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He'll keep his pledge to donate 10,000 mosquito nets to charity to help fight Malaria in Africa.

In this sentence, is the to-infinitive in bold a complement or an adjunct of purpose?

Perhaps more importantly, is it part of the noun phrase headed by 'pledge' or does it modify the verb 'keep'?

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He'll keep his pledge to donate 10,000 mosquito nets to charity to help fight Malaria in Africa

I would analyse this sentence as follows:

Subject= He

Verbs = will keep

direct object= his pledge to donate 10,000 mosquito nets (It's the direct object because it answers the question: will keep what?).

Adverbial/ adjunct of purpose = to help fight Malaria in Africa.(this clause is an adverbial/adjunct because it states why he is keeping his pledge to donate the nets.

The adverbial adjunct refers to the verb phrase will keep his pledge because it says why he keeps the pledge.( the purpose of keeping the pledge).

  • That's not impossible. But can you tell me why the boldfaced phrase cannot modify the verb 'donate'? I mean, doesn't it say why he donates 10,000 mosquito nets to charity? – listeneva Feb 25 '18 at 15:38
  • Yes it does.. I indicated this in my answer. The bold part is an adverbial which refers back to the verb action of keeping the pledge. It says why the pledge has been kept. Adverbials always refer back to the verb or the action and in this case the bold part is an adverbial telling us why he kept his pledge. – user242899 Feb 25 '18 at 22:54
  • No, I'm talking about the possibility that the verb is not "keep" but "donate". – listeneva Feb 26 '18 at 0:34
  • You have to ask what he is doing and to know this you look at the main verb of the sentence and any helping verb. In this case the main verb is keep and the helping verb is will. – user242899 Feb 26 '18 at 16:56
  • The main verb and helper are keep and will.. If donate was the main verb then your sentence would read like this: He will donate 100,000 Mosquito nets to charity etc. etc.. – user242899 Feb 26 '18 at 17:05
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He'll keep his pledge|| to donate 10,000 mosquito nets to charity|| to help fight Malaria in Africa.

to help fight Malaria in Africa, answers the question: Why is he donating nets to charity? And the answer is: to help fight malaria in Africa. It would then be an adverbial, and describes the entire first infinitive.

There are two bare infinitives of purpose. The second one explains the first one.

A better rendition of it would be:

He'll keep his pledge to donate 10,000 mosquito nets to charity// and// [thereby or that way] help fight Malaria in Africa.

That way there is parallelism in the infinitives of purpose.

infinitive of purpose

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