Topic 8: Infinitive nominal clause (to-infinive,bare-infifnitive) -ing nominal clause.

Outline of Lesson


› Required reading

› Key terms

› Introduction

› Non-finite nominal clause

üInfinitive nominal clause (to-infinitive, bare-  infinitive)

ü-Ing participle clauses.

› Functions of the nominal infinitive, and -ing participle  clauses

› Summary

› Self-study questions


Lesson objectives

› By the end of the lesson, the student should  be able to:

a.Identify the structure and functions of  infinitive nominal clauses

b.Analyse the structure and functions of -ing  participle clauses

c.Write at least two functions of to-infinitive,  bare infinitive, and -ing participle clauses.

d.Construct at least three sentences  illustrating to-infinitive, bare infinitive, and –  ing participle clauses.


Required Reading

› Quirk, R, & Greenbaum, S. (1973). University Grammar of English. London:  Longman.

› Focus on page 316-322


Key terms

Non-finite nominal clause

› to-infinitive clause

› bare infinitive clause

› -ing participle clause



In Week 6, we discussed the forms and  functions of the thatnominal clause,  wh nominal clause, and the yes-no  interrogative clause.

› This lesson discusses the structure and  functions of the infinitive (to-infinitive, and  bare infinitive), and –ing participial  nominal clauses. These clauses fall under  the umbrella name, “Non-Finite nominal  Clauses.”


Non-finite nominal clause

› A non-finite nominal clause is a clause whose  verb element is a non-finite verb phrase.

› Non-finite nominal clause includes, to-infinitive  clause, bare-infinitive clause, –ing participle  clause, and ed/en participle clause.

› But in this lesson, the focus is on to-infinitive,  bare infinitive, and –ing participle clauses

These nominal clauses can  function as subject, subject  complement, direct object,  indirect object, object  complement, and prepositional  complement.

›We will now take them one by  one.


To-infinitive nominal clauses

› To-infinitive nominal  clauses are those that begin  with “to-infinitive verb”. The  to-infinitive clause is  highlighted in the following.

1.She wants to buy some stamps.

2.He likes to relax.

3.To marry a decent husband is a blessing.

4.To err is human.

5.To  be a responsible person is not easy.

6.To  succeed in life demands hard work.


Functions of to-infinitive nominal clauses cont’d…

To-infinitive nominal clauses can act as  subject, direct object, subject complement,  and adjectival complement.

› Subject:

1.To be a good man is not simple.

2.To say there is no afterlife would mean a  rejection of religion.

3.To go out in this COVID-19 period is suicidal.


Direct object:

1.He likes to be happy.

2.We want to study hard.

3.Mary starts to lace her shoes.

4.We met to discuss the issue.

Dora married to have children


Subject complement:

1.Their plan is to escape from here.

2.The minister’s first duty will be to stop  inflation.

3.What we need to do is to go shopping.

4.He seems to be complaining.

5.She appears to be short.


Adjectival complement:

1.I am glad to help you.

2.I will be happy to help with the  arrangements.

3.The lady was excited to offer a helping  hand.

4.He is afraid to reveal the secret.

5.Abu is too young to join the army.


Bare-infinitive nominal clauses

Bare-infinitive clauses are those that  begin with “bare-infinitive verbs”. The  bare infinitive clause is highlighted in  the following.

1.She made me cry.

2.Turn  off the tap was what I did.

3.The driver made her pay for the  luggage.


Functions of bare-infinitive nominal clauses

› Bare – infinitive clauses can function as  Subject, Subject complement and object  complement

› Subject:

1.Warn him is the answer.

2.Turn off the lights was all I did.

3.Have breakfast is what I’ll do first.

4.Stop them is the best option.

5.Stay at home prevents the disease.


› Subject complement:

1.My dream is become a teacher.

2.All I did was turn on the lights.

3.What the team did was train hard.

4.My instruction is start work.

5.The group’s task was edit slides.


› Object complement:

1.Dora made me cry.

2.They helped her pay for it.

3.The pastor made the congregant chew  green grass.

4.The painter made me buy the yellow  paint.


The –ing participle nominal  clauses

›The –ing participle nominal clause is  also called the “participial clause”.

›-Ing participle clauses are clauses  that begin with “-ing-participle verb”.

1.Telling lies is wrong.

2.She enjoys playing football.

3.We like going to church.


Functions of the -ing participle nominal clauses

› The –ing participle nominal clause can function  as subject, direct object, subject complement,  prepositional complement and adjective  complement

› Subject:

1.Teaching him is a difficult task.

2.Eating in class is wrong.

3.Smoking cigarettes is harmful to your health.

4.Driving in a busy street is dangerous.


Direct object:

1.I love eating ice cream.

2.I don’t enjoy reading novels.

3.He likes singing.

4.Women prefer using fashionable  dresses.

5.Some people like driving in the night.


Subject complement:

1.My dream is travelling to Japan.

2.His favourite hobby is fishing.

3.My interest is teaching the young ones.

4.My hobby was hunting in the deep  forest.

5.Her desire has been marrying from royal family.


Prepositional complement:

1.I am tired of working so hard.

2.I’m fond of fishing.

3.I reminded him of changing the script.

4.Adwoa is afraid of accepting his  proposal.


Adjective complement:

1.I am ready following him.

2.I was surprised seeing him.

3.We are sure finishing the work on  time.

4.He is always quick responding to your  mails.



› To-infinitive clauses are introduced by “to-infinitive verbs”  while bare-infinitive clauses are introduced by “bare-  infinitive verbs” and -ing participle clauses by “-ing  participle verbs”.

› The to-infinitive clause functions as subject, direct object,  subject complement, and adjectival complement.

› The bare-infinitive clause functions as subject, subject  complement and object complement.

›  The –ing participle clause functions as subject, direct  object, subject complement, prepositional complement  and adjective complement.


Self-study questions

1.What is the non-finite nominal clause?

2.Mention three (3) types of the non-finite  nominal clause.

3.Construct two (2) sentences each under the  following headings:

a)to-infinitive clause.

b)bare infinitive clause.

c)–ing participle clause.

Identify the functions of the clauses highlighted  in the following sentences.

1.I am marveled at Aku leaving so late.

2.The last thing would be to steal from  someone.

3.The last thing would be for Aku to steal from  someone.

4.Sleep throughout the night is the only  solution.

5.I am tired of being treated like a child./

Identify the functions (subject, object, complement,  etc.) of the clauses highlighted in the following  sentences.

a)To be neutral in this situation is bad.

b)Your ambition, to become a teacher, needs  motivation.

c)I am eager to meet the tutor.

d)They made her pay for it.

e)Exercising your body fights the virus.

f)Our responsibility is turn off all electrical gadgets.

g)She is good at training every morning.


Discuss the structure and functions of  the to-infinitive nominal clauses.

›Discuss the structure and functions of  the bare-infinitive nominal clauses.

›Discuss the structure and functions of  the –ing participle clauses.

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