Asking about ‘to-infinitive’

The phrase below is a part of a sentence and I want to know how this is grammatically correct.

“~a world that had stripped him of his manhood, of his power to provide.”

The book translation sees ‘provide’ as the meaning of ‘support.’ (provide for=support) However, as i know, if we want to mean ‘provide’ as ‘support’, it should be the intransitive verb. Thus, I’m curious if this phrase is grammatically correct without adding ‘for’ after ‘provide’ as in: of his power to provide for. Help me to understand this!

  • Yes, it's correct. "Provide" is used intransitively here. See Colin's answer for more info.
    – BillJ
    Commented Mar 26, 2021 at 14:13

1 Answer 1


Provide is usually transitive, but it can be intransitive when it is used in a general sense. A well known example is "the Lord will provide", meaning provide whatever is needed.

Here it has that general sense; but because of the negative polarity induced by "stripped", I would render it as provide anything.

Incidentally, I don't think that support is a good paraphrase of provide for: Provide for refers specifically to providing the physical or financial resources required. Support can have that sense, but in the absence of context it would have a more general meaning.

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