The teacher has to try to remember to remind him to make his friends be interested in different subjects.

I wrote this sentence but I am not sure if this follows the grammar rules.(the sentence may seem a bit weird though)

I am trying to analyze the sentence, so the infinitive to try is the object of the verb has,
the infinitive to remember is the object of the verb try,
the infinitive to remind is the object of the verb remind,
him is the object of the verb remind, and the infinitive to make is the complement of the noun him,
his friends is the object of the verb make, and be interested in different subjects is the complement.

Am I breaking down the sentences correctly? If it is correct , then why does it not fit into the fixed sentence patterns (SVO,SVOO,SVOC,etc...)

By the way, my friend told me a tip, but I am not sure if that always works:

instead of breaking down the sentences and complicate them, whenever a second or third verb appears in the sentence,doesn't matter whether if there is a noun or object in between , just change the second or third verb into infinitive or gerund form, the only exceptions are verb like make/have/let.

Is this tip a valid one? Are there any exceptions?

1 Answer 1


Most of those verbs are catenative, which is the term for verbs that take (or more usually can take) other verbs (in either infinitive or gerund form) as an object, either a sole object or as well as a more normal object. As such, while the catenated verbs don't have subjects, they still have objects (direct and potentially indirect) and/or complements of their own. Verbs can take other verbs as objects without being catenative, though the distinction is then largely academic.

So the verb has is modal over to try (modal verbs and auxiliary verbs aren't considered catenative; they have specific grammatical roles). But try is catenative taking the to-infinitive, and its object is "to remember to remind... (etc.)"

So, we can then analyse that object, and we see that remember is catenative, with "to remind him to make his friends... (etc.)" as object.

Then we analyse that object, see that remind is, in this case, catenative ("remind to" is generally catenative, "remind of" is not), with him as one object (the person being reminded) and the other object, what they are being reminded about, is "to make his friends be interested in different subjects".

Then we analyse that object, and see that make is in the sense of cause, or perhaps compel, in which case it takes a verb as a second object. Whether you can consider it catenative is debatable, and depends exactly how you phrase it, but we see that one object is friends, and the other is the bare infinitive "be interested in different subjects".

Now, interest is a verb, and gives rise to interested as a past participle, but in this case interested is an adjective (a lot of past participles are also adjectives) with takes its own argument. We can tell it is the adjective rather than the verb not because it follows the infinitive be, but because of the meaning - the "object of interest" is the subject of the very to interest, for example "philosophy interests me" - and the syntax, the preposition in following it. All that put together tells us it is the adjective.

This structure, where each verb in turn takes another verb as an object, is known as generative grammar, or nested grammar (or nested sentence structure).

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