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.
Instructions: Find the compound noun infinitive phrases in the following sentences and tell how they are used.
1. Their war aims, to kill the people and to destroy the nation, were not accomplished.
2. They wanted to score and to win the game.
3. The woman’s hobby was to camp and to hike.
4. I only desired one thing, to forgive you and to forget our differences.
5. To see and to hear are highly developed senses in many animals.
–For answers scroll down.
1. to kill the people/ to destroy the nation = appositives
2. to score/ to win the game = direct objects
3. to camp/to hike = predicate nominatives
4. to forgive you/to forget our differences = appositives
5. to see/to hear = subjects
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