25 Jun

മത്സരത്തിലെ ഇംഗ്ലീഷ്

മത്സരത്തിലെ ഇംഗ്ലീഷ് – 18

(ചൂര്യയി ചന്ദ്രന്‍)

English Structure – 5


  1. The Infinitive
  • The finite verbs are limited by their subjects.
  • The finite verb has a subject

Examine the following sentences

  1. He brings flowers (singular)
  2. They bring flowers          (plural)
  3. I bring flowers (plural)
  4. You bring flowers (plural)
  5. Ravi brings flowers (singular)
  6. Ravi and Reghu bring flowers (plural)
  • The infinitive is a non – finite verb
  • It has no subject. It is not limited by subject

Examine the following sentences

  1. She likes to sing

She (subject of likes)   to sing  (infinitive)

Likes  (a finite verb)

to sing is not limited by subject she.

  • The infinitives without to are called bare infinitives (plain infinitives)
  • The following verbs and phrases take bare infinitives after them.

bid, let, make, help, need not, dare not, had better, would rather, rather than, watch, see etc.


  1. I heard her cry
  2. He made him jump into the well
  3. He bade me sit down
  4. You need not buy such things
  5. You had better consult a doctor
  • The following verbs take infinitive after them.

agree, attempt, choose, claim, consent, decide, determine, endeavour, fail, forget, hope, hesitate, manage, propose, prepare, refuse, threaten, undertaken etc.




  1. He managed to escape from his trap
  2. She has decided to get married
  3. Don’t hesitate to reveal the truth
  4. He has agreed to rejoin
  5. He has promised to help her

Use of infinitives

  1. As the subject of a verb
  2. To err is human

Is : finite verb ; to err : subject

  1. To forgive is divine

Is : finite verb ; to forgive : subject

  1. To steal is wrong

These sentences can be rewritten with anticipatory it

  1. It is human to err
  2. It is divine to forgive
  3. It is wrong to steal
  4. As the object of a verb
  5. He liked to recite “Solitary Reaper”

liked  + what ?  =  to recite  (object)

  1. He encouraged me to take up this job
  2. He forced him to reveal the truth
  3. be +  to  infinitive is used as a mild form of command
  4. Students are to wear their uniform for the day
  5. The new order says we are to pay the Tax before 31st March
  6. To express a decision to be executed soon
  7. Tom and Della are to be married next month
  8. The Director Board is to meat on 10th.
  9. To enquire to ensure something
  10. When am I to come again ?
  11. Am I to welcome all of them
  12. Special use with for + object + infinitive
  13. For me to walk to the office takes only ten minutes.
  14. For you to wait any longer is not necessary
  15. Infinitive is used as equivalent to a clause.

Infinitive phrase contains no subject and verb clause contains a subject and a verb.

  1. Tell me what to do :

What to do is a phrase. By adding a subject and a verb, we can make it a clause.

Tell me what I must do (must do = verb     I = subject)

  1. I can’t think who to ask.

I can’t – think  who I should ask

I = subject

Should ask  =  verb

  1. As the complement of a verb

He is my friend

He = subject ;  is = verb

He  +  is  do not give a full idea.

To make the meaning full and complete, we have to add my friend.

My friend is an inevitable part. This part is called a complement.


  1. His greatest joy is to watchV serial
  2. His ambition is to become a pilot

Other forms of  infinitives

to write  (active)             to be written  (passive)

to throw                         to be thrown

to have written (active)  to have been written (passive)

to have thrown              to have been thrown


  1. Present Participle

Participles are of three types :

  1. Present Participle 2)  Past Participle  and   3)  Perfect Participle
  • The present participle is the -ing  form of the verb. It is also called

–ing participle :

writing, playing, drawing, agreeing, stopping, beginning etc.

  • Present Participle have active and passive forms :

writing  (active)                       being written  (passive)

drawing  (active)            being drawn   (passive)

beginning  (active)                   being  begun  (passive)

  1. Present Participle is used as an adjective.

It qualifies a Noun or a Pronoun.

eg:   1.  A rolling stone gathers no moss.

rolling qualifies the noun, stone.

  1. A barking dog seldom bites

barking qualifiesthe noun dog.

  1. Flying shuttle confuses scientists.

Flying qualifies the noun, shuttle.

  1. walking stick
  2. looking glass
  3. Like a verb, pre. Par. Can take an object.

Eg:     1.  Hearing their voice, she opened the door.

Hearing + what ? = their voice (object)

  1. Drawing a picture of Gandhiji, he started painting it.

drawing  + what  ?  =  a picture of Gandhiji (object)

  1. Like a verb, it may be modified by an Adverb.

Eg:   1. Loudly laughing, they ran away.

Loudly modifies laughing.

  1. Pre . Par. is used to qualify a Noun or Pronoun predicatively

ie:  Pre. Par. comes in the predicate part.

[ in a sentence, subject comes first ; then comes verb, object,

complement etc. The part including the verb is called Predicate


eg:  1. The novel is interesting

the novel (subject part)

is interesting  (Predicate Part)

   interesting modifies the subject, the novel

  1. His reply is amusing
  2. His friendship is only seeming not genuine.
  3. Pre. Par is used as complement of objects :

Eg:  1. He considers the work interesting

Considers + what ?  =  the work (object)

The meaning of work is full and complete only by adding interesting

(so, it is a complement)

  1. I saw him smiling

Smiling is the complement of him

F Pre. Par is used as an adverb modifying an adjective.

Eg:   1. It is freezing cold

Cold  (adjective)

Cold is modified by adverb, freezing

  1. His clothes were dripping wet

Wet  (adjective)

Wet is modified by adverb, dripping

Errors with Present Participles

  • A present participle at the head of a clause or sentence attaches itself to the subject of the clause or sentence.

Eg:  1. Seeing the snake, he ran away

the sentence implies :

“He seeing a snake”  This is correct.

  1. Taking the duster, the Teacher cleaned the black board.

The sentence implies :

“The teacher taking the duster”. This is correct. There is no absurdity.

Please Examine the following sentences

  1. Being a rainy day, we did not go to school

The sentence implies:

“We being a rainy day” . This is absurd.

To correct it, there should be a special subject for being

Thus we get :

It being a rainy day, we did not go to school.

  1. Being absent, I have to drive the car.

The sentence implies :

“I being absent”. This is absurd.

To correct it, we have to add a new subject to being.

Thus we have :

The driver being absent, I have to drive the car.

  1. Climbing a hill, a temple was seen.

Climbing refers to the subject a temple.

Its correction is easy if we change, a temple was seen into its active form.

[ I saw a temple ]

Climbing a hill, I saw a temple. Here, climbing goes with subject I.

  1. Walking along the road, the bus ran over an old man.

Here, walking refers to the bus. This is absurd.

The subject of walking should be an old man.

Thus we get:

An old man walking along the road, the bus ran over him.

  1. Turning a corner, a horse came into my view.

Turning refers to a horse. This is not true.

Correct it to :

Turning a corner, I saw a horse.

Here, Turning refers to I. This is correct.


  1. Perfect Participle
  • Its formula is having + past participle

having written

having judged

having done

having discussed

  • Perfect Participle refers to the first completed action

eg:  1. Having entered the room, I saw him

Have entered (first action)

Saw   (second action)

We can change the above participle phrase into a clause :

I saw him, when I had entered the room

  1.  Having picked the team to meet India in the final test match, the

selectors now have to wait.

Having picked refers to the selectors. This is correct.

Instead of picking (present participle)

Having picked (perfect participle) is used.

  1. Having finished the painting, he gave a sigh of relief.

gave   (second action)

had finished  (first action)

So, instead of finishing  (present participle)

Having finished (perfect participle) is used.


  1. Gerund


  • Gerund is an –ing form as present participle.
  • But present participle is an adjective

Whereas gerund is a verbal noun.

  • Gerund does all the functions of a noun.
  1. As subject of a verb

Eg:    1. Swimming is a good exercise

  1. Smoking is injurious to health
  2. Jogging is a good form of exercise
  3. Fishing is a useful pastime
  4. Her singing is delightful
  5. B) As object of a verb
  6. She loves fishing

Loves + what  ?  =  fishing  (object)

  1. He likes playing violin

Likes + what  ?  =  playing violin  (object)

  1. C) As object of a preposition
  2. He was accused of cheating his friend

accused of  + what ?  =  cheating his friend  (object)

  1. His father was tired of giving him advice

tired  of  +  what  ?  =  giving him advice  (object)

  1. He is clever at cheating people.
  2. D) Gerund is used as complement of a verb
  3. The novel is interesting
  4. It is amusing
  5. Seeing is believing
  6. Our mistake was believing his words


  1. Past Participle


  • The -ed or –en form of a verb is called the past participle.

go  – went  –  gone

write  –  wrote  –  written

see  –  saw  –  seen

seek  –  sought  –  sought

come  –  came  –  come

break  –  broke  –  broken

  • Past Participle is a non – finite verb
  1. Past Participles are used as adjectives.

Eg:     1.  Broken glass (broken qualifies the noun glass)

  1. Spoken English (spoken qualifies the noun English)
  2. Wounded soldiers (wounded qualifies soldiers
  3. He has to give a written explanation

(written qualifies explanation)

  1. Satan is a fallen angel

(fallen qualifies angel)

  1. Her worried look disturbs me.

(worried qualifies look)

  1. I found John worried

(worried qualifies the noun John)

  1. The money in my pocket was gone

(gone qualifies the money)

  1. He is a retired person

(retired qualifies the noun person)

  1. His tattered clothes made everyone believe that he was a


  1. Why do you fight for a lost cause ?
  2. She looks embarrassed.
  • Past Participle preceded by having is called perfect participle.

having dictated

having solved

having prepared

having discussed

having played.



























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