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He is the first kid to have been sent to Japan to study to become a doctor.

In this sentence, does the infinitive act serve as an adjective and modify the noun kid?

Can it also be understood as :(relative clause)

He is the first kid who has been sent to Jpan to study to become a doctor.

Do both have the same meaning?

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He is the first kid [to have been sent to Japan to study to become a doctor].

You are right, the infinitival clause does modify "kid", though it's better to call it an infinitival relative clause, not an adjective.

And, yes, it is the equivalent of "the first kid who was sent to Japan ..."

Note that nominals containing relatives with this kind of interpretation usually contain a modifier such as "only", "next", "last" or, as in your example, one of the ordinals "first", "second" etc.

  • Thank you. Does the same rule apply to this sentence. "There are no jobs to be had nowadays", can it be seen as the equivalent of "There are no jobs which can be had nowadays."? – 黃冠霖 Mar 1 '19 at 11:05
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    @黃冠霖 Yes, you are right. – BillJ Mar 1 '19 at 11:30

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