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Is there any dichotomy among the following three sentences?

  • The mold on the plants proved to be benign.
  • The mold on the plants proved being benign.
  • The mold which is benign on the plants proved.

If yes, could you explain, especially 1 and 2? Does the first sentence include infinitive form?

  • Only the first is grammatical. The second uses the wrong verb form after 'proved' (must be 'to be' - infinitive form - followed by adjective or noun). The third is nonsense. – Michael Harvey Nov 17 '19 at 11:44
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As usual with question of this sort, the answer is 100% to do with the (unpredictable) properties of the particular word that governs the clause.

It happens that unaccusative verb prove (meaning turn out, be found to be) takes:

  • an adjectival complement, eg The mold on the plants proved benign.

  • a to-infinitve clause, eg The mold on the plants proved to be benign.

If cannot take a gerund clause, and cannot be turned round to make the clause the subject. I cannot detect any difference in meaning between the two, but I think the shorter form is more literary.

There is no way I am aware of to calculate or prove that this is how this prove behaves: it is an unpredictable fact about current English.

(Note that the transitive verb prove, meaning demonstrate the truth of, or establish as true can take a that clause as its object (He proved that the mold on the plants was benign). But the unaccusative verb I discussed above is not simply the passive of this prove: while it has an implication that somebody investigated the matter and found the answer, it does not have any sense of demonstrating that it is true).

  • Thanks a lot sir. – snr Jan 14 at 8:16
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To say that something turns out to be the case, you can use 'prove' followed by either: an adjective, or an infinitive verb and an adjective or noun.

The tools proved useful. The new employee proved to be a fool. The car proved to have a flat tyre.

Of your sentences, only the first is grammatical. The second uses the wrong verb form after 'proved' (must be infinitive form followed by adjective or noun). The third is nonsense.

Prove |(Collins Dictionary)

  • The tools proved useful. = The tools proved to be useful. ? IMO there must be grammatical case/explanation of it. – snr Nov 17 '19 at 12:02
  • 'to be' can be omitted. – Michael Harvey Nov 17 '19 at 13:08
  • I wonder its reason, sir. – snr Nov 17 '19 at 13:10
  • The reason is that 'to be' is not necessary. – Michael Harvey Nov 17 '19 at 13:37

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