduate from the Academy" modifies the adjective "first."

    i. In other words, it means something like: "The Alliance wanted Grissom to address the first to graduate from the Academy class of recruits." OF COURSE, this sentence is not acceptable to say.

    Some people would probably say that "to graduate from the Academy" modifies "class."

    NOTE:

    "The fruit is too ripe to eat."

    a. One book says that "to eat" modifies "ripe."
    b. Another book says that "to eat" modifies "too."


    James

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    #4

    Re: The infinitive of a verb as the attribute of a preceding noun

    Tdol, and especially TheParser thanks a lot for your explanations. Such using of infinitives (to graduate) as we have in the sentence seems weird to me. Couldn't the authour just have used the word "graduated from (in the passive voice)" or "who graduated from" instead of the "to graduate"?

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    #5

    Re: The infinitive of a verb as the attribute of a preceding noun

    Who graduated would work fine for me, but the original is perfectly natural too.

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