An infinitive is to plus a verb form. It can be used as a noun. Examples: to be, to see, to be seen, to be eaten.
The noun infinitive can be a subject (To eat is fun.); a direct object (I like to eat.); a predicate nominative (A fun thing is to eat.); an appositive (My hope, to travel, never happened.); an object of a preposition (I want nothing but to save.)
Noun infinitives can have with them direct objects, predicate nominatives, predicate adjectives or modifiers to form what is called a infinitive phrase. Example: To eat solid foods is hard for babies. “To eat” is the noun infinitive used as the subject of the verb is, and it has its own direct object “foods” with the adjective “solid,” which together make up the infinitive phrase “to eat solid foods” serving as the subject of the sentence.
Instructions: Find the noun infinitive phrases in the following sentences and tell how they are used.
1. We need to take them by surprise.
2. To restore old cars is expensive.
3. My wish, to visit the Grand Canyon, has happened.
4. The girl wanted nothing except to succeed in the class.
5. The Jazz’s hope is to win the championship.
–For answers scroll down.
1. to take them by surprise = direct object
2. to restore old cars = subject
3. to visit the Grand Canyon = appositive
4. to succeed in the class = object of the preposition
5. to win the championship = predicate nominative
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