1

I am reading uses of infinitive from a grammar book and two sentences are written in it, that are

  1. He started weeping seeing his father. (x) And
  2. He started weeping to see his father. (✓)

My concern is this if i say a sentence

  1. He started to weep seeing his father. Or
  2. He started to weep to see his father.

My concern is if 3rd and 4th having correct use of infinitive 'to', if not then what is the rule to make it grammatically correct sentence ?

  • None of these sentences are idiomatic and their meanings aren't entirely clear. Is the third sentence different in meaning? I don't know what the meaning of the second sentence is supposed to be. I would have assumed it was the same as (what I'm guessing is) the meaning of the third sentence. Is the second sentence supposed to mean, he started weeping when he saw his father, or he started weeping because he wanted to see his father? – Juhasz Dec 5 '18 at 22:37
  • Yes 2nd is 'He started weeping because he wanted to see his father'. – Ambashankar Sagitra Dec 7 '18 at 18:53
0

Hmm, there's nothing in #2 that implies that he wanted to see his father. The word "weep" doesn't carry that force. #1 means "He started weeping when he saw his father" as in, "Seeing his father, he started weeping." #2 sounds like it's trying to say the same as #1, but it's a misuse of the infinitive. #3 means the same as #1 as in "Seeing his father, he started to weep." #4 is incorrect for the same reason as #2. The grammar book likely doesn't understand the precise usage of "weep" so its example doesn't make any sense. If you change the verb to "want" as in, "He started wanting seeing his father" the point of the lesson becomes clear: "He started wanting seeing his father" is incorrect whereas "He started wanting to see his father" is correct.

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