THE COMPLEX OBJECT
The Complex Object is a predicative construction which consists of a noun in the common case or a pronoun in the objective case and an infinitive.
The relations between the noun or the pronoun and the infinitive are similar to those between the subject and the predicate of the sentence. The infinitive in this construction is sometimes called a secondary predicate while the noun or the pronoun a secondary subject. They are considered to express predication like the subject and the predicate that’s why complexes with the infinitive as well as those with other verbals are called COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE predicative.
The Complex Object with the infinitive is used after the following groups of verbs:
1) after the verbs of sense perception to see, to hear, to feel, to watch, to observe, to notice. The infinitive may be only indefinite active, the particle to is omitted.
I felt something touch my hand.
No one has ever heard her cry.
Note. When the verbs to see and to hear are used in the meaning of mental activity (to see= to understand, to hear=to know) a subordinate clause is used.
I saw that he didn’t know anything.
I hear that he left COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE for the South last week.
2) After verbs of mental activity to think, to believe, to consider, to suppose, to find, to feel (=to consider), to mean, to understand:
I knew him to be a clever boy.
I don‘t expect this fine weather to continue.
All the forms of the infinitive may be used here.
The doctor found his heart to have stopped two hours before.
3) after the verbs of liking, disliking, wish: to want, to wish, to desire, to like, to love, to dislike, to hate:
He wants you to wait here.
I dislike you to COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE talk like that.
The infinitive is only indefinite, sometimes passive:
I wish the work to be done in time.
He hated the window to be closed.
4) after the verbs of order, permission, request (the infinitive is only indefinite, preferably active):
- to allow, to permit, to order, to command, to force, to cause, to get (the infinitive is used with the particle to);
The doctor permitted the room to be aired.
He ordered the letter to be sent at once.
- to let, to have, to make (the particle to is omitted)
I won’t have you speak like that COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE.
She made me obey her.
5) after certain verbs requiring a prepositional object: to count (up)on, to rely (up)on, to look for, to wait for, to listen to (without “to”)
I rely on you to come in time.
He was looking for somebody to help him
He was listening to the chairman speak.
THE COMPLEX SUBJECT
The Complex Subject is a predicative construction which consists of two parts: nominal and verbal. The nominal part consists of a noun in the common case or a pronoun in the nominative case. The verbal part is expressed by an infinitive. The complex subject is used:
I COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE. With the following predicate verbs in the passive voice:
a) the verbs of sense perception (mostly to see and to hear):
He was seen to enter the room.
The infinitive is indefinite active.
b) with the verbs of mental activity to think, to believe, to consider, to suppose, to know, to expect, to understand:
He is expected to be leaving tonight.
He is considered to be right.
He is known to have been a sailor in his youth.
c) with the verbs of order and permission: to force, to allow, to make, to order, etc.
I COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE was made to repeat my story.
The infinitive is indefinite active.
d) with the verbs of saying: to say, to report, to announce, to declare. All the forms of the infinitive are possible here.
The storm was reported to be approaching.
The actress is said to have been popular in her youth.
Sentences of this type belong to the official bookish style. In colloquial English the combinations they say, people say are used.
II. The Complex Subject is used with the following verbs and expressions in the active voice:
a) with the verbs of seeming: to seem, to appear, to COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE turn out, to prove, to happen. With the verb to happen the infinitive is never perfect, while after the other verbs all the forms of the infinitive are possible:
The weather seems to be changing.
This book seems to have been on sale all this time.
He turned out to be a good friend.
I happened to know his telephone number.
Note. With the verbs of seeming the predicate verb is used in the negative form to make the sentence negative.
He doesn’t seem to understand me.
b) with the expressions to be likely (unlikely), to be sure COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE, to be certain. The infinitive is usually indefinite active.
They are sure to arrive in two days.
You are not likely to believe my story.
Note. When the infinitive is part of a complex subject the particle to is always used.
FOR-PHRASES WITH THE INFINITIVE
A for-phrase with the infinitive is a predicative complex with the infinitive which can have different functions in the sentence, those of the subject, the predicative, an object, an attribute, an adverbial modifier:
It was very difficult for me to believe that (the subject).
That is for you to decide (the predicative).
We waited for COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE the moon to rise (an object).
There was no need for him to answer (an attribute).
He stepped aside for us to pass (an adverbial modifier of purpose).
His home was too far west for anyone to come to meet him (an adverbial modifier of result).
There was time enough for her to calm herself (an adverbial modifier of result).
OF-PHRASES WITH THE INFINITIVE
An of-phrase with the infinitive is a predicative complex with the infinitive which always functions as the real subject of the sentence beginning with the anticipatory it and follows the predicate COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE whose predicative is expressed by such adjectives as good, kind, nice, silly, clever, bad, etc.
It was very kind of you to help me.
It is very bad of him not to have told them about that before.
INFINITIVE PHRASES WHICH DO NOT EXPRESS PREDICATIVE RELATIONS
These phrases may be introduced:
These phrases can perform different functions in the sentence, those of the subject, the predicative, an object or an attribute:
When to start is not yet decided (the subject).
The question is COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE whom to invite (the predicative).
She had some doubt what to do next (an attribute).
We hesitated whether to accept the invitation or not (an object).
ITS NOMINAL AND VERBAL FEATURES
The nominal features of the gerund are:
I didn’t like the idea of visiting them.
I don’t quite like Mary’s (her) acting.
The verbal features of the gerund are:
Note. In some cases we find an indefinite gerund instead of perfect expressing a prior action. This occurs after the verbs to remember, to forget, to excuse, to forgive, to thank, to accuse, to blame, to punish, to reward, to reproach and after the prepositions on (upon), after, without:
I don’t remember hearing that before.
He liked neither reading nor being read to.
Note. After the verbs to want, to need, to deserve, to require and the adjective worth an active gerund is used though it is passive in meaning:
The child deserves praising.
The dress wants washing.
I’ve made progress in speakingthis language.
She burst out cryingbitterly.
The forms of the gerund
Indefinite running ---------
sending being sent
Perfect having run -----------
having sent having been sent
THE FUNCTIONS OF THE GERUND IN THE SENTENCE
The Gerund can be used COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE in different syntactic functions:
1. a subject.
It can occupy the front position in the sentence:
Seeing is believing.
It can follow the predicate:
a) after the expressions with the anticipatory it it’s no use, it’s no good, it’s worth while
It’s no use arguing about it.
Note the difference in the function of the gerund:
It’s worth while seeing the film.( a subject)
The film is worth seeing. (an object)
b) in the construction there is no…
There was no going back.
2. part of a compound verbal predicate:
a) part of a compound verbal modal COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE predicate after the modal phrase can’t help (doing smth):
I couldn’t help smiling.
b) part of a compound verbal aspective predicate.
The gerund is interchangeable with the infinitive after the verbs
to begin to continue
to start to end
to commence to cease
They began discussing the question.
Only the gerund is part of an aspective predicate after the verbs:
to burst out to fall to
to quit to stop
to keep on to give up
She burst out laughing hysterically.
He gave up smoking two years ago.
3. part of a compound nominal predicate (a predicative):
Our aim is getting there as soon as COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE possible.
4. a direct object. In this function the gerund follows
- verbs used only with the gerund :
to avoid to fancy to practise
to appreciate to forgive to put off
to admit to imagine to recall
to celebrate to mention to recollect
to consider to mind to resent
to deny to miss to resist
to enjoy to postpone to risk
to excuse to feel like to suggest
Avoid making mistakes.
We didn't mind waiting.
She couldn’t resist saying something.
- the adjectives busy, worth.
She is busy doing her task.
The facts are worth mentioning.
- verbs used either with the infinitive or the gerund
allow like prefer
can’t COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE bear love recommend
deserve need regret
dread neglect remember
fear omit require
forget plan want
The grass wants (needs) cutting.
5. a prepositional object:
- after the verbs
to think of to depend on to accuse of
to object to to blame for to congratulate on
to apologize for to succeed in to believe in
to prevent from to excuse for to get used to
to insist on to look forward to to decide on (upon)
to thank for to agree to to suspect of
to forgive for to complain of to persist in
to devote to to approve of to dream of (about)
to assist in
I thought of going COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE to see my friend.
Thank you for coming.
We insisted on calling the doctor.
I apologize for disturbing you.
- after the expressions
to be proud of to be ignorant of to be sorry for
to be fond of to be sure of to be embarrassed at
to be capable of to be angry at to be keen on
to be afraid of to be pleased at to be wrong in
to be tired of to be surprised at to be successful in
to be used to to be accustomed to to be aware of
to be good at to be engaged in to be COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE interested in
I'm tired of thinking about it.
She is capable of taking care of herself.
She is very good at singing.
He was angry at seeing me there.
6. an attribute
In this function the gerund is always prepositional. The following nouns may precede the gerund:
chance of trouble of
idea of (in)convenience of
way of advantage of
habit of question of
method of art of
custom of opportunity of
hope of problem of
fear of right of
intention of means of
This is a good way of using the book.
I had a good opportunity of seeing my friends.
I didn't get a chance COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE of speaking to him.
After the following nouns the prepositions for, in, at, about, to may be used:
capacity for difficulty in
excuse for harm in
gift for hesitation in
reason for sense in
talent for skill in
pleasure at objection to
amazement at preparation to
He had difficulty in speaking.
Imagine his surprise at seeing me. .
7. an adverbial modifier
a) of time (after, before, on, upon, since, at, in)
She hesitated before entering the room.
On returning home he found a note in his room.
b) of manner (by, without)
I did it without thinking.
You'll achieve a COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE lot by telling the truth.
c) of attending circumstances
They danced without speaking.
I never see asters without remembering her.
d) of cause (because of, for, from, owing to, for fear of)
I couldn't speak for laughing.
He said it for fear of losing her again.
e) of concession (in spite of)
In spite of being disturbed late at night, he fell asleep again.
f) of condition (but for, in case of, without)
But for meeting her, I shouldn't have become an English teacher.
In case of being questioned he should tell the truth.
g) of purpose (for)
One COMPLEXES WITH THE INFINITIVE side of the gallery was used for dancing.