By ANNE DONNELL
Is there such a thing as a subject of an infinitive? This came up in a grammar discussion with my grandmother. She says yes, and I say maybe not. Appreciate your telling us something about this. People I’ve asked just look at me like goofs, like I’ve really lost it this time!
-Teen Guy with Grammar Grandma
P.S. Grandma wants me to check on what case a subject of an infinitive would be in, if it exists? I added that last part!
The answer is yes, there is such a thing as the subject of an infinitive. More on this truth on down the column.
ONLINE DEPARTMENT “New Truths” (Thanks, L.D. and M.H.) • I think part of a best friend's job should be to clear your computer history immediately if you die. • Nothing is worse than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong. • I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. • There is great need for a sarcasm font. • Just how the **** are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet? • Was learning cursive really necessary? • Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5, as I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood. • Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died. • Bad decisions make good stories. • You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day. • Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu-Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection – again. • I'm always slightly terrified when I exit Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to. • I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello?), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voice mail. What did you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away? • I hate leaving my house confident and looking really good and then not seeing anyone I want to impress the entire day. What a waste! • I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call. • I think the freezer deserves a light as well. • I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than with Kay. • I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option. • Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what was going on when I first saw it. • I would rather try to carry 10 grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries from the car into the house. • The only time a teen age female looks forward to a red traffic light is when she’s trying to finish a text, change her shoes or finish applying her mascara. • Sometimes I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger. • How many times do you suppose it is OK to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear, understand or you just weren't paying attention to a word they just said? • I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in to your lane. Stay strong, brothers and sisters! • Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever. • Is it just me or do teenagers get dumber & dumber every year? • There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going down after leaning your chair back just a tad too far. • Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is. • Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket or purse, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, pitch black, first time, every time!
What would we do without ONLINE DEPARTMENT to break up the monotony of a discussion on, say, subjects of infinitives? ONLINE DEPARTMENT is a variation of what can be called by its old-fashioned name, MERCY.
Well, MERCY’s over for now. First, to “review,” something done to spare you the embarrassment of ignorance, should you be suffering from ignorance, like an eczema of grammar. An infinitive is a verb form, usually preceded by “to,” functioning in a sentence as a noun, adverb, or adjective.
EXAMPLES OF INFINITIVES DOING WHATEVER THEY PLEASE IN SENTENCES. The evil doctor said I needed to exercise more. Can you bring the table to be sold? He walks to improve his health.
The subject of the infinitive is doing the action, or being the being, found in the verb form. EXAMPLES. He asked Sam to go to the garage. We asked Rachel to be the chairperson. EXAMPLES WITHOUT “TO.” Kaye helped me lift the chair. Did you see that child run?
A personal pronoun used as subject of an infinitive should be in the objective case. Did you catch that in the example Kaye helped…? Here’s another EXAMPLE WITH A PERSONAL PRONOUN USED AS SUBJECT OF AN INFINITIVE. The doctor urged her to exercise regularly. AND ANOTHER. We begged him to reconsider the offer.
Is mud clear today?
BW (Bigtime Word) leptocephalic – having a narrow skull. Not a reflection of brainpower, just something upon which to comment tauntingly, as one would upon someone else’s big ears sticking out if one were insensitive. Or having an insensitive moment.