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    #1

    guessing function of infinitive verbs

    This thread will be about guessing the function of an infinitive verb like what TheParser was suggesting me to do but can someone start putting some up and then I will put some up as well.

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    #2

    Re: guessing function of infinitive verbs

    We don't put up. We comment on what you put up.

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    #3

    Re: guessing function of infinitive verbs

    I think it is an unwritten rule on this forum that the OP instead of the respondents should provide example sentences, but I am not a teacher.

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    #4

    Re: guessing function of infinitive verbs

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

    The other posters say that I am not allowed to post an example, but I have noticed that you have already used an infinitive: "to do."

    I have tweaked (slightly changed) your sentence:

    "Guessing the function of the infinitive is what he wanted me to do."

    If I understand my books correctly, here is my opinion:

    1. "To do" modifies the pronoun "me."

    2. Some books say that "to do" is the objective complement of the pronoun "me."

    3. Some books say that "me to do" is an infinitive phrase that is the object of the verb "wanted." "Me" is the subject of the infinitive "to do."

    4. I do not know which analysis is "correct." Probably either one is correct, for as one book reminds us: "[O]ften there is more than one good explanation for a construction in English grammar." -- Pence and Emery in A Grammar of Present-Day English.

    5. I believe that we can all agree on one thing: the infinitive "to do" in your sentence is not adverbial.

    6. We all look forward to your posting two or three other sentences. Just read anything (in a newspaper, book, etc.) and you will find that infinitives are constantly being used. (Kindly remember that the other members expect you to give your analysis first.)
    Last edited by TheParser; 08-Jun-2015 at 12:51.

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    #5

    Re: guessing function of infinitive verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by mawes12 View Post
    what TheParser was suggesting me to do
    I would say 'what TheParser was advising me to do', but I am not a teacher.

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    #6

    Re: guessing function of infinitive verbs

    1. Doty fed Bennewitz the false information to discredit him.

    I think 'fed' in this sentence is used as a double object verb and the infinitive is used as an adjective modifying information.

    2. Bennewitz was actually encouraged to believe that he saw real UFOs

    I think infinitive is used as an adverb answering why Bennewitz is encouraged. I'm not sure.

    3. In order to win a proxy war, the CIA had allowed crack cocaine to flood mostly black urban communities during the crack cocaine epidemic.

    I'm sure that this is an adverb infinitive because the infinitive 'to win' can be at the beginning or end and it answers why CIA allowed crack cocaine to flood black communities but I don't know what is the function for the infinitive to flood.

    4. The false documents seemed to indicate that there was going to be an alien invasion.

    I think 'to indicate' is a nominal infinitive.

    *Not a teacher*

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    #7

    Re: guessing function of infinitive verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by mawes12 View Post
    I think 'to indicate' is a nominal infinitive.
    I think it is a predicate nominal, but I am not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: guessing function of infinitive verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by mawes12 View Post
    1. Doty fed Bennewitz the false information to discredit him. [Why did Doty feed Bennewitz false info? Maybe "to discredit him" modifies "fed." Thus, adverbial. Compare: "Information to discredit him was sent to the newspapers." In that case, do you think it modifies "information"?]



    2. Bennewitz was actually encouraged to believe that he saw real UFOs. [The active form is something like: "Someone encouraged Bennewitz to believe that he saw real UFOs." The passive is what you wrote. According to my books, the infinitive phrase "Bennewitz to believe that he saw UFOs" is STILL analyzed as an object. Books call it a "retained object."]



    3. In order to win a proxy war, the CIA had allowed crack cocaine to flood mostly black urban communities during the crack cocaine epidemic.

    I'm sure that this is an adverb infinitive because the infinitive 'to win' can be at the beginning or end and it answers why CIA allowed crack cocaine to flood black communities but I don't know what is the function for the infinitive to flood. [I agree with you that "In order to win a proxy war" is adverbial. "Cocaine to flood communities" is, maybe, the object of "allowed." What did the CIA allow?]

    4. The false documents seemed to indicate that there was going to be an alien invasion. [I agree with you: "to indicate that ...." is a subjective complement (it refers to "The false documents"). As Matthew Wai reminded us, some books like to use the term "predicate nominative."]



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


    Above, I have contributed a few ideas, not answers.

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    #9

    Re: guessing function of infinitive verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    3. In order to win a proxy war, the CIA had allowed crack cocaine to flood mostly black urban communities during the crack cocaine epidemic.

    I'm sure that this is an adverb infinitive because the infinitive 'to win' can be at the beginning or end and it answers why CIA allowed crack cocaine to flood black communities but I don't know what is the function for the infinitive to flood. [I agree with you that "In order to win a proxy war" is adverbial. "Cocaine to flood communities" is, maybe, the object of "allowed." What did the CIA allow?]

    Above, I have contributed a few ideas, not answers.
    Is 'to flood' another retained object?

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    #10

    Re: guessing function of infinitive verbs

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


    Hello, Mawes:

    Here are some ideas to share, not "answers."

    1. "The school authorities allowed ice cream to flood the school cafeterias."

    a. WHAT did the school authorities allow?

    2. Passive: Ice cream was allowed to flood the school cafeteria (by the school authorities).

    a. "To flood the school cafeteria" is STILL analyzed by books as an object [nominal] and is given the name of "retained object."

    *****

    Here is an example from one of my favorite books.

    3. Active: "They [the government authorities] ordered me to report for duty."

    a. Passive: "I was ordered to report for duty." ("To report for duty" is labeled as a "retained object.")

    -- Pence and Emery, Grammar of Present-Day English.

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