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Odd sentence

Posted: Fri May 24, 2019 7:31 am
by SigneLEV
I'm currently doing a project on discourse studies and stumbled upon a sentence that doesn't make sense.

The original sentence is: "I'd like to teach the world to sing", whereas the moditified version that is used in my data is "I'd like to hear the world to sing". The latter has an odd sound to is and does not make sense. I'm hoping that someone can explain to me why that is, since they have the same grammatical structure :)

Re: Odd sentence

Posted: Sat May 25, 2019 1:16 pm
by Joe
So you have ventured into the world of catenative verbs:
https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/ver ... native.php

The word catenative comes from the Latin catena meaning "chain". Catenative verbs combine with other verbs and can form a chain of two or three or more verbs.

Examples are:
- I want to eat.
- I like eating.

In this case, you have to know the form of the second verb (to infinitive, bare infinitive, -ing etc), which depends on the first verb, as you can learn from the link above.

But the above examples are simple catenative constructions. Whereas the sentences you cite use COMPLEX catenative constructions!

The difference is that you have an intervening object: verb1 + obj + verb2

And again, you need to know the form of the second verb. This is not something you can debate. But fortunately it is something you can learn, at:
https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/ver ... omplex.php

On the above page you will see that the verb teach is followed by the to infinitive while the verb hear is followed by the bare infinitive.

I hope this helps :mrgreen: