March 28th, 2015 in English Learning
Subject + verb + to-infinitive (phrase)
In this structure the infinitive is used as an equivalent to a clause.
Examples are given below.
Byron awoke one morning to find himself famous. (= Byron awoke one morning and found himself famous.)
The drunken man awoke to find himself in the gutter.
John trusted Peter only to find that he was betrayed.
We have learned our lesson not to trust anybody. (= We have learned our lesson that we should not trust anybody.)
These sentences can be changed into compound sentences by transforming the infinitive phrase into a co-ordinate clause.
Byron awoke one morning and found himself famous.
The drunken man awoke and found himself in the gutter.
John trusted Peter and found that he was betrayed.
For + object + infinitive
This structure is preferred when the infinitive has its own subject.
It only takes five minutes for me to get dressed.
It isn’t easy for me to let him go.
There are no toys for the children to play with.
It is now too late for us to start.
Is there anything for me to do?
I am anxious for him to return home.
It is time for the children to go to bed.
Some of these sentences can be re-written with the ‘for structure’ as the subject.
For me to let him go isn’t easy.
Some of these sentences can be re-written with so … that…
It is now so late that we cannot start.