As I discovered I do not see eye to eye with most knowledgeable members of the forum in terms of grammar I tried to find some info on the Net. Look what I found:
What I like best is this superb piece of advice:
"Be sure not to confuse an infinitive--a verbal consisting of to plus a verb--with a prepositional phrase beginning with to, which consists of to plus a noun or pronoun and any modifiers.
Infinitives: to fly, to draw, to become, to enter, to stand, to catch, to belong
Prepositional Phrases: to him, to the committee, to my house, to the mountains, to us, to this address."
It gives some idea of what kind of university this is. It might be renowned in agriculture and technology, though…
What do you think of all those definitions?
Pope of the Dictionary.com Forum
I had read abt Mr.Purdue and the university before I opened my thread. Have never been there.What do you think? Do you know anything at all about Purdue?
Why would you disagree with most knowledgeable members of the forum? And who do you consider the knowledgeable ones?
Those who give nice ample answers to us ESLs: you, MikeNewYork, Rewboss, BobK, Coffa, Mr.Pedantic and several others.
There have been a few threads in which I noticed we viewed grammar from different angles and used different definitions. It tempered my bewilderment and tried to search the core of these differences.
I guess these different approaches must have been discussed by linguists, only I have not found anything on the subject yet.
Do you have problems with the examples?
Yes, here is one of them.
“Having been a gymnast, Lynn knew the importance of exercise.
The participial phrase functions as an adjective modifying Lynn.”
First of all I can’t understand this AS. My take on parts of the sentences is that ADJECTIVES belong to morphology and not to syntax. Adjectives often serve AS attributes. They can also serve AS subjects or objects if they take the definite article and plural thus turning into nouns. And so on.
Secondly, since syntax is all about the relation of words within a sentence, what is really important is to see what other word in the sentence the word in question relates to. The attribute always relates to the subject or object, the adverbial modifier - to the predicate but is less closely connected with it than the object. Isn’t the participial phrase connected to knew?
We (teachers in post-Soviet countries) are used to determining functions of words by asking questions; here – Why did Lynn know that? – Because he had been a gymnast. It corresponds to an adverbial modifier of reason.
Here we see a mixture of the categories of morphology and syntax.
Now, take a look at their definitions of a verb and an infinitive - a verb is defined as "infinitive form minus the word "to"", while an infinitive is defined as "a verbal consisting of the word to plus a verb". So basically, they're defining the two notions through each other - an infinitive is a verb plus "to", a verb is an infinitive minus "to". It speaks for itself.
There are more things that look absurd to me, but I don’t want to bore you to death.
Actually, I made up my mind not to debate in any threads that deal with parts of speech vs parts of the sentence but I couldn't help wondering what you thought of the page from the link.