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Is this possible to use a noun and an infinitive as objects in one sentence?

Example: Is this a correct sentence: 'I love animals and draw'? A person means that she likes animals and also she likes to draw smth. In Russian it'd be an understandable phrase, but I'm not sure about English.

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  • The issue is not so much with grammar and syntax as it is with semantics here. Sometimes the structure can be amply clear and at others incongruous or ambiguous, depending on what is being said. This is a good example of how not to use the structure.
    – Kris
    Jan 18 '14 at 14:02
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    No, the main issue here is syntax.
    – user230
    Jan 18 '14 at 15:56
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Yes, that is possible in English, just like in Russian. However, unlike in Russian, the only verb form that can function as a noun is the present participle. The construction is so common that it even has a special name: a present participle functioning as a noun is called a gerund.

So, the sentence would read "I love animals and drawing".

"I love animals and draw" is grammatically correct as well, but only in the meaning that you love animals and that you also draw, without saying anything about whether you love drawing. And even in that meaning, which is not the one you are after, it is clumsy (a native speaker would more likely produce "I love animals and I also draw" or something to that extent).

Edit: a British colleague informs me that the noun "draw" is also slang for "marijuana". So "I love animals and draw" is also grammatical in the meaning "I love animals and marijuana". Again, not quite what you're after.

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  • In the sense of that you love animals and that you also draw requires an Oxford comma for semantic disambiguation, or at least some clarity. Right?
    – Kris
    Jan 18 '14 at 14:00
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    @Kris - the Oxford comma is the second separating a series of three nouns, and is optional; the classic example is ...eats shoots and leaves (eats, shoots , and leaves) or "I would like to thank my parents, Ayn Rand , and God." Used if needed to clarify. Jan 18 '14 at 14:14
  • "..the only verb form that can function as a noun is the present participle"." I'm afraid that this is not completely true. Infinitives and participles can be used as nouns; practically anything can be used as a noun in English. The point here is that only a gerund complement can be used as an object with the verb love. Every verb has different rules for complement clauses. Jan 18 '14 at 19:10
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Яeg's "I love animals and drawing" is essentially a shortened (ellipted) form of "I love animals and I love drawing". "I love A and I love B", where A and B are noun groups / -ing forms, is often ellipted to 'I love A and B'.

"I love to run and I love to jump" is of the form ""I love to X and I love to Y". This form is also often ellipted: "I love to run and to jump" or even "I love to run and jump" - though note that the omission of the second 'to' 'binds' the verbs more closely: 'running and jumping' is being bracketed as a composite activity, whereas with "to run and to jump", we're considering two separate activities.

But you can't omit the first 'to'.

We wouldn't try to coordinate "I love A and to X", so your "I love animals and to draw" would not be considered normal English.

Even then, there are semantic constraints: the following sound ridiculous even though their grammatical structures are not wrong:

"I love daydreaming and scorpions."

"I love to run and to investigate the secondary structure of proteins".

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