Full Infinitive as a direct object

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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Full Infinitive as a direct object

Post by patron » Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:36 pm

In the sentence below I am not sure whether the full infinitive (to be) functions as a direct object or not.
I try to be a kind man all the time.

If I ask try what? the answer is to be which seems to qualify it as such.

I have read that this is incorrect because the verb try is a catenative verb. I'm confused even after reading about catenative verbs on your website.

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Re: Full Infinitive as a direct object

Post by Alan » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:05 am

Your confusion is understandable, but the two analyses are not mutually exclusive.

Yes, it is true that, under a relatively modern classification system,'try' would be labeled a catenative verb, but it is also true that, by the lights of a more traditional parsing method, the infinitive that follows it can be considered its object.

A short answer, but I hope that it helps!