The Infinitive Clause




The Infinitive Clause :


A peculiar infinitive construction often replaces a that-clause as the object of a verb. Thus….

1. I wished {that he should go. | him to go.}

In the first sentence, the noun clause that HE SHOULD GO is the object of wished. In the second, this clause is replaced by HIM TO GO, but without any change in meaning. This expression consists of two parts

(1) HIM, a pronoun in the objective case, which replaces the subject he

(2) AN infinitive TO GO, which replaces the predicate SHOULD GO

Thus it is plain that HIM TO GO is also a noun clause of which him is the subject and TO GO the predicate. Such an expression is called an
infinitive clause .

A
predicate pronoun after TO BE in an infinitive clause is in the objective case, agreeing with the subject of the infinitive.

Care should be taken not to confuse this construction with the
predicate nominative .

Predicate Pronoun after TO BE……..Predicate Nominative

I believed it to be her. …….. I believed that it was she.

We know the author to be him. ……..(We know that the author is he.) and (The author is known to be he.)

He thought Richard to be me. ……..(He thought that Richard was I.) and (Richard was thought to be I.)

We suspected the intruders to be them. ……..We suspected that the intruders were they.

Note the case of the relatives and of the predicate pronouns in the following sentences.

A boy whom I thought to be honest deceived me. [WHOM is the subject of the infinitive to be and is therefore in the objective case.]

A boy who, I thought, was honest deceived me. [WHO IS THE SUBJECT OF was and is therefore nominative. I thought is parenthetical.]

A boy whom I believe to be him just passed me.

A boy who, I believe, was he, just passed me.


The Infinitive Clause :







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