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Verbal phrases as direct objects
In English, a verbal is a verb form that functions in a sentence as a noun or a modifier rather than as a verb. Because a verbal functions like a noun they can be direct objects. English verbals functioning as a direct object can be infinitives/infinitive phrases and gerunds/gerund phrases. (More about gerunds in another part)

An infinitive is a verb form that uses the word “to” followed by the base form of a verb. (Example: to do) An infinitive functions as an adjective, adverb, or noun. When it functions as a noun it can be a direct object. We are only concerned about infinitives as nouns functioning as a direct object in this review.

Examples of infinitives as direct objects:
1. I did not dare to speak.
2. On a snowy day, I like to ski.

Q4: Indicate the infinitive that functions as the direct object.
----- 1. My father was hoping to play.
----- 2. Would you like to go?
----- 3. The dog wants to bark.
----- 4. Robert wanted to sleep.
----- 5. George refused to look.

An infinitive phrase is a group of words that includes an infinitive and other words that complete its meaning. The infinitive phrase can function as a direct object.

Examples of infinitive phrases as direct objects:
1. We decided to work hard.
2. John wanted to give me a lift (ride) in his car.
Q5: Indicate the infinitive phrase that functions as the direct object.
----- 1. Amy has decided to go to the university.
----- 2. The woman refused to allow them inside.
----- 3. I want to finish soon.
----- 4. The boys all want to go to the amusement park.
----- 5. He was asked to buy some fresh vegetables.
----- 6. Babies first learn to babble nonsense.
----- 7. The flight attendants prepared to feed the hungry passengers.
----- 8. George hoped to see the beautiful model.
----- 9. I want to buy the red backpack.
----- 10. My children prefer to eat vegetables.
----- 11. I hope to finish soon.
----- 12. They don't like to cry in public places.
----- 13. Several people helped to rescue the boy.
----- 14. Reggie volunteered to have everybody over for dinner.
----- 15. "In the course of my life I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet." -- Winston Churchill
----- 16. You must learn the ways of the Force if you're to come with me to Alderaan." -- Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars, 1977

  • Posted Sep 14, 2012
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