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I have observed some sentences where past participle like "to be delivered" or "to be given" was used after the verb "to be", however, today I have observed a sentence given below where sentence maker has not used past participle form of verb but used the normal word like "out" instead.

Rajnath gets stuck in lift, scales wall to be out.

Can anyone clarify, are these all (delivered, given, out) Adjectives? Meaning that it is mandatory to use an Adjective after "to be".

Thanks,

Charmi

  • I assumed this was a news headline, and yes it is: google.com/… The important thing to consider here is that newspaper headlines use a different theme of English than standard English does. Non-standard grammar I mean. More info here. – M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Apr 10 '15 at 12:05
  • To Charmi Sapariya (the OP), is your question about why it wasn't "scales wall out" instead? – Damkerng T. Apr 10 '15 at 12:16
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be is a copular verb and it's used to connect the subject of the sentence to the complement - a subject complement.

  1. The solution is easy.

  2. The order will be delivered soon.

  3. He is a policeman.

In the above sentences the verb be connects the subject to its complement. A complement need not be an adjective only, but anything that says something about the subject.

In sentence #1 the complement is an adjective. In sentence #2, the complement is past participle of verb (or can be viewed as an adjective), but in sentence #3 the complement is a noun phrase.

All these complements say something about the subjects. And hence they are called subject complement. A copular verb is the one that links the subject with its complement.

In your quoted sentence the complement is - to be out. This is an infinitive clause denoting the purpose of his scaling. out here is an adverbial modifying the verb be and referring to the position of the subject.

Rajnath gets stuck in lift, scales wall to be out.

Scales the wall so that Rajnath comes out.

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In AmE, we would not say "scales wall to be out"; we would say "scales wall to get out". So the question about "to be" in this sense would never arise. Using stative "to be" in a context of vigorous effort (scaling a wall) baffles me.

  • Will it be better if we say scales wall out as Damkerng suggested in the comment? In that case I think the issue of static will be removed. – Man_From_India Apr 10 '15 at 12:29
  • Well, "scales wall out" sounds incomplete to me, but I am, you know, American. And if it's a headline, space is very limited, so they often do not follow the syntax conventions that normal writing does. – Brian Hitchcock Apr 10 '15 at 12:37
  • Oh normally it's incomplete? What about scale out the wall? – Man_From_India Apr 10 '15 at 12:40
  • That's worse. "Scale out the wall" almost sounds like making the wall bigger (larger-scale). – Brian Hitchcock Apr 10 '15 at 12:46
  • By the way, the out in to be out is indeed an adjective, but the out in to get out is an adverb. So we have so far sidestepped OP's question about adjectives, while fixing the bad example. – Brian Hitchcock Apr 10 '15 at 12:47

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