Infinitives How Infinitives Function in a Sentence Infinitives and infinitive phrases function in one of three ways: – Noun – Adverb – Adjective Infinitive Phrases as Nouns Infinitive phrases can function as a noun. If the phrase functions as a noun, it will be – subject – direct object – predicate nominative – object of the preposition. Infinitive Phrases as Subjects First, isolate the infinitive phrase; then ask the following question: – What? + verb = subject – To prevent a wreck requires being alert. – To purchase the dog today would be a mistake. Infinitives as Direct Objects First isolate the infinitive phrase. Then find the subject and the verb in the main sentence and then ask the question: Subject + verb + what? = direct object – The boys wanted to drive the family car to Bristol, Tennessee. Infinitives as Predicate Nominatives Subject + linking verb + what? = Predicate Nominative His primary goal is to prepare for the exam His original plan was to hit the snake with a club. Infinitives as Objects of the Preposition – He was about to leave the room when the phone rang. – The child did nothing except scream at the top of the stairs. Infinitives with Subjects – He wants me to attend the meeting on Wednesday. – The coach wanted the quarterback to throw the wide receiver a short pass. Summary Infinitives function as – Nouns (sub, do, op, pn) – Adverbs ( tell “why?” or come after a pa) – Adjectives (tell “which one?” or “what kind?” This powerpoint presentation was designed to show how infinitives or infinitive phrases function as nouns Summary Infinitives can be used with gerunds and participles and other infinitives: The doctor’s orders to stop smoking was difficult to do. The father wanted to watch his son play football. Wishing to avoid an argument Debra left the room. He wanted to pet the dog lying on the floor.