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    #1

    transitive or copular verb?

    Dear teachers,

    Would you please tell me what type of verb phrase is "are to be found" in the following sentence? (transitive or copular?)
    I know that only transitive verbs can be used in the passive form, and yet I can't figure out what kind of sentence pattern is the following.

    Many elements of the response are to be found in those documents.
    Would you say that the obligatory prepositonal phrase (obligatory adverbial) "in those documents" is related to the subject or object "many elements"?

    Thank you in advance.

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    #2

    Re: transitive or copular verb?

    I would say that 'are (to)' is functioning as a quasi-modal auxiliary; 'be' is an auxiliary, part of a passive form; 'found' is the third form of a lexical, transitive, verb.

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    #3

    Re: transitive or copular verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I would say that 'are (to)' is functioning as a quasi-modal auxiliary; 'be' is an auxiliary, part of a passive form; 'found' is the third form of a lexical, transitive, verb.
    So if "are to be found" is a transitive verb, should we consider "Many elements of the response" as the subject or the object of the sentence? And which pattern does the sentence follow?

    Many...response (Direct Object) + are to be found (complex-transitive verb) + in those documents (Obligatory Adverbial related to the DO) and no subject?

    Or

    Many...response (Subject) + are to be found (copular ??) + in those documents (obligatory adverbial related to the subject) ??
    Last edited by hela; 28-May-2016 at 14:03.

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    #4

    Re: transitive or copular verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    So if "are to be found" is a transitive verb,
    I didn't say that. The verb FIND is transitive in that sentence.

    The subject of the finite verb are in the verb phrase are to be found is Many elements of the response; elements is the headword of that noun phrase.

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    #5

    Re: transitive or copular verb?

    So what should be the function / pattern of the sentence, please?

    Many elements of the response (NP) = subject
    are to be found (VP) = what type of verb phrase?
    in the documents (PP) = what type of obligatory adverbial?

    Thank you for your patience.

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    #6

    Re: transitive or copular verb?

    NOT A TEACHER

    I have found some information from my favorite scholar. I am delighted to share it with the OP and any other interested members / guests. (I have emphasized some words.)

    1. "After the copulas be, remain, fall, and in a few expressions seem, the infinitive often assumes a peculiar modal force in the predicate, expressing the necessity , possibility, or fitness of an action."

    2. Here are just three of the scholar's examples:

    a. "The letter is to be (i.e., must be) handed to him in person."

    b. "An account of the event is to be (i.e., can be ) found in the evening papers."

    c. "Such women are to (i.e., ought to) be admired."


    Source: George Oliver Curme, A Grammar of the English Language (1931, Volume II, page 45).

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    #7

    Re: transitive or copular verb?

    Hello, The Parser

    I understand that, but what would be the pattern of these sentences then? I still don't see how each sentence constituent can be analysed = what is its function.

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    #8

    Re: transitive or copular verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you please tell me what type of verb phrase is "are to be found" in the following sentence? (transitive or copular?)
    I know that only transitive verbs can be used in the passive form, and yet I can't figure out what kind of sentence pattern is the following.

    Many elements of the response are to be found in those documents.
    Would you say that the obligatory prepositonal phrase (obligatory adverbial) "in those documents" is related to the subject or object "many elements"?

    Thank you in advance.
    I'd call it a passive infinitival construction. The subject is "many elements of the response". The verb phrase is somewhat special because of the quasi-modal verb be which has a meaning similar to "can", cf. "Many elements of the response can be found in those documents". The marker "to" + infinitival "be" + the past participle verb "found" provide the passive infinitival components of the verb phrase. Finally, the preposition phrase "in those documents" functions as an optional adjunct of place modifying the verb "found". This particular kind of passive construction is called an 'agentless passive' due to the absence of a by-phrase, but one could easily be bolted on to give "Many elements of the response are to be found in those documents by researchers".

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    #9

    Re: transitive or copular verb?

    Hello, Paul Matthews

    Do these types of passive constructions fit into any one of the seven sentence patterns described by Quirk, or not?

    (SV): subject + intransitive verb
    (SVO): subject + monotransitive verb + direct object
    (SVCs): subject + linking/copular verb + sujbect complement
    (SVOO): subject + ditransitive verb + indirect object + direct object
    (SVOCo): subject + complex-transitive verb + direct object + object complement
    (SVAs): subject + copular verb + adverbial related to the subject (John / is / in his office)
    or subject + intransitive verb + adverbial related to the subject (John / lives / in a beautiful house)
    (SVOA): subject + complex-transitive verb + direct object + adverbial related to the object.

    Best regards

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    #10

    Re: transitive or copular verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulMatthews View Post
    I'd call it a passive infinitival construction. The subject is "many elements of the response". The verb phrase is somewhat special because of the quasi-modal verb be which has a meaning similar to "can", cf. "Many elements of the response can be found in those documents". The marker "to" + infinitival "be" + the past participle verb "found" provide the passive infinitival components of the verb phrase. Finally, the preposition phrase "in those documents" functions as an optional adjunct of place modifying the verb "found". This particular kind of passive construction is called an 'agentless passive' due to the absence of a by-phrase, but one could easily be bolted on to give "Many elements of the response are to be found in those documents by researchers".
    Hello PaulMatthews,

    Would you please tell me why you consider the prepositional phrase "in the documents" as an optional adverbial ? Would it be the same for "in the supermarket" in "These articles can be found in the supermarket". Can it be obligatory?

    And what type of verbs are "are to be found" and "can be found"? Are they intransitive, or something else, in these sentences?

    Thank you for your help.
    Best regards

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