1

The Department of Commerce sums the payments (made to resources) to arrive at GDP in the form of compensation of employees, rents, profits, net interest, indirect taxes and depreciation.

I bracketed made to resources as I think it is a participle phrase and functions as a adjective (according to this site : http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/participlephrase.htm),
therefore can be ignored when understanding the function of to in the context.

And the to here doesn't seem to tell the purpose of sums the payments, so the only interpretation I can come up with is :

The Department of Commerce sums the payments, and the payments arrive at GDP in the form of compensation of employees, rents, profits, net interest, indirect taxes and depreciation.

So the to in the original context probably acts as an object complement, the object being payments and to arrive at.. being the complement. (according to this site: https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Object-Complements.htm)

Is my understanding of the meaning of the context and the function of to correct?

3

Sample sentence (taken from online quizlets, I think):

The Department of Commerce sums the payments (made to resources) to arrive at GDP in the form of compensation of employees, rents, profits, net interest, indirect taxes and depreciation.

made to resources is adjectival.

But: to arrive at GDP means: in order to arrive at GDP.

It explains the purpose of the DOC adding up the payments.

[by the way, in American English we say add up the payments here, and not sums the payments. It sounds better.]

It is an infinitive phrase AKA infinitival clause after the main verb.

[I have a special way of analyzing this which is not known generally to English-speaking linguists. The function word "to" sets up a relationship between "The Department of Commerce sums the payments" and what comes after "to", traditionally described as purpose. Please see directly observable markers: directly observable markers and two-phase theory theory The purpose of adding up the payments is precisely: to arrive at GDP.

1
  • Yes. I was reading the sentence and immediately thought that to meant in order to. If you want to drop the repeated use of to, you can also say so that they. Apr 1 '19 at 16:18
1

The Department of Commerce sums the payments (made to resources) [to arrive at GDP in the form of compensation of employees, rents, profits, net interest, indirect taxes and depreciation].

The constituent "made to resources" is a past-participial clause modifying "payments". Semantically, it's similar to the relative clause in ... payments that are made to resources.

"To" is a subordinator functioning as 'marker'. It introduces the bracketed to-infinitival clause, which is probably best analysed as a result adjunct in clause structure.

7
  • Thanks, I didn't know that "to" can be an interpreted as a result adjunct.
    – tsai zi
    Apr 2 '19 at 12:17
  • 1
    @tsaizi It's not just "to" that is a result adjunct, but the whole infinitival clause to arrive at GDP in the form of compensation of employees, rents, profits, net interest, indirect taxes and depreciation. "To" is a subordinator that introduces the infinitival clause.
    – BillJ
    Apr 2 '19 at 12:39
  • Thank you so much again, is there a website you would recommend for understanding infinitive clause? I found some , but none of them cover the idea of infinitive's being result adjunct.
    – tsai zi
    Apr 5 '19 at 4:20
  • 1
    @tsaizi Here's a link to a chart of all the various types of adjunct link
    – BillJ
    Apr 5 '19 at 7:54
  • 1
    @tsaizi It has the form of a purpose adjunct, but the meaning of a result one!
    – BillJ
    Apr 6 '19 at 9:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.