The Infinitive Constructions and The Ways of Their Using

  Though the Infinitive as a rule is not used with verbs requiring prepositions, the Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction is widely used

The Infinitive Constructions and The Ways of Their Using

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St. Petersburg Institute

of Foreign Economic

Relations, Economics

and Law (IFEREL)

Yerevan Branch














On the Subject“The Infinitive Constructions and The Ways of Their Using”

By Academic Subject

The Practice and Theory of Translation of English




Made by the student ofIII-rd yearKyosababyn Diana Rafaelovna




The record-book#E-4112




Checked by:

The Head (Teacher) Badalyan L. A. _________



Yerevan 2005

The List of Contents










Page #

1.The List of Contents. 32.Introduction: The Non-Finite Forms of the Verbs. 43.The Predicative Constructions with Non-Finite Forms of the Verbs. 64.Body: The Predicative Infinitive Constructions. The Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction. 75.The Subjective-with-the-Infinitive Construction. 126.The For-to-Infinitive Construction. 147.The Absolute Infinitive Construction. 168.Conclusion 179.Bibliography 19













The words of every language fall into classes which are called Parts of Speech. Each part of speech has characteristics of its own. The parts of speech differ from each other in meaning, in form and in function.

One of the parts of speech is the Verb. According to content, the verb can be described as word denoting action (the term “action” embracing the meaning of activity (to walk, to speak, to play, to study), process (to sleep, to wait, to live), state (to be, to like, to know), relation (to consist, to resemble, to lack) and the like. According to form, it can be described as a word that has certain grammatical features that are not shared by other parts of speech; they have the category of tense, aspect, voice. According to the function, verb can be defined as a word making up the predicate of the sentence.

The English Verbs can be divided into two main groups, according to the function they perform in the sentence the finite forms and non-finite forms.

The finite forms have the function of the predicate in the sentence and may also be called the predicate forms.

The non-finite or non-predicative forms can have various other functions. These forms are also called the verbals.

The non-finite forms or the verbals, unlike the finite forms of the verbs do not express person, number or mood. Therefore they cannot be used as the predicate of a sentence. Like the finite forms of the verbs the verbals have tense and voice distinctions, but their tense distinctions differ from those of the finite verb.

There are three verbals in English: the participle, the gerund, and the infinitive. In Russian there are also three non-finite forms of the verb, but they do not fully coincide with those in the English language (ïðè÷àñòèå, äååïðè÷ñòèå, èíôèíèòèâ).

In English the verbals have the following characteristic traits:

  1. They have a double nature: nominal and verbal. The participle combines the characteristics of a verb with those of an adjective; the gerund and the infinitive combine the characteristics of a verb with those of a known.
  2. The tense distinctions of the verbals are not absolute like those of the finite verbs, but relative. The form of a verbal does not show whether the action it denotes refers to the present, past or future. It shows only whether the action expressed by the verbal is simultaneous with the action expressed by the finite verb or prior to it.

In the sentence a verbal may occur.

  1. singling (without accompanying words)


Eg. She went away smiling. Она ушла, улыбаясь.

Reading is out of question, I cant fix my attention on books. О чтении не может быть и речиб я не могу сосредоточить свое внимание на книгах.

  1. in phrase (i.e. with one or several accompanying words an object or an adverbial modifier to the verbal). The phrases form syntactic units serving as one part of the sentence. A phrase should not be confused with a predicative construction. Between the elements of a phrase there is no predicate relation as it does not include a noun or pronoun expressed by a verbal.


Eg. Not to disquiet his sister, he had said nothing to her of the matter. Чтобы не тревожить сестру, он ничего не сказал ей об этом.


  1. in predicative constructions.


Eg. She heard him open the door and go out the yard. Она услышала, как он открыл дверь и вышел во двор.


All the verbals can form predicative constructions. They consist of two elements: a nominal (noun or pronoun) and a verbal (participle, gerund or infinitive). The verbal element stands in predicate relation to the nominal element. That is to say it stands in the subject and the predicate of the sentence. It most cases predicative constructions form syntactic units, serving as one part of the sentence.


Eg. The sat down to supper, Jerry still talking cheerfully. Они сели ужинать; Джери продолжал весело разговаривать.


“Jerry still talking cheerfully” is a predicate relation to the noun Jerry, which denotes the doer of the action expressed by the participle.

Predicative Constructions with the

Non-Finite Forms of the Verb


The Non-Finite forms of the Verb are more simple and economical expressive means of thought.

Combinations of non-finite forms of the verb with a noun or pronoun standing a front of them form various grammatical constructions.

In English there are three non-finite forms of the verb: Participle, Gerund, and Infinitive. Therefore, there are three groups of predicative constructions. These are the constructions with Participle, Gerund, and Infinitive.

Participial, Gerundial and Infinitive constructions are highly varied. The structure of some of them is foreign to the Russian language, although their meaning can be fully conveyed in Russian with the help of forms, characteristic of Russian. The constructions are translated into Russian by objective, attributive, adverbial or other subordinate clauses.


eg. 1) My son having lost the key, we could not enter the house. Поскольку мой цын потерял ключ, мы не могли войти в дом. (Participle)

Here Participle is translated into Russian as the predicate of a subordinate clause.


2) There is no mistake about his being a genius. Не может быть никакого сомнения в том, что он гений. (Gerund)


3) She heard him open the door and go out into the garden. Она слышала, как он открыл дверь и вышел во двор. (Infinitive)

My course paper aims at analyzing the Predicative Constructions with the Infinitive, the ways of translating them into Russian.




Predicative Infinitive Constructions


In Modern English we distinguish the following predicative constructions with the infinitive:

  1. The Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction
  2. The Subjective-with-the-Infinitive Construction
  3. The For-to-Infinitive Construction
  4. The Absolute Infinitive.



I. The Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction


The Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction is a construction in which the Infinitive is in predicate relation to a noun in the common case or a pronoun in the objective case. In the sentence this construction has the function of a Complex Object. In translating the Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction into Russian there is always used a subordinate clause.


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