26 Oct 2014

An infinitive phrase as an object (1)

An infinitive phrase begins with 'to' and a verb (an infinitive verb) which may be complemented by objects or/ and modifiers.

To be is a simple infinite phrase acting as a noun, called also an infinite noun.

In general, to plus a verb play a role of a noun; an infinite noun may be the subject of a sentence, a direct object, an indirect object, subject complement, appositive phrase and an object of a preposition.

I want to see you.
To see is a direct object and you - indirect one.

Compare:
I want you to see Peter.
To see you - is the same an infinite phrase but this time the actor or the subject of the phrase is 'you'.

To win the marathon is a challenge.
An infinite phrase - the subject of the sentence.

I hope to enjoy reading this book.
To enjoy - a direct object of hoping, reading this book - direct object of enjoying (a gerund phrase, but I have not discussed it yet).

Peter's dream was to marry Jane.
To marry Jane is a direct object of dreaming and a subject complement.

Peter's dream, to marry Jane, was fulfilled last year.
This time an infinite phrase is used as an appositive phrase (renaming the object) and is separated by commas like other nonessential phrases.

Jane's desire was nothing but to be happy.
To be happy - an object of a preposition but.

To sell more and more cars is our boss's desire. ( subject)

An infinite phrase can act as an adjective and adverb, but about that I will talk in the next post.

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