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Below is a sentence you can see in Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Ease of Access Center in Windows.

You can use the tools in this section to help you get started.

If that sentence alone doesn't seem to make much sense, then please look at the screenshot below. Screenshot of EaseOfAccessCenter in Windows 10

I wonder which "to help you get started" modifies in that sentence. Is it an adjective phrase that modifies the noun "the tools"? Or is it an adverbial phrase that makes the sentence mean "You can use the tools in this section so that you can help yourself get started."?

  • What does 'if you're using Windows 10'. mean? Does it mean that If I use some different kind of OP (IOS, Windows 8.2..) I'm not able to answer your question? Please revise or amplify your question, each phrase it isn't clear – Max Apr 2 '17 at 10:37
  • @Max Did that expression make confusion? I meant literarily I can see that sentence on my laptop the OS version of which is Windows 10. Since I have only one computer, I don't know whether it is the same in other versions of Windows. :) – Smart Humanism Apr 2 '17 at 11:59
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    The Windows 10 phrase did not create any confusion. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Apr 2 '17 at 13:30
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You can use the tools in this section [to help you get started].

It’s not an adjective or an adverb; it's a purpose adjunct: it gives the purpose of using the tools.

Adjuncts like this are modifiers in clause structure; in this case it modifies the preceding verb phrase "can use the tools in this section".

Syntactically, it can be preceded by "in order", which is a sure indication that the clause is a purpose adjunct. And it can be moved to front position as only adjuncts can:

[To help you get started], you can use the tools in this section.

  • Thank you for answering very much. :) If then, why is it not "to help yourself get started"" instead of "to help you get started"? – Smart Humanism Apr 3 '17 at 2:19
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    @SmartHumanism That rule normally applies when the antecedent and the pronoun are related to the same verb. But here, the first "you" is related to "can use" while the second "you" is related to a different verb, i.e. "help" You could use the reflexive "yourself" if you wished, but it would be purely for emphasis, which isn't really needed here. – BillJ Apr 3 '17 at 6:59
  • Thank you. If I alter that sentence into a sentence like following - "You can help you/yourself get started by using the tools in this section.", is using "yourself" a must? – Smart Humanism May 3 '17 at 14:05
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    @SmartHumanism Yes, it is a must. – BillJ May 3 '17 at 14:24
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You can use this knife to cut the bread.

You can use my phone to call your office.

You can chant this magic spell to wake the dead.

The chicken crossed the road to get to the other side.

He climbed the ladder to get onto the roof.

He left early to get to work on time.

He saved some of the food to eat later.

He was sent to prison to pay for his crimes.

He was sent to bed without supper to teach him a lesson.

I would say that the infinitive clause complements the verb phrase (the verb, adverb, and any direct object) in the prior clause.

  • Thank you @TRomao very much for the comment and answering. But I wonder why it is "to help you get started" instead of "to help yourself get started". I have been taught in school that in sentences that the subject and the object are the same person then the object has to be in "myself/yourself/herself/himself/themselves/" form. – Smart Humanism Apr 3 '17 at 2:25
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    But the subject and the object are not the same. Using the tools helps you get started. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Apr 5 '17 at 0:54
  • Thank you @TRomano. But I wondered about it because anyway the person who eventually will do "using the tools" is "you" in the sentence "You can use the tools in this section to help you get started.". So I thought the semantic subject would be "you", not "using the tools". – Smart Humanism May 3 '17 at 14:15

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