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1 32 Since the infinitive is a kind of absıract aoun, it is used to name an action when separated from its subject.

a.) The infinitive bears a striking resemblance to the class of nouns called abstract ; as, “generosity,from “ generous ”[man ;] so “ to write,” from (men) “ 21 ile.”

193. Although the infinitive expresses an action abstractly, it is often necessary to connect it with a subject or agent of the action; as, “For you to deceive is highly criminal."

(a.) In this example, "you" is the subject of “ to deceive;" and the whole phrase, “. for you to deceive,” is the subject of the proposition.

(6.) An abstract noun may, in like manner, be connected with the person or thing from which the quality is abstracted; as, “a generous man' ="a man of generosity.” In either case, the quality “generous or “of generosity” is attached to "man.”

194. When the infinitive is used in its most general sense, as the subject of a proposition, the simple form only is used; as, “ To steal is base;" but when it has a subject of its own, that subject must be in the objective case, following the preposition for; as, “For him to steal is base.

(a.) To change the infinitive to an element of the first clasa, substitute for it the participial noun, when the infinitive has no subject; but when it has a subject of its own, prefix to the parti. cipial noun the possessive case of the subject; as, “ To lie is wicked” =Lying is wicked; - For him to lie is wicked" = " His lying is wicked.”

195. A complex phrase, formed by uniting two I repositions and their objects, is sometimes used to denote a given time or space, and may become he subject of a proposition; as

" From mornit 'o night is called day.'


(a.) The simply phrase, consisting of the preprisition and object, seldom, if becomes the subject of a proposition.

196. By a peculiar idiom of the language, the infinitive or o her phrase, when used as a subject. is first represented by "it" standing at the head of the sentence, and is itself placed after the predicate; as, “ It is pleasant to see the sun;" It is criminal to deceive."

(a.) “ It,” thus used, or “there," as in 1 35, ( ! ) is said to be an expletive, because it fills a vacancy, and yet is not absolutely necessary to the sense. It often gives force and beauty to an expression, by enabling us to place emphasis on a word which otherwise must. occupy an unfavorable position in the sentence; as, “ He did not do it; " " It was not he that did it."

197. A phrase used as a substantive is always of the third person, singular number, neuter gender.


To steal is base.

It is a simple sentence, because it contains but one

proposition. To steal is the subject, because it is that of which the

quality (36, b.) “ base ” is affirmed. It is a prin.

cipal element of the second class. Is base, is the predicate, because it is the quality affirmed

of " to steal.” “ Is” is the verb, and “ base” is

the attribute. To steal is a verb, (principal parts, steal, stole, stolen,) in

the infinitive mode, present tense, and is used as a noun, (third pers., sing. num., neut. gen., ana nom. case,) in the relation of subject; according to Rule 1.

Is easy

It is easy to be deceived. It is a simple sentence, because it contains but one

proposition. To be deceived is the subject, and is represented by the

expletive #it."

is the predicate. To be deceived is a regular passive verb, (principal parts,

deceive, deceived, deceived,) in the infinitive mode, present tense, and is used as a noun. in the relation of subject; according to

Rule I. It.... is a personal pronoun, representing “ to be

deceived;” of the third person, singular number, neuter gender, and nominative case, and is an expletive used simply to introduce the sentence in a particular way


Analyze the following propositions, and parse the infinitives :

To be good is to be happy. To err is human. To for. give is divine. To obey is to enjoy. To write the same things is not grievous. To swear is wicked. For you to cheat is surprising. To see the sun is pleasant. To acquire knowledge is necessary. For American citizens to be educated is essential. To conceal the truth is often highly criminal. To repent is our duty.

It is easy to deceive children. It is wrong to excite hopes. It is base for one to betray his country. It 18 necessary to write. It is pleasant to receive our friends It is wror:g to hate our enemies.

Write p. dicates to the following infinitives used as subjects :

To be idle; to abor; to write ; to cheat, to love our enemies; to disobey our parents; to study; to sing; to p'ay; to laugh; to open; to swim.

Model. To be idle is criminal. Write infinitives as subjects to the following predxates, the sentence being introduced by it.”

It is easy. It is contemptible. It is enough. It is difficult. It is wrong. It pleased him. It encourages a child. it is important. It is favorable. It dignifies humanity. It is necessary. It disgusts one. It is pleasant. It is but just.

MODEL. It is easy to write a lesson. Change any twelve of the above examples, introduced by “ it,” to equivalent sentences, in which the infinitive shall stand at the head.

MODEL. To deceive children is easy. Change twelve of the above examples, beginning with the infinitive, to equivalent forms introduced by " it.”


It is human to err. Change the infinitives in any twelve of the foregoing eramples to participial nouns (194, a.) used as subjects.

Model. Acquiring knowledge is necessary.


195. There are two forms of the phrase used As predicate, — the sub tantive, and the adjective (36, b. C., 189.)

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199. The infinitive, when used as predicate, de notes,

(a.) An equivalent term or expression; as, “ To obey is to enjoy ;

(6.) What is possible, or obligatory; as, “ The passage is to be found ;“Our rights are to be respected ;

(c.) What is settled, or determined upon; as, “The ship is to sail next week."

200. When the phrase used as predicate consists of a preposition and its object, it is equivalent to an adjective, and, like the predicate-adjective, denotes some property or circumstance of the subject; as, “George is without a penny

a penny" =“George is penniless ;” “He is at dinner = dining ;“He is in health = well."


Our honor is to be maintained.
It is a simple sentence, because it contains but ono

Honor ......... is the subject, because, &c.
Is to be maintained is the predicate, because, &c.
The subject, honor, is limited by “our,” ar adjective elo

ment of the first class, denoting whose

honor. The predicate is not limited; it denotes what ought

to be. “Is” is the copuli., and “ to se

maintained ” is the attrib' ite. To be maintained sa regular passive verb, infinitive

node, present tense, and is used as a aoun in the relation of predicate ; adcording to Rule II

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