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    #1

    For a balloon to float

    "For a balloon to float, it must be filled with a gas that is lighter than the air around it".

    What part of speech does "For a balloon to float" belongs? And what is its grammatical role in the sentence( what does it modify in the sentence)?
    Thanks in advance.

    Jignesh.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: For a balloon to float

    I'd call it a prepositional phrase. It's functioning as an adverb.

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    #3

    Re: For a balloon to float

    Quote Originally Posted by jigneshbharati View Post
    "For a balloon to float, it must be filled with a gas that is lighter than the air around it".

    What part of speech does "For a balloon to float" belongs? And what is its grammatical role in the sentence( what does it modify in the sentence)?
    Thanks in advance.

    Jignesh.
    It's an infinitive clause of purpose. I agree with Raymott that it is form of adverbial clause which modifies the entire main (independent) clause.

    However, I disagree with its classification as a prepositional phrase. "for" does not express relation in this context but purpose, like "in order for...".

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: For a balloon to float

    I think 'for' is a preposition here, and 'a balloon' is its object, which is modified by 'to float'.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: For a balloon to float

    Quote Originally Posted by Midlands Hammer View Post
    It's an infinitive clause of purpose.
    I'm finding it difficult to find a definition of "infinitive clause" that doesn't specify that it must begin with an infinitive. Do you have one?

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    #6

    Re: For a balloon to float

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I'm finding it difficult to find a definition of "infinitive clause" that doesn't specify that it must begin with an infinitive. Do you have one?
    You're right. It is not an infinitive clause by any standard definition, and I should not have made my point so baldly.

    I also accept that "for a balloon" is a prepositional phrase.

    If you don't mind me asking, how would you characterise: "for a balloon to float"? Thank you.
    Last edited by Midlands Hammer; 20-Jul-2016 at 22:14. Reason: Unnecessary text left in

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    #7

    Re: For a balloon to float

    Well, I called it a prepositional phrase. Beyond that, I don't feel confident to explain it further.

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: For a balloon to float

    S/he already explained its function below.
    Quote Originally Posted by Midlands Hammer View Post
    modifies the entire main (independent) clause.
    I am not a teacher.

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