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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Errors Involving Infinitive Phrases

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infinitive phrases are a subset of

verbal phrases remember the three kinds

of garbles jaren's participles and

infinitives and infinitive phrases like

the other verbal phrases can get you

into trouble sometimes verbals you know

are not verbs they do not have subjects

but they often require an agent that is

a an entity to carry out the action that

is nicknamed by the verbal so for

example in the sentence I work to make

money the person making the money the

agent is I I am working I am making the

money and that sentence is perfectly

fine I work to make money we don't say

that I is the subject of to make money

there is no subject

it's an infinitive it's not conjugated

it doesn't have a subject but there is

an agent that is a person doing the

making money that is associated with the

verbal and while there doesn't always

need to be an agent named for every

verbal phrase that is in a sentence

oftentimes an agent really is required

either for a good style or just for

clarity so I'm going to look quickly at

a couple sentences that go wrong because

there is no agent associated with the

infinitive so here is the first one is

one on top many tasks require special

skills to carry them out now I hope that

sentence doesn't sound great to you it

really isn't very very good and it goes

wrong once we hit the infinitive phrase

many tasks require special skills that's

fine to carry them out that is not good

because there's nobody to do the

carrying out

of the tasks that is nobody in this

sentence is is the person carrying them

out so there is we would say there's no

agent and that at the very least causes

a kind of muddiness in the sentence you

would you would say for example that

this would be functioning at verbally it

would be answering a wide question why

you many tasks require skills why do

they require skills to carry them out

that's why that doesn't sound very neat

to me that sounds rather awkward and if

you think well that sounds ok

comparative to a corrected version of

this if we just infer for neatness

neatness is sake let's get rid of this

this is quick to carry them to carry out

let's put an end to carry out many tasks

whoops

many tasks comma if this was beginning

the sentence now one to carry out many

tasks one needs special skills this is

how I would revise that sentence many

tasks require special skills to carry

them out which is not very good sentence

this sentence is better to carry out

many tasks one needs ah here's the agent

here's the the person who is carrying

out the tasks to carry out many tasks

one needs special skills and if you now

ask your wide question because this is

functioning had verbally before we had

why do the tasks require skills to carry

them out that's why that does not sound

good to me

compared to this why does one need

skills to carry out tasks that's why

that's why one needs skills and I hope

you can hear that

that is a nice crisp neat clear answer

to that question why why does one need

skills to carry out tasks that's why

that's that's a good sentence and this

adverbial infinitive phrase is

functioning just fine now in this

corrected version here's another way

that Havana a and an infinitive can go

along this is the road to go to legend

oh well again we have an infinitive

phrase here this time it's answering

it's an ad actually it's an adjective

infinitive phrase this one here to carry

out many tasks that's at verbalist it's

answering why this one here to go to

ledge node is answering which road which

one that's an adjective questions

questions phrases or words that answer

the the question which one those are

adjectives all which row the one to go

to let you know that's which road

well again I hope that doesn't sound so

great to you and again the problem is

there is no agent this is the road to go

to let you know well the the road isn't

going to legend oh and indeed no one in

the sentence is going to let you know

there's no agent there's no one to do

the going and this this sentence is very

easy to fix I would just get rid of the

infinitive all together and that would

leave you to with this is the road to

let you know and that would be perfectly

fine so the way you would fix infinitive

phrases that don't have agents and that

therefore cause at best muddiness and at

worst just under grammatical messes

depends on the way we correct them

really

on what the sentence is but the main

thing is to be aware that verbal phrases

and infinitive phrases which are a

subset of verbal phrases really do often

require an agent to go with them and you

should be sensitive to whether or not an

agent is really required in order to

make the sentence clear to the reader

The Description of Errors Involving Infinitive Phrases