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  1. kaktus
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    #1

    syntactical functions of the infinitive

    it's difficult for me to define the syntactical functions of the infinitive in the sentences:
    I cannot but contradict you
    Arthur could not but glance at Daniel

  2. Lady G's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: syntactical functions of the infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by kaktus View Post
    it's difficult for me to define the syntactical functions of the infinitive in the sentences:
    I cannot but contradict you
    Arthur could not but glance at Daniel
    but often used after negative
    it means
    conj
    1. contrary to expectation: he cut his hand but didn't cry
    2. in contrast; on the contrary: I like seafood but my husband doesn't
    3. other than: we can't do anything but wait
    4. without it happening: we never go out but it rains
    prep
    1. except: they saved all but one
    2. but for were it not for: but for you, we couldn't have managed
    Adverb
    only: I can but try, he was but a child

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    #3

    Re: syntactical functions of the infinitive

    Firstly, you need to understand that this kind of sentence is an ellipsis.

    He could not but glance at Daniel= He could not do anything but glance at Daniel.


    'But' here is a preposition (a function that historically predates its use as a conjunction) introducing an adnominal prepositional phrase postmodifying the ellipted indefinite pronoun 'anything' and governing the verb in the infinitive form, making that infinitive therefore nominal.

    QED

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    #4

    Re: syntactical functions of the infinitive

    Another way of saying your sentence:

    Arthur could not do anything except to glance at Daniel


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    #5

    Re: syntactical functions of the infinitive

    "can but " / "could but" is an idiom that means "must / have to."

  3. Newbie
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    #6

    Re: syntactical functions of the infinitive

    so, cannot but contradict is the predicate of the sentence.
    Am I right?

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    #7

    Re: syntactical functions of the infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    Firstly, you need to understand that this kind of sentence is an ellipsis.

    He could not but glance at Daniel= He could not do anything but glance at Daniel.


    ...
    Quote Originally Posted by gabber View Post
    "can but " / "could but" is an idiom that means "must / have to."
    The two points of view are not contradictory. Some teachers are more interested in what something means [gabber] than in why it means it [philo2009].

    b


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    #8

    Re: syntactical functions of the infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by kaktus View Post
    it's difficult for me to define the syntactical functions of the infinitive in the sentences:
    I cannot but contradict you
    Arthur could not but glance at Daniel

    The infinitive is used in these sentences as an adverbial modifier of exception.


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    #9

    Re: syntactical functions of the infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    Firstly, you need to understand that this kind of sentence is an ellipsis.

    He could not but glance at Daniel= He could not do anything but glance at Daniel.


    'But' here is a preposition (a function that historically predates its use as a conjunction) introducing an adnominal prepositional phrase postmodifying the ellipted indefinite pronoun 'anything' and governing the verb in the infinitive form, making that infinitive therefore nominal.
    A preposition always takes an object, which is nominal regarding its lexical category. Adnominal pp? Surely not a particle of a phrasal verb that we have in the sentence.
    In your message, less terminology would be more, IMO.

  5. Newbie
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    #10

    Re: syntactical functions of the infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark View Post
    The infinitive is used in these sentences as an adverbial modifier of exception.
    Where is the predicate then?
    and what is an adverbial modifier of exception?

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