If a verb requires a prepositional object, the preposition is re- tained by the verbal when the object happens to be separated from it.
e.g. We've got a lot to talk about.
I'm not accustomed to being spoken to in that way.
Yet there is a difference between the two verbals and the finite forms. With finite forms, the secondary parts of the sentence usu- ally follow the predicate, but they may also have front position.
e.g. That year winter set in early.
To relieve my feeling, I wrote a letter to Robert.
With the infinitive and the ing-form, the secondary parts are always found in post-position. The verbals may be preceded only by certain adverbs. Yet even instances of this are infrequent, e.g. Critically to examine newcomers was one of the amusements
at the boarding house.
My father was the coach of our swimming team, though his poor health prevented him from ever going into the water. With finite forms, the negatives not and never normally ei- ther follow them or are placed within analytical forms of various kinds of compound predicates.
e.g. He was not there. He has not done it. He should not do it. He did not seem tired.
With verbals, the negatives not and never always precede them, even if they are analytical forms. e.g. I had learned a long time ago not to show what I felt.
He went on drinking his coffee, not saying anything more. She knew that he had gone never to return. I have kept him out of your life: keep him now out of mine by never mentioning him again.
§ 171. In addition to the above described features which the infinitive and the ing-form have in common, each of the two ver- bals possesses peculiarities of its own.
The infinitive is generally preceded by the particle to, but. in certain functions it is used without it, and in still other functions the use of the particle is optional. The use or the absence of the
particle will be considered in connection with each of the func- tions of the infinitive.
Note. The infinitive and the particle to may be separated from each other by the insertion of an adverb between them, such as never, ever, fully, really, even. This is called a split infinitive.
e.g. She was the first person to ever understand me, Frank.
I'm sorry, I made a mistake. It was a mistake to even try to help you.
However, split infinitives are very rarely found in English.
If there are two or more infinitives in the same function fol- lowing each other, the particle to is usually used before the first one and need not be repeated before the others.
e.g. Amy admired Lilian because she could do a lot of things — she was said, for instance, to dance and skate very well.
Sometimes, however, the particle to is repeated for emphasis, to make the action of each infinitive more prominent.
e.g. The hero, when the heroine hurts his feelings, is said to feel for a moment a wild desire of the caveman, the longing to seize her, to drag her with him, to give her a good beating.
The infinitive may sometimes be represented by the particle to alone. This happens when the infinitive is easily supplied from the previous context.
e.g. Joe said, "I don't think we are going to catch any fish."
"I never expect to," said Lizzy.
She would have listened if I had called her attention to it but I had already decided not to.
Another peculiarity of the infinitive is that it may be used as part of a phrase introduced by the conjunctive pronouns or ad- verbs what, who, whom, which, when, where, whether, how and how long. As most of them begin with wh-, this kind of infinitive group may be called the wh-phrase ['dablju eic freiz].
e.g- I didn't know what to say.
I couldn't decide whether to speak or not.
§ 172. The ing-form, in its turn, has peculiarities of its own. unliке the infinitive, it may, in certain functions, be preceded by a preposition.
e.g. For anybody as clever as you are, you're not really good at
decidingthings. He told me that we were about to be turned out of our flat
for not payingthe rent.
The ing-form has another peculiarity: it may lose its verbal character and become adjectivized. In this case the ing-form be- comes devoid of the idea of action and sometimes its lexical mean- ing is changed as compared with the meaning of the corresponding verb.
e.g. They found his ideas very upsetting.
His erect, rather forbiddingfigure made him look old-fashi- oned.
In the second example forbidding means 'суровый, неприступ- ный'; it differs from the meaning of the verb to forbid ('запре- щать').
Adjectivized ing-forms, like real adjectives, may be preceded by adverbs of degree, such as very, rather, most, quite., how, so, so ... as, etc.
e.g. She is always so amusing.
The results which he obtained proved to be moat striking.
Note 1. There are a number of ing-forms of this kind that are used only as ad- jectives in present-day English, e.g. interesting, charming, dashing, etc.
Note 2. In English there are a considerable number of nouns in -ing. They may denote concrete things (e.g. landing 'лестничная площадка') or abstract notions, including actions (e.g. beginning 'начало', singing 'пение, reading 'чтение'). These nouns lack the above described properties of the ing-form and, like any other noun, may be associated with the article, definite or indefinite, with pronouns, such as some, any, a lot of, etc, or may be modified by adjectives.
e.g. The drums were silent: the singing stopped.
"My wife had once a vegetarian bulldog," said Mr Smith with pride. "Of course.
it took some training." I admired the dancer and asked if she ever did any real Indian dancing.
"I do a lot of travelling," he said.
She had an attack of violent sobbing.
Nouns in -ing denoting actions are called verbal nouns. They should not be confused with the ing form proper even when they denote actions (e.g. reading writing, walking, etc.).
§ 173.Although the participle has the same lexical meaning as the corresponding verb, it differs considerably from the finite forms as well as from the infinitive and the ing-form.
As the participle has only one form (see "Verbs", § 5 and Ap- pendix), it does not possess any of the grammatical categories of the infinitive and the ing-form. Nevertheless, this form has its own grammatical meaning.
The grammatical meaning of the participle is closely connected with the lexical character of the verb.
The participle is, in the main, formed from transitive verbs and has passive meaning.
e.g. He had suits, and coats, and shirts madeto order.
Itwas a question put downby one of the correspondents.
When the participle is formed from transitive terminative verbs, it denotes a state resulting from a previously accomplished action. This resultant state is simultaneous with the action ex- pressed by the predicate verb.
e.g. On arriving at the small building on the top of the mountain,
she found it locked. Alfred, leftalone, stoodmotionless for some minutes.
A participle formed from a transitive durative verb denotes an action; it is simultaneous with the action expressed by the predi- cate verb.
e.g. Tom was the happy husband, adoring and adored,
At last the Colonel, accompaniedby his two daughters, made his appearance in the park.
The number of participles formed from intransitive verbs is very limited. They have active meaning and usually denote an ac- tion preceding that of the predicate verb.
e-g.She sat downon a fallentree to have a short rest.
The house was madeof unpainted plank, gone grey now.
Sometimes the participle is formed from an intransitive mean- ing of a polysemantic verb.
e.g.. His face was like a withered apple. She looked at the faded photograph.
§ 174.Like the finite forms and the other two verbals, the participle is always associated with a subject. But the means of expressing its subject are more limited than those of expressing the subject of the infinitive and the ing form.
The subject of the participle may be the person or thing denot- ed by the subject (a) or the object (b) of the sentence. It may also be expressed by the noun the participle modifies (c).
e.g. a) Suddenly touched, shecame over to the side of herfa- ther's chair and kissed him.
b) He heard his name called.
c) A large fat man with a face shavedas smooth as marble
stood in the doorway.
As the participle is, as a rule, formed from transitive verbs and has passive meaning, it mostly has a passive subject. But its active subject, the doer of the action, may also be indicated in the sentence with the help of a by-phrase.
e.g. I looked at the ceiling, painted by some 18th century artist
§ 175.The participle can be used only as a notional verb (see the examples above and below); it never serves as a structural word. In this respect it also differs from the finite forms and the two other verbals.
But, like the infinitive and theing-form, the participle is widely used as second (or third) component of analytical forms (e.g. The letter is written. Hehas doneit. The matter has been investigated.)
§ 176.The syntactic functions of the participle in the sentence are more restricted than those of the other two verbals. It mainly performs the functions of the adjective.
e.g. One day he landed in Santa Domingo in tornand dusty clothes. He stood amazedat the door of the shop.
§ 177.The participle, like the other two verbals, is, in some of its functions, lexically and structurally dependent. For example its use is required by the verb to have in the following pattern.
e.g. You'll never guess where I had the suit made.
The functions of the participle will be dealt with in detail below.
§ 178.The participle, like the finite forms and the two other verbals, can be modified by secondary parts of the sentence. But the number of those modifiers is restricted and the participle phrase is never very extended. The secondary parts that modify the participle usually denote the place (a), or the time (b), or the doer of the action (c). They always follow the participle.
e.g. a) I had my suitcase put in the corner ofa third-class carriage. b) She told me of the parcel delivered in the morning.
c) They let him know of the decision taken by the committee. The negative not is always placed before the participle. e.g. Margaret, notconvinced, was still arguing about it.
If the verb requires a prepositional object, the preposition is retained by the participle when the object happens to be separated from it.
e.g. He never uttered a word unless spoken to.
The blood in his cut seemed very dark. "You ought to have it looked at," Isaid.
§179.The participle often becomes adjectivized. (Adjectiviza- tion is even more typical of the participle than of the ing-form.) It becomes devoid of the idea of action and sometimes its lexical meaning is changed as compared with the meaning of the corre- sponding verb (see the second and third examples below)-
e.g. On the surface my life was variedand exciting; but beneath it was narrow.
He was an elegant gentleman though given to talking in a gruff voice (= склонный, имеющий обыкновение).
The streets, deserted now, looked frightening (= пустые, без- людные).
The adjectivized participle may be preceded, like a real adjec- tive, by adverbs of degree.
e.g. Is Mrs White really very excited?
Suddenly, looking rather alarmed,she rushed out of the room. The road was as desertedas ever.
Note 1. Some participles are used only as adjectives in present-day English, e.g. tired, interested, accustomed and others.
Note 2. There are a number of adjectives ending in -ed which are homonymous to participles. They are actually adjectives formed from nouns, e.g. stockinged legs, propertied classes, a bearded face, a gifted person, a talented musician, etc.
Adjectives built up on this pattern mean 'having stockings, having property, having a beard', etc.
§ 180.The use of all the three verbals is characterized by one more peculiarity: the frequency of their occurrence varies greatly in different functions. In some functions their use is extensive, in other functions it is infrequent. At the same time, some of their functions are found only in literary style.
In describing the various functions of the verbals, special mention will be made of their frequency of occurrence and stylis- tic restrictions.
The Use of the Infinitive The Infinitive as Subject
§ 181. Inthis function the infinitive is always used with the particle to and usually expresses an action following the action denoted by the predicate verb.
e.g. To fulfilthis condition was hopelessly out of my power. To visither was all that I desired.
The infinitive as subject may also express actions which are si- multaneous with the action of the predicate verb, e.g. To visither isalways a pleasure.
The infinitive often acquires the additional modal meaning of condition in this function. This meaning is generally supported by the use of the Conditional Mood in the sentence, e.g. To takemoney from him would be like robbing a child (=if
you took money from him...).
To takehim seriously would be absurd (= if you took him se- riously...)-
For the means of expressing the subject of the action denoted by the infinitive see "Verbs", § 166.
Sentences with the infinitive as subject have certain structural peculiarities:
a) The infinitive as subject may be used only in declarative sen- tences; it is never used in interrogative sentences.
b) The infinitive is always placed at the head of the sentence; it is never preceded by any secondary parts.
c) We generally find the nominal predicate in sentences of this kind. The predicative is usually expressed by a noun or an adjec- tive, qualifying the action denoted by the infinitive.
e.g. Togo with him to picture galleries was a rare treat. To doit seemed a proper and natural thing. Not to go backwas awful.
Sometimes another infinitive is used as predicative, e.g. To influencea person is to give him one's thoughts.
The use of the infinitive as subject is mainly found in literary English but even there it is infrequent.
(For comparison with the ing-form see §§ 209 and 235.)
The Infinitiveas Predicative
§ 182.The infinitive is generally preceded by the particle to in this function and in most cases expresses an action which follows that of the link-verb.
The link-verb in sentences with the infinitive as predicative is always to be.
e.g. His highest ambition was to writea monumental work on art. The job of a reporter is toexpose and record. His greatest wish was to tellher everything. The only sensible thing is for you togo away.
The infinitive in this function always has appositive meaning, i.e- it explains the meaning of the subject of the sentence. Hence, sentences of this kind have the following structural peculiarity — the subject of the sentence can be expressed only by a limited number of nouns. They are nouns denoting abstract notions which
admit of and sometimes even require an explanation of their meaning. The most commonly occurring of these nouns are: act, action, advice, aim, ambition, answer, business, consequence, cus- tom, desire, difficulty, duty, function, habit, hope, idea, instruc- tion, intention, job, method, need, object (=aim), order, plan, poli cy, problem, purpose, reason, requirement, role, rule, task, thing (usually with an attribute), thought, way, wish, work and some others (see the examples above).
The subject of the sentence may also be expressed by all (and occasionally by the least and the most) modified by an attributive clause which usually contains the verb to do.
e.g. All I want to do is to helpyou.
The least we can do is to tryand understandtheir idea. The most he could do at the moment was to giveme a cigarette. After this type of subject the infinitive may be used without to.
e.g. All I wanted to do was runaway.
All we can do is stickto our decision.
Sentences with the subject expressed by all, the least and the most cannot be used in the interrogative form.
For the means of expressing the subject of the action denoted by the infinitive see "Verbs", § 166.
The infinitive as predicative, unlike the infinitive as subject, is found not only in literary style but also in spoken English.
(For comparison with the ing-form see §§ 210and 236.)
The Infinitive as Predicate § 183.The use of the infinitive as predicate is restricted to the
following sentence patterns:
1) Interrogative (affirmative and negative) sentences begin' ning with why and implying a suggestion. We always find an in- finitivewithout to here.
In interrogative-affirmative sentences the implication is that
there is no need to perform the action, e.g. Why loseyour temper over a little thing like that? Why waste your time on this kind of work?
In interrogative-negative sentences the implication is that there is nothing to prevent one from performing the action.
e.g. Why not gothere right away?
Why not apologizeif you know you're wrong?
The subject of the infinitive in this kind of sentences is always the person (or the persons) engaged in the conversation.
2) Exclamatory sentences showing that the person denoted by the subject is unlikely to perform the action of the infinitive — the speaker rejects the idea as impossible. The infinitive may be used with or without to.
e.g. You — a man-of-the-world — to suggestthis! You know it's
"Try to write," she said, "you're expressive, you can say what you want; why not try to be a writer?" I couldn't keep from laughing at that. It was so absurd. Me — write!"No," Isaid with a laugh.
Such sentences are emotionally coloured and found only in spoken English, but they are infrequent.
(For comparison with the ing-form see § 211.)
The Infinitive as Part of a Compound Verbal Predicate
§ 184.The infinitive is lexically dependent in this function — it is used only after certain verbs: a) after modal verbs (this use has been described in detail in "Verbs", § 76-120) and b) after the following intransitive verbs: to seem, to appear, to turn out, to Prove, to happen, to chance.
e-g- He seemed to knowall about it.
I'm quite aware how improbable that sounds but it happens
to bethe truth. He turned out to haveno feeling whatsoever for his nephew.
These verbs may be followed by different analytical forms of the infinitive with to.
e.g. For a moment she appeared to be hesitating. He seemed to have gainedall he wanted.
The letter seems to have been mislaid.
In that same week I happened to have been enquiring whether all the invitations had been sent out.
As is seen from the above examples, the Perfect infinitive ex- presses an action which precedes the action indicated by the finite verb, while the Continuous infinitive expresses an action simulta- neous with it.
The subject of the infinitive in this function is the same as the subject of the sentence (see the examples above). (For comparison with the ing-form see § 212.)
The Infinitive as a Second Action Accompanying the Action of the Predicate Verb
§ 185. The infinitive may express a second action in the sen- tence, accompanying the action of the predicate verb. The subject of the infinitive is the same as that of the predicate verb. This sec- ond action follows the action expressed by the predicate verb and may be called a subsequent action. Hence the term the infinitive of
The infinitive of subsequent action always follows the predicate
and is used with the particle to.
The most commonly occurring verbs followed by this kind of infinitive are those of motion such as to come, to hurry, to reach, to return, to run, to rush, to turn, to walk and their synonyms as well as the verbs to look or to glance (followed by up, down, across, about, round, toward, etc.), to wake up, to awake, to be
The infinitive of subsequent action itself may also be ex- pressed by a wide range of verbs of different lexical character, but by far the most frequently occurring verbs are to discover, to find, to hear, to see and their synonyms.
e.g. He turned to find her sad, calm eyes upon him. (= and found) He returned ten minutes later to find Bridget ready for de- parture. (= and found)
I looked across to see Mr Jesmond smiling at me. (= and saw} One night he awakened to hear a light rain whispering in the garden. (= and heard)
Then the sun came out again to brighten the last spatter of rain. (=and brightened) As a rule, the action of the infinitive instantly follows that of the predicate verb, as in all the examples above. Sometimes, how- ever, this immediate succession of actions is expressed in the sen- tence by means of special indications, such as in time, or just in time, the next moment and the like.
e.g. Alice arrived in time to hear Tom's remark.
Etta then shot out of the room just in time to shut the door behind her before she exploded into incontrollable shrieks of laughter.
If the action of the infinitive does not follow that of the predicate verb directly, there are usually special indications of time in he sentence.
e.g. I know of quite a few people who always start a new life on the 1st of January only to slip back to the old one on the 15th.
He walked out one morning without a word to anyone, to be heard of some time afterwards in Australia.
The infinitive of subsequent action is sometimes preceded by only. In this case the combination of the predicate verb and the infinitive usually acquires the following meaning: the action of the predicate verb becomes pointless and its effect is, as it were, brought to naught by the action expressed by the infinitive.
e.g. The motor started again, only to stop again in a moment. He took off the receiver only to replace it.
The infinitive of subsequent action may be preceded by never to show that the action of the infinitive is not destined to take place.
e-g. She knew that he had gone never to return.
Young Hardcastle, when he attained the age of fifteen, had disappeared from his home never to be heard of again.
The infinitive of subsequent action is not in common use in English; it is mainly restricted to literary style. (For comparison with the ing-form see § 213.)