The Objective with the Infinitive Construction

In the objective with the infinitive construction the infinitive (usually an infinitive phrase) is in predicate relation to a noun in the common case or a pronoun in the objective case (hence the name of the construction), the whole construction forming a complex object of some verbs. It is rendered in Russian by an object clause.

The objective with the infinitive construction is used in the following

1. After verbs of sense perception (to see, to hear, to feel, to watch, to observe, to notice and some others). In this case the only possible form of the infinitive is the non-perfect common aspect active voice form, used without the particle to:

No one had ever heard her cry.

I paused a moment and watched the tram-car stop.

Note 1: If the verb to see is used with the meaning to realize, or the verb to hear the meaning to learn, the objective with the infinitive construction cannot be used. Here a subordinate object clause is used:

I saw that he did not know anything. - Я видел (понимал), что он ничего не знает.
I hear you have dropped the idea of leaving him. - Я слышала (узнала), что ты отказалась от мысли уйти от него.

Note 2: After the verbs re see and to notice the infinitive of the verb to be is not used. Instead, a subordinate object clause is used:

He only had time to notice that the girt was unusually pretty.

2. After verbs of mental activity(to think, to believe, to consider, to expect, to understand, to suppose, to find and some others). Here the infinitive is used in any form, though the non-perfect forms are the most frequent.

I know him to be an honest man.

She believed him to have left for San Francisco.

I believed her to be knitting in the next room.

I should expect my devoted friend to be devoted to me.

Note:If the doer of the action denoted by the infinitive is expressed in the subject of the sentence, the corresponding reflexive pronoun is used:

He considered himself to be right. I believed myself to be a fool.

3. After verbs of emotion (то like, to love, to hate, to dislike and some others). Here non-perfect, common aspect forms of the infinitive are the most usual.

I always liked him to sing.

She hated her son to be separated from her,

I'd love you to come with me too.

I hated him to have been sent away.

4. Afterverbs of wish and intention (to want, to wish, to desire, to intend, to mean and some others). After these verbs only non-perfect common aspect forms of the infinitive with the particle to are used:

He only wished you to be near him.

I don't want him to be punished.

5. After verbs of declaring (to declare, to pronounce):

I declare you to be out of your mind.

H e reported the boat to have been seen not far away.

6. After verbs of inducement (to have, to let, to make, to get) of which the first three take the infinitive without to:

I can't get him to do it properly.

She made me obey her.

7. After other verbs of inducement followed by a noun or a pronoun denoting the bearer of the state or of the action denoted by the infinitive, if the state or the action are imposed upon the bearer by some other person. Compare:

The noun and the infinitive used as two objects The objective with the infinitive forming a complex object
The mother ordered Mary to be ready for the departure = to depart. The doctor ordered the patient to be ready for the operation = to be prepared (by the nurse).
The teacher asked Mary to bring the books. The teacher asked the books to be brought.

8. The objective with the infinitive construction also occurs after certain verbs requiring a prepositional object, for example to count (up)on, to rely (up)on, to look for, to listen to, to wait for:

I rely on you to come in time.

Can't I count upon you to help me?

After the verb to listen to the infinitive is used without particle to.

He was listening attentively to the chairman speak. Главная Страница