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.
Noun infinitives may be compound. Example: I want to eat and to sleep. Sometimes the second to is left off. (I want to eat and sleep.)
Instructions: Find the compound noun infinitive phrases in the following sentences and tell how they are used.
1. Your job will be to count the people and pass out the tickets.
2. To talk and visit in class can get you into trouble.
3. To eat, drink and make merry is not a good life style.
4. Small children like to play in sand piles and eat goodies.
5. Her wish, to travel and see the world, never happened.
–For answers scroll down.
1. to count the people/(to) pass out the tickets = predicate nominatives
2. to talk/(to) visit in class = subjects
3. to eat/(to) drink/(to) make merry = subjects
4. to play in sand piles/(to) eat goodies = direct objects
5. to travel/(to) see the world = appositives
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