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I can't figure out the subject of "to find" in this sentence from a book. It appears to me it should connect with Each habit demands appropriate conditions, making appropriate conditions its subject. But I recall that demand someone to do is wrong, as has been discussed here.

Each habit demands appropriate conditions for its exercise and when habits are numerous and complex, as with the human organism, to find these conditions involves search and experimentation.

I am inclined to say to find is short for "in order to find". Is that the case?

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    [to find these conditions] {involves} [search and experimentation.]
    – dan
    Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 5:27

1 Answer 1

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It's the subject of the verb involves in the following independent clause:

To find these conditions involves search and experimentation.

It can also be replaced with 'finding'.

https://www.englishgrammar.org/gerunds-infinitives-subjects/

https://www.englishgrammar.org/infinitive-clause-subject-object/

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  • Agreed. My answer was going to be: use 'finding' instead. Commented Dec 6, 2018 at 8:54

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