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Constructions with verbals
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Constructions with verbals

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  • 1. Constructions with the Infinitive.
    • 1. The objective infinitive construction;
    • 2. The subjective infinitive construction;
    • 3. The for - to infinitive construction.
  • 2. The objective infinitive construction
    • consists of a noun in the common case or a pronoun in the objective form and the infinitive.
    • In the sentence this construction has the function of a complex object,
    • I saw John cross the street.
    • is used after verbs of mental processes (e.g. hear, watch, feel, observe, notice; know,think, consider, believe, suppose, expect, imagine, find; like, want, wish, desire,mean, intend, choose),
    • verbal processes (e.g. pronounce, report, declare),
    • verbs of causative processes (e.g. make, cause, get, have, order, allow)
  • 3. The subjective infinitive construction
    • consists of a noun in the common case or a pronoun in the nominative form and the infinitive.
    • In the sentence, the construction functions as a complex subject,
    • John was seen to cross the street.
    • The construction is used with verbs in the passive voice denoting mental (e.g. see, hear, etc),
    • verbal (e.g. say, report, etc.),
    • modal (epistemic)
    • p rocesses (e.g. appear, be likely, etc.),
    • verbs of causative processes (e.g. m ake,order,allow).
    • This construction is in fact a passive version of the former.
  • 4. The for - to infinitive construction.
    • consists of the preposition for (or of), a noun in the common case or a pronoun in the objective form and the infinitive .
    • He is a good man for you to know.
    • The prepositions are used when the speaker wishes to explicate the ‘subject’ of the infinitive clause. If the subject is not explicated, the sentence expresses a generic situation.
    • He is a good man to know. vs.
    • He is a good man for me/you to know.
  • 5. The for - to infinitive construction.
    • The construction is polyfunctional:
    • a complex subject (e.g. For you to do such a thing will only cause trouble ),
    • a complex object (e.g. The store arranged for us to pay the money in three installments ),
    • a complex predicative (e.g. The regulation is for boys and girls to live in separate dormitories ),
    • a complex adverbial (a complex adjunct) (e.g. In order for me to buy a car, I’ll have to take a loan from the bank ).
  • 6. Constructions with the Gerund.
    • Gerundial
    • Half-Gerundial
  • 7. Constructions with the Gerund.
    • Gerundial (Noun’s or Possessive Pronoun + Gerund);
    • Do you mind John’s smoking in the room?
    • I insist on Mary’s going there.
    • The ‘possessive’ form is considered to be more literary and elegant;
    • Half-Gerundial (Noun in the Common case or Personal Pronoun in the Objective Case + Gerund).
    • I insist on Mary going there.
    • the ‘objective’ form is found mainly in the spoken language, “where it is probably just as common as the possessive form”
    • (W. Stannard Allen)
  • 8. Constructions with the Participle. 1) The objective – participle construction; 2) The subjective – participle construction; 3) The subjective – absolute participle construction; 4) The absolute participle construction
  • 9. The Objective Participial Construction
    • is a construction in which the Participle is in predicate relation to a Noun in the Common case or a Pronoun in the Objective case;
    • I saw John running away . (the situation in progress)
    • is similar to the corresponding objective-infinitive construction.
    • I saw John run away. (the completed situation)
  • 10. The Subjective Participial Construction
    • is a construction in which the Participle is in predicate relation to a Noun in the Common case or a Pronoun in the Nominative case, which is the Subject of the sentence;
    • John was seen running away. ( the process in progress)
    • is similar to the corresponding subjective-infinitive construction.
    • John was seen to run away. ( the process as completed)
  • 11. The Nominative Absolute Participial Construction
    • is a construction in which the Participle stands in predicate relation to a Noun in the Common case or a Pronoun in the Nominative case, the Noun or Pronoun is not the Subject of the sentence
    • The elevator being out of order, everyone had to walk.
  • 12. The Nominative Absolute Participial Construction
    • The nominal position can be taken by the expletives (i.e. prop-words) it and there
    • It being Sunday, the stores were not open.
    • There having been some question about the bookkeeper’s honesty, the company asked him to resign.
    • The participle can be elided in such constructions
    • His book [being] now a best-seller, he felt pleased with the world.
  • 13. The subjective-absolute participial construction
    • functions in the sentence as
    • an adverbial of time
    • Dinner [being] ready, the hostess asked her guests to be seated .
    • cause
    • The children having been fed, their mother put them to bed .
    • condition
    • A riot once begun, our small police force will be unable to handle it .
    • manner
    • She sat in a corner, her hands over her eyes.
  • 14. The Prepositional Absolute Participial Construction introduced by the preposition “with”.
    • With him being sick, we’ll have to do his work.
  • 15. The absolute participle construction
    • is a construction in which the participle is not connected with the sentence, just as the participle in the subjective absolute construction.
    • Generally speaking, I don’t like cats. vs. Her mother being away, she has to do all the housework.
  • 16.
    • The absolute participle construction should not be confused with the adverbial participle construction,
    • Drawing the conclusion, he felt very lonesome . vs. Not knowing anyone in town , he felt very lonesome .
  • 17. ‘ D angling’participle
    • is a participle which does not depend on any other individual element of the sentence,
    • *Walking back, it snowed.

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