0

What is the type of the following bold clause, please?

The woman said nothing but only gestured Jim to follow her.

2
  • gestured Jim doesn't work for me. I would expect gestured to Jim.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Sep 28, 2022 at 16:32
  • The woman said nothing but only gestured to Jim to follow her. That will give you two to's which is right here.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 22, 2022 at 19:16

1 Answer 1

1

It's an infinitive complement.

In some contexts, such as He asked me to go, the "infinitive marker" to is required. But in others, such as He watched me go, it's just a "bare infinitive".

5
  • Is the purpose of this clause expressing the reason/purpose? Commented Sep 28, 2022 at 17:17
  • I guess, yes. Note that if your highlighted "adverb of purpose" wasn't present, it would be perfectly valid to have gesture as an "intransitive" verb - but that would require the preposition to between the verb and the object (Jim). Not many native speakers would accept prepositionless She gestured Jim, but you should note that many if not most of us would probably include that preposition even in your example (unlike some learners, native Anglophones aren't bothered by multiple instances of to in close proximity, especially if they have wildly different syntactic roles). Commented Sep 28, 2022 at 17:26
  • ....note that I said not many native speakers would accept prepositionless She gestured Jim. Some would, though. Come to that, I've no doubt at least some native speakers would accept She waved Jim. But they would be very rare indeed. Commented Sep 28, 2022 at 17:30
  • Understood. Thank you so much for the explanation. Commented Sep 28, 2022 at 17:34
  • ...it's less common to associate an "adverb of purpose" clause with to wave than with to gesture, but here are some written examples of She waved [for] him to come over (where preposition for would often / usually be included). Commented Sep 28, 2022 at 17:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .