Is this to-infinitive clause an adjunct or a complement?


He'll keep his pledge to donate 10,000 mosquito nets to charity to help fight Malaria in Africa.

In this sentence, is the to-infinitive in bold a complement or an adjunct of purpose?

Perhaps more importantly, is it part of the noun phrase headed by 'pledge' or does it modify the verb 'keep'?


Posted 2018-02-22T22:03:25.913

Reputation: 473



He'll keep his pledge to donate 10,000 mosquito nets to charity to help fight Malaria in Africa

I would analyse this sentence as follows:

Subject= He

Verbs = will keep

direct object= his pledge to donate 10,000 mosquito nets (It's the direct object because it answers the question: will keep what?).

Adverbial/ adjunct of purpose = to help fight Malaria in Africa.(this clause is an adverbial/adjunct because it states why he is keeping his pledge to donate the nets.

The adverbial adjunct refers to the verb phrase will keep his pledge because it says why he keeps the pledge.( the purpose of keeping the pledge).


Posted 2018-02-22T22:03:25.913

Reputation: 1 674

That's not impossible. But can you tell me why the boldfaced phrase cannot modify the verb 'donate'? I mean, doesn't it say why he donates 10,000 mosquito nets to charity? – listeneva – 2018-02-25T15:38:44.050

Yes it does.. I indicated this in my answer. The bold part is an adverbial which refers back to the verb action of keeping the pledge. It says why the pledge has been kept. Adverbials always refer back to the verb or the action and in this case the bold part is an adverbial telling us why he kept his pledge. – user242899 – 2018-02-25T22:54:53.133

No, I'm talking about the possibility that the verb is not "keep" but "donate". – listeneva – 2018-02-26T00:34:34.467

You have to ask what he is doing and to know this you look at the main verb of the sentence and any helping verb. In this case the main verb is keep and the helping verb is will. – user242899 – 2018-02-26T16:56:32.673

The main verb and helper are keep and will.. If donate was the main verb then your sentence would read like this: He will donate 100,000 Mosquito nets to charity etc. etc.. – user242899 – 2018-02-26T17:05:48.600

Consider this easier sentence: He loves to play the piano for his friends. The main verb here is loves and the direct object is the infinitive phrase = to play the piano. The adverbial of purpose is for his friends. In your sentence I think the infinitive phrase to donate is just part of a modifying phrase that acts as a direct object. – user242899 – 2018-02-26T17:23:29.217


He'll keep his pledge|| to donate 10,000 mosquito nets to charity|| to help fight Malaria in Africa.

to help fight Malaria in Africa, answers the question: Why is he donating nets to charity? And the answer is: to help fight malaria in Africa. It would then be an adverbial, and describes the entire first infinitive.

There are two bare infinitives of purpose. The second one explains the first one.

A better rendition of it would be:

He'll keep his pledge to donate 10,000 mosquito nets to charity// and// [thereby or that way] help fight Malaria in Africa.

That way there is parallelism in the infinitives of purpose.

infinitive of purpose


Posted 2018-02-22T22:03:25.913

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