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To leave.Andrew was the third to be interviewed




The infinitive also serves as an attribute to nouns which are
preceded by ordinal numerals or the adjective last.
e.g. He was the first man ever todiscuss the philosophy of sci-
ence with Erik.
The film star Ann Wilson is the 34th actress to playthis

part on the London stage.
Dear Steve, your last letter to reachme was two months old.

The infinitive may also serve as an attribute of pronouns and
pronominal expressions of quantity such as much, little, enough,
no more, little more, a great deal, a lot, plenty,
etc.

e.g. I've got a lot tobe thankful for.

I thought you had quite enough to dolooking after the house

and so forth.

You are leaving me very little tosay.
You've got so much to learn.

Occasionally the infinitive is used to modify the prop-word one.
e.g. If you, boys, want to go on I'mnot the one to spoilthe game.
He wasn't an easy one to makefriends with.

§ 204.The infinitive in the function of attribute is char-
acterized by specific meanings. They are determined by the rela-
tion between the head-word and the infinitive. These relations may

be of two kinds:

1) The head-word may be either the subject or the objectof
the action expressed by the infinitive. When the head-word serves


as the subject of the infinitive it may be either active or passive,
depending on the active (a) or passive (b) form of the infinitive.

e.g. a) He was not the man to draw backwhen his dignity was
concerned.

She pitied the poor young man for having no one to look

after him.

b) Remember, Roger is a man to bewatched.
There is nothing to be gainedby pretending.

The head-word of an active infinitive may also be an object of
the action expressed by this infinitive.

e.g. Love? It's a funny word touse.

Except in little things, he was the hardest man to influence.
There was really nothing tofear.

In all the above examples we find the infinitive of verbs re-
quiring a direct object. If a verb requires a prepositional object,
the preposition follows the verb.

e.g. I'm not a very easy man to get on with.
I
had nothing to worry about.

He realized that he didn't know anyone here to talk toexcept

Max.

If the infinitive is a link-verb followed by an adjective which
requires a prepositional object, the preposition is placed after the
adjective.

e.g. We have, all of us here, a good deal to be thankful for,
I'm sure you have nothing to beafraid of.
I'm afraid I haven't much to be proud of.

Ifthe head-word is the subject, active or passive, or the object
of the action denoted by the infinitive, the latter acquires modal
meaning. Depending on the context, it may denote either possibil-
ity (a) or necessity (b).

e-g. a) Marion was not the type to put onweight.
He was not the man to dorash things.

There was nothing to beseen or heard,not even a barking
dog.


I had nobody to talk to.

Is there a place to get something to eatnear here?
b) Whenever there is any packing to be done,my wife doesn't

feel well.

I've got something dreadful to tellyou.
There was a quarter of an hour to kill,so we walked down

the river.

There is always a question or two to be considered.
I've got enough to dowithout bothering about you.

Note that the infinitive is not lexically dependent here. It can
modify practically any noun, concrete or abstract, as well as noun
equivalents (see the examples above).

Note. There is, however, one exception to the rule — the ordinal numerals and
the last (or nouns modified by them) always serve as the subject of the infinitive
but the infinitive does not acquire the additional modal meanings of possibility or
necessity in this case.

e.g. He was the first to speak.

2) The head-noun may be neither the subject nor the object of
the action expressed by the infinitive as attribute. In this case it
acquires appositive meaning,i.e. itserves to explain the meaning
of its head-noun. That is why it can modify only those abstract
nouns that admit of or sometimes even require an explanation of
their meaning. So the use of the infinitive with appositive mean-
ing is lexically dependent.

The number of nouns with which it is used is quite conside-
rable. The most commonly occurring of them are: ability, advice,
attempt, authority
(= right), capacity, chance, command, compul
sion, decision, demand, desire, determination, duty, eagerness, ef-
fort, excuse, failure, freedom, impulse, inclination, instruction,
intention, invitation, keenness, license, longing, matter, motion
(= proposal), necessity, need, obligation, occasion, offer, opportuni
ty, option, order, patience, permission, possibility, power
(= right),
precaution, promise, proposal, readiness, recommendation, refusal,
reluctance, resistance, resolution, right, sign, suggestion, tempta
tion, tendency, urge, way, will, willingness, wish
and some others.

e.g. He had a keen desire to learn.
He had an impulse to run away.
He made an effort to collecthimself.


He accepted willingly my invitation to remainfor a few days

in my apartment.

He's given me permission to talkto you myself.
You've no right to askthose questions.
Her eyes had a tendency to shiftfrom point to point about

the room.

He bit back the urge to tella lie.
Ralph was glad of a chance to changethe subject.

For the means of expressing the subject of the action denoted
by the infinitive see "Verbs", § 166. (For comparison with the ing-
iorm
see §§ 227-230, 242.)

§ 205. When the head-noun is neither the subject nor the ob-
ject of the action expressed by the infinitive in the attributive
function, the latter may acquire the meaning of consequence.
This is found in certain sentence patterns or when the head-noun
has special modifiers.

1) In the sentence pattern "have (get, possess, lack) + the +
noun +■ infinitive".

e.g. He had the courage to tellthem what he thought of them.
She had thenerve to tellme a lie!

The action of the infinitive is made possible owing to the qual-
ity expressed by the head-noun.



The infinitive is lexically dependent in this sentence pattern —
it modifies a number of nouns that denote mental or moral quali-
ties. The most commonly occurring of them are: assurance, audac-
ity, authority, cheek, courage, cruelty, decency, energy, experi
ence, foolishness, good (bad) taste, guts, heart
(= courage),
humility, ignorance, imagination, impertinence, ingenuity, intelli-
gence, knowledge, nerve, patience, power, presence of mind, sense,
spirit, strength, stupidity, tolerance, vanity, willingness, will pow-
er, wit(s)
and some others.

e.g. They had the cheek to runaway.

Why haven't you got the wit to inventsomething?
She lacks the knowledge to doit the way it should be done.
I can't think how you can have the impertinence to remainhere.
She possessed the will power to achieveher aim.


The subject of the infinitive in this function is the same as
that of the predicate verb.

2) When the infinitive serves as an attribute of a noun modi-
fied by enough. The noun can have different functions in the sen-
tence. The infinitive is not lexically dependent here.

e.g. There wasn't enough air to stir the leaves of the lime trees.
He isn't fool enough to believe that sort of thing.
We need every man who has got enough spirit to say what he

really thinks.
I noticed her curious trick of throwing questions at me when I

could not have enough knowledge to answer.

For the means of expressing the subject of the action denoted
by the infinitive see "Verbs", § 166.

3) When the inifinitive serves as an attribute of a noun pred-
icative modified by an adjective that is preceded by too. The infin-
itive is not lexically dependent here. (For the place of the article
see "Articles", § 66.)

e.g. He was too clever a man to be bluffed.

This is too serious a business to be trifled with.

The action of the infinitive is made impossible owing to the
excessive degree of the quality expressed by the adjective that
modifies the head-noun.

For the means of expressing the subject of the action denoted

by the infinitive see "Verbs", § 166.

4) In a sentence pattern where we find the correlative conjunc-
tion such ... as.

e.g. He can't have been such a fool as to give them a definite an-
swer right away.

The use of the infinitive of consequence in the last three sen-
tence patterns is not of frequent occurrence.

§ 206. The infinitive may be used as attribute in a special sen-
tence pattern with a formal it as subject. The infinitive is lexical-
ly dependent here — it can modify a more or less limited number
of nouns. Among them we find such se-mantically "pale" nouns as
action, business, experience, idea, matter, problem, question, stuff


task, thing, way. As a rule, these nouns are modified by adjectives
which are semantically more important than the nouns them-
selves. The most frequently occurring other nouns are: achieve-
ment, (dis)advantage, comfort, consolation, cruelty, custom, de
light, desire, dream, duty, embarrassment, encouragement, error,
folly, frustration, fun, habit, hell, honour, intention, job, joy, luxu-
ry, madness, miracle, misfortune, mistake, nonsense, outrage, pity,
plan, pleasure, privilege, relief, rule, shame, surprise, torture, treat,
triumph, trouble, wonder
and some others. The infinitive has ap-
positive meaning in this sentence pattern.

e.g. It's a good idea to use both methods.

It's our job to worry about that, isn't it?

It was a mistake to deny it.

But it was a surprise to hear him insisting on it.

It was utter nonsense to suggest that he was lying.

It was my intention to show her how greatly she had underes-
timated me.

"It must be a terrible thing to have received a classical edu-
cation," she said soberly.

It's a great disadvantage to be held back by middle-class mo-
rality.

It was a bitter experience for Philip to learn that his best
friend had let him down.

For the means of expressing the subject of the action denoted
by the infinitive see "Verbs", § 166.

(For comparison with the ing-form see §§ 231 and 243.)

§ 207. The infinitive is also used as attribute in a sentence
pattern with it as a formal object of a verb. It is mainly found af-
ter the verbs to find, to make and to think.

e.g. I think Helena finds it rather a lot of work to clean the place.
Everyone now called him Reggie, but he still found it an ef-
fort to get used to it.

He thought it great fun to be out boating.
He made it a point to call her by her first name.
He had made it a rule to get up at sunrise.
He found it a good idea to send them a telegram.


For the means of expressing the subject of the action denoted
by the infinitive see "Verbs", § 166.

The construction is not of frequent use in English though it is

not restricted to any style.

(For comparison with the ing-form see § 232.)






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