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The objective with the infinitive construction

In the objective with the infinitive construction the infinitive (usually an infinitive phrase) is in predicate relation to a noun in the common case or a pronoun in the objective case (hence the name of the construction). The whole construction forms a complex object of some verbs. It is rendered in Russian by an object clause.

The objective with the infinitive construction is used in the following cases:


1. After verbs of sense perception (to see, to hear, to feel, to watch, to observe, to notice and some others). In this case the only possible form of the infinitive is the non-perfect common aspect active voice form, used without the particle to:


No one has ever heard her cry.

I paused a moment and watched the tram-car stop.


The verb to listen to, though not a verb of sense perception, is used in the same way, with a bare infinitive:


He was listening attentively to the chairman speak.


If the verb to see or to notice is used with the meaning to realize, or the verb to hear with the meaning to learn, the objective with the infinitive construction cannot be used. Here only subordinate object clause is possible:


I saw that he did not know anything.   I hear you have dropped the idea of leaving him.     Не only had time to notice that the girl was unusually pretty. Я видел (понимал), что он ничего не знает.   Я слышала (узнала), что ты отказалась от мысли уйти от него.   Он только успел заметить (осознать), что девушка была необычайно хорошенькой.


2. After verbs of mental activity (to think, to believe, to consider, to expect, to understand, to suppose, to find and some others). Here the infinitive is used in any form, though the non-perfect forms are the most frequent (always with the particle to).


I know him to be an honest man.

She believed him to have left for San Francisco.

I believed her to be knitting in the next room.

I should expect my devoted friend to be devoted to me.


3. After verbs of emotion (to like, to love, to hate, to dislike and some others). Here non-perfect, common aspect forms of the “to”- infinitive are the most usual.


I always liked him to sing.

She hated her son to be separated from her.

I’d love you to come with me too.

I hated him to have been sent away.


4. After verbs of wish and intention (to want, to wish, to desire, to intend, to mean and some others). After these verbs only non-perfect common aspect forms of the infinitive with the particle toare used:


He only wished you to be near him.

I don’t want him to be punished.


5. After verbs of declaring (to declare, to pronounce):


I declare you to be out of your mind.

He reported the boat to have been seen not far away.


6. After verbs of inducement (to have, to make, to get, to order, to tell, to ask, etc.) of which the first two take a bare infinitive. In the construction some of them acquire a different meaning: make - заставить, get - добить­ся, have - заставить (сказать, чтобы ...)


I can’t get him to do it properly.

She made me obey her.


7. The objective with the infinitive construction also occurs after certain verbs requiring a prepositional object,for example to count (up)on, to rely (up) on, to look for, to listen to, to wait for:


I rely on you to come in time.

Can’t I count upon you to help me?

№19 Semantic classifications of the verb.


Grammatically important is the devision of verbs into the following classes:

Actional verbs, which denote actions proper (do, make, go, read, etc.) and statal verbs, which denote state (be, exist, lie, sit, know, etc.) or relations (fit, belong, have, match, cost, etc.). The difference in their categorical meaning affects their morphological paradigm: statal and relational verbs have no passive voice (though some have forms coinciding with the passive voice as in The curtains and the carpet were matched). Also statal and relational verbs generally are not used in the continuous and perfect continuous tenses. Their occasional use in these tenses is always exceptional and results in the change of meaning.

From the syntactic standpoint verbs may be subdivided into transivite(переходные) and intransitive(непереходные) ones.

Transitive verbs may be followed:


a) by one direct object (monotransitive verbs); - Jane is helping her sister.

b) by a direct and an indirect objects (ditransitive verbs); -Jane gave her sister an apple.

c) by a prepositional object (prepositional transitive verbs): -Jane looks after her sister.


The division of verbs into terminative and non-terminative depends on the aspectual characteristic in the lexical meaning of the verb which influences the use of aspect forms.

Terminative verbs(предельные глаголы) besides their specific meaning contain the idea that the action must be fulfilled and come to an end, reaching some point where it has logically to stop. These are such verbs as sit down, come, fall, stop, begin, open, close, shut, die, bring, find, etc.

Non-terminative, or durative verbs(непредельные глаголы) imply that actions or states expressed by these verbs may go on indefinitely without reaching any logically necessary final point. These are such verbs as carry, run, walk, sleep, stand, sit, live, know, suppose, talk, speak, etc.

The last subclass comprises verbs that can function as both termi­native and non-terminative (verbs of double aspectual meaning).

Can you see well? (non-terminative)

I see nothing there. (terminative)


№20 The Finite forms of the verb. The category of tense.

The category of person expresses the relation of the action and its doer to the speaker, showing whether the action is performed by the speaker (the 1st person), someone addressed by the speaker (the 2nd person) or someone/something other than the speaker or the person addressed (the 3rd person).

The category of number shows whether the action is performed by one or more than one persons or non-persons.

For the present indefinite tense of the verb to be there are three contrasting forms: the 1st person singular, the 3rd person singular and the form for all persons plural : (I)- am; (He/She)-is; (We, They, You)-are.

In the past indefinite tense it is only the verb to be that has one of these categories - the category of number, formed by the opposition of the singular and the plural forms: (I, he) was - (we, you, they) were. All the other verbs have the same form for all the persons, both singular and plural.


In the future and future in the past tenses there are two opposing forms: the 1st person singular and plural and the other persons: (I, we) shall go - (he, you, they) will go; (I, we) should come - (he, you, they) would come.

The categories of person and number, with the same restrictions, as those mentioned above, are naturally found in all analytical forms contain­ing the present indefinite tense of the auxiliaries to be and to have, or the past indefinite tense of the auxiliary to be: (I) am reading - (he) is reading - (we, you, they) are reading; (I) amtold - (he) is told - (we, you, they) are told; (he) hascome - (I, we, you, they) havecome; (he) has been told - (I, we, you, they) havebeen told; (he) hasbeen reading - (I, we, you, they) havebeen reading.

A more regular way of expressing the categories of person and number is the use of personal pronouns. They are indispensable when the finite verb forms in the indicative as well as the subjunctive moods have no markers of person or number distinctions.

If you were his own son, you could have all this.

The verb is always in the 3rd person singular if the subject of the predicate verb is expressed by a negative or indefinite pronoun, by an infinitive, a gerund or a clause:

Nothing has happened. Somebody has come.

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