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Verb + Object + Infinitive

Getting people to do things

Brummer Man sitting
 

 

Who is doing the work?

1) PRONOUN BELONGS TO MAIN VERB

Persuade is a verb that takes an object (transitive) and an infinitive or infinitive clause.   Ed is persuading Frida.  Frida is both the receiver of the persuasion and the doer of the activity in the infinitive clause.

SUBJ: N + V PRONOUN ¹ INFINITIVE CLAUSE

Ed  persuaded 

Frida / her

to paint the portrait.
(Frida is understood as the doer.)

Ed  persuaded 

Frida / her

[for her] to paint the portrait.
Omit repetitive"for her".

2) PRONOUN BELONGS TO INFINITIVE CLAUSE

Intend is a verb that does not take an object (intransitive) but does take an infinitive or infinitive clause.  The subordinator [for] together with the ¹accusative pronoun function as the subject or doer of the activity. 

SUBJ: N + V PRONOUN ¹ INFINITIVE CLAUSE

Ed    intends 

to paint the portrait. 
(Ed is understood as the doer.)

Ed    intends 

(for) Frida / her

to paint the portrait. 
(Frida is stated as the doer.)

 

¹ An accusative pronoun —you, me, him, her, them, us— normally occurs as the object of a verb.  He persuaded her.  However, above #2, for + accusative pronoun  —for you, for me, for him, for her, for them, for us— function as the subject of the infinitive clause; that is, together they express the 'doer' of the infinitive clause.    See Infinitives w/Subject

nominative – a noun form used when it is the subject of the verb  (she, he, we, they) / accusative – a noun form used when it is the object of the verb (her, him, us, them)
for – is a subordinator (not a preposition) before the accusative pronoun and infinitive  See Grammar Notes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Verbs Followed by Objects + Infinitives

Similar but Different

 

 

 

Persuade vs. Intend

1. PERSUADE

Persuade takes either an object noun, or an object noun + an infinitive clause as its complement.   The person mentioned as the object of the main clause is also understood as the subject "doer" in the infinitive clause. Frida is both an ordinary object of the verb persuade and the understood subject of the infinitive clause to do the portrait.

TAKES AN OBJECT

Ed persuaded Frida.     

Persuade takes an noun as its object.  It is a transitive verb

TAKES AN OBJECT   + AN INFINITIVE

Ed persuaded Frida  [to do the portrait.]     

The under stood "doer" or subject of the infinitive clause is the same as the object of the main clause — Frida.

DOES NOT ACCEPT "FOR" BEFORE THE OBJECT

*Ed persuaded (for) Frida to do the portrait.

If we cannot put for before the object noun, then the object noun does not belong to the infinitive clause. (It belongs to the main clause.

SAME PERSON — OBJECT  = INFIN SUBJECT

Ed persuaded Frida      (for Frida) to do the portrait. 

Ed persuaded Frida     (for Frida) to do the portrait.  

→ Ed persuaded Frida  to do the portrait.  

The object of the main verb is also the understood subject of the infinitive clause.

2. INTEND

Intend takes only an infinitive as its complement.  It does not take a noun as its object.   The object (Frida) is actually the understood subject of the infinitive clause [ for + noun]. The subject pronoun of an infinitive clause is an accusative pronoun: Ed intended  [her to do the portrait] not [she to do the portrait]

DOES NOT TAKE AN OBJECT

*Ed intended Frida.   

Intend does not take a noun as object but can take an infinitive clause after it. (Traditionally, this is marked as a transitive verb, though it does not take a noun as its object.)

TAKES AN INFINITIVE

Ed intended    [to do the portrait.]    

The under stood "doer" or subject of the infinitive clause is the same as the subject of the main clause — Ed.

ACCEPTS "FOR" BEFORE THE OBJECT

Ed intended (for) Frida to do the portrait.

If we can put for before the object, then Frida is actually the subject of the infinitive clause.   See Infinitive with Subject

ONE PERSON — INFIN SUBJECT

Ed intended      (for) Frida to do the portrait. 

Ed intended      (for) Frida to do the portrait

Ed intended Frida to do the portrait.

 The subject of the infinitive clause is "raised" to become the object of the verb in the main clause.

 

The subject of the infinitive clause is expressed as [for + noun] (accusative pronoun)
for  – subordinator  (not a preposition)
persuade is said to have an ordinary object / intend is said to have a raised object. 
transitive – in traditional grammar, a verb that takes a direct object and form a passive
See Infinitive with Subject. (Huddleston 1178)
(Azar 14-6) (Biber 9.4)  (Huddleston 1201-39) (Swan 258)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Verbs like "Persuade"

Verb + Object + Infinitive

 

 

 

1. Verbs Like "persuade" —  He persuaded us [to take his place].

VERBS LIKE "PERSUADE" — verbs whose complement is an object + infinitive clause

advise     We advised him to take a break.

*ask     She asked us to come along.

aid     We aided him to take a stay.

appoint     We appointed him to lead.

assist     We assisted him to finish.

authorize     We authorized them to withdraw.

back        We backed him to be President.

*beg     She begged us to stay up late.

blackmail   We blackmailed him not to speak.

bribe    We bribed him to advance.

bring up    We brought him up to be honest.

caution    We cautioned him to slow down.

challenge     We challenged him to compete.

choose     We chose him to help.

coax     We coaxed him to be nicer..

command    He commanded us to stop.

commission We commissioned him to paint.

compel  He compelled us to leave.

condemn  He condemned the prisoner to death.

dare     He dared us to jump.

direct      They directed us to walk back.

discipline  He disciplined them to sit and wait.

drive     He drove them to act selfishly.

elect   They elected her to serve two years.

enable    They enabled him to act.

encourage   They encouraged me to speak.

equip    They equipped him to climb the mountain.

forbid    They forbid him to go alone.

force    They forced him to go alone.

*help(optional to) They helped us to win.

hire    He hired me to drive.

inspire    He inspired us to try.

instruct  He instructed me to leave at once.

invite     They invited us to eat..

lead     His action lead us to strike.

leave     He left us to finish the work.

nag     She nagged him to stop smoking.

nominate     We nominated him to be president.

oblige     They obliged us to carry a passport.

order     They ordered us to carry a passport.

persuade     He persuaded us to drive.

prefer     He urged us to work hard.

prepare   She prepared us to go home.

pressure  He pressured us to help.

prompt   He prompted us to respond.

provoke  They provoked us to strike back.

push     They pushed us to excel.

remind     He reminded us to be there.

select     We selected him to lead.

sentence     The judge sentenced him to a week in jail.

summon  The judge summoned him to come.

teach     He taught me to read.

tell     He told me to rest.

tempt   She tempted him to eat the apple.

trust     They trusted us to be honest.

urged     He urged us to work hard.

warned     We warned them to slow down.

will     She willed herself not to cry.

 

 

*verb can be used in both sentences

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Verbs like "Intend"

Infinitive Clause w / Subject

 

 

 

2. Verbs Like "Intend"  He intends [for us to take his place] .

VERBS LIKE "INTEND" — verbs whose complement is an infinitive clause with a subject

allow     He allowed us to try it out.

can't bear     They can't bear us to be gone.

can't stand     He can't stand us to be lazy.

cause     They caused us to lose the race.

desire    He desired us to win.

expect    We expected him to be President.

hate     We hated them to slow down.

intend   He intended us to take his place.

*like     She liked us to be creative.

love     They love us to be around.

need    We need you to think clearly.

permit     He permitted us to eat out at lunch.

plan     He planned us to go to college.

require    He require ed us to dress for business.

want     She wanted us to cry.

wish     We wished them to succeed.

Also see Infinitive Commands

 

 

 

 

 

 

Verbs like "Ask"

Objects or an Infinitive Clause w / Subject

 

 

 

Verbs Like "Ask" — Who is doing the Action?

1. SUBJECT DOES THE ACTION

(1) Ed, the subject of the main clause, is understood as the subject of the infinitive clause.     The verb ask is transitive (takes an object) and dative (takes an indirect object) in this example. Ed asked us (IO) something (DO).

SUBJ: N + V ACCUS PRN INFINITIVE CLAUSE

Edward asked

me
(me)

to go home early. 
 (Ed wants to go home early.)

Frida paid

us
(us)

to house-sit. 
 (Frida wants to house-sit for us.)

2. SOMEONE ELSE DOES THE ACTION

(2) Ed is the subject of the main clause and  "us" is both the object of the main clause and the understood subject of the infinitive clause. Ed asked us ← (for us) to leave.   The pronoun is called a "raised object"

SUBJ: N + V ACCUS PRN INFINITIVE CLAUSE

Ed asked

me 

← [for me] to go home early.  
 (Ed wants me to go home early.)

Frida paid

us 

← [for us] to house-sit.  
 (Frida paid us to house-sit for her.)

 

†The subject of the infinitive clause is expressed as [for + noun] (accusative pronoun) See Infinitive with Subject.  (Huddleston 1178-82) 
IO – indirect object ; DO – direct object
house-sit – occupy and care for a house while the usual people who live there are away on a trip; sometimes the house-sitter pays a small rental fee; sometimes the homeowner pays the house sitter, and sometimes it is an even trade.

 

 

 

3. Verbs like "ask"

VERBS LIKE "ASK"

ask     He asked us to leave.

beg     He begged us to stay.

pay     He paid us to house-sit.

petition     We petitioned them to change the law.

promise    We promised them to marry.

pledge    We pledged ourselves to do some charity work.

request     He requested us to do the cooking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other

Bare Infinitives & Negatives

Cooking dinner
 

 

Bare Infinitives

VERB "TO" OMITTED

make   

They made us wash dishes.  They forced us. We washed the dishes.

have    

They had us clear the table.  They employed us. We cleared the table.

let

They let us leave early.  They permitted us. We left early.

VERB OPTIONAL "TO"

help  

They helped us (to) cook dinner. They helped us. We all cooked.

   
   
 

 

 

 

Negatives

NEGATIVE MAIN VERB

Use a negative verb if the speaker has no particular intention to do something.

He doesn't want me to waste paper.   

* He doesn't want me to waste no paper. (Use any.)

 

NEGATIVE INFINITIVE

Use a negative infinitive if the speak has a clear intention to avoid something.

He wants me not to waste any paper.   

He wants me not to waste any paper.

He wants me to not waste  any paper.
(awkward word order - place
not before to.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Errors and Solutions

 

 

 

Error and Solution

ERROR

*I hope you to have a good trip.

*I promise you to be careful.

SOLUTION

I hope to have a good trip. (Remove the indirect object - you.)
I hope (that) you will have a good trip. (Use a that-clause with an indirect object.)

I promise to be careful. (I promise that I will be careful.)
I promise you (that) I will be careful. (Use a that-clause with an indirect object.)

 

*Yellow highlighted words are examples of incorrect usage.
Related page Command Clauses

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grammar Notes

Traditional and Linguistic Description

Advanced

 

 

TRADITIONAL DESCRIPTION LINGUISTIC DESCRIPTION

Traditional grammar does not focus on this particular functional relationship between the verb and the object pronoun with regard to the "infinitive  phrase".

A noun or pronoun in a verb + pronoun + infinitive construction either belongs syntactically to the main verb (as its object), or to the infinitive clause as its subject [for + noun] (accusative pronoun)..

1) Ed intended to do it. → [Ed intended (for Ed) to do it.] (Ed is the understood subject of both clauses.)
2) Ed intended Frida to do it.  → [Ed intended (for) Frida to do it. (Frida is the subject of infin. clause.) 
3) Ed persuaded Frida to do it.  → [Ed persuaded Frida (for Frida) to do it.] (Frida is both the object of the main clause and the understood subject of the infinitive clause.)

To-infinitivals with and without a subject (Huddleston 1178); The clause subordinator for (Huddleston 1181); accusative rather than nominative pronoun forms (1182); The infinitival subordinator to (1183); understood subjects (1192)
 

SENTENCE PARSING—REED KELLOGG SYSTEM TREE DIAGRAM

Ed persuaded Frida to do the portrait.   

Edward persuaded Frida to do the portrait 

  This diagram is a guess !

 

 

Ed persuaded Frida to do the portrait.   

Edward persuaded Frida to do the protrait 

  

SENTENCE PARSING—REED-KELLOGG SYSTEM TREE DIAGRAM

 

Edward persuaded Frida to do the portrait.

 

Edward persuaded Frida to do the portrait 

 

 

Edward intended Frida to do the portrait.

Edward intended Frida to do the protrait

Categories:  NP –noun phrase; N – noun; VP – verb phrase; V – verb; Detdeterminer; PP – prepositional phrase; P – preposition; AdvP – adverb phrase; Adv – adverb; AdjP– adjective phrase; Adj – adjective; Subord – Subordinator;  Coord – Coordinator; Interj – Interjection

Functions: Subject:  Subject,   Predicate: Predicator (V) Complement:  elements required by the verb: object, indirect object, predicative complement  Adjuncts: (optional modifiers) Adj,  Adv, clause

Clause; Subject / Predicate; Finite / Nonfinite;

 

 

Resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Getting someone else to do something!

Cleaning up after oil spill
Cleaning up after an oil spill
 

 

 

Complete the sentence with a gerund or infinitive.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check 1-10" button at the bottom, or click the "Check" button to the left  as you go.

 

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