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The Infinitive Constructions and The Ways of Their Using

The Infinitive Constructions and The Ways of Their Using

St. Petersburg Institute

of Foreign Economic

Relations, Economics

and Law (IFEREL)

Yerevan Branch








THE COURSE PAPER






On the Subject

УThe Infinitive Constructions and The Ways of Their UsingФ

By Academic Subject


The Practice and Theory of Translation of English

Made by the student of

III-rd year

Kyosababyn Diana Rafaelovna

The record-book

#

E-4112


Checked by:

The Head (Teacher)†† Badalyan L. A. _________

††††††††† Signature


Yerevan Ц 2005

The List of Contents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

INDEX

Page #

 

1.

The List of Contents.

Ц 3

2.

Introduction: The Non-Finite Forms of the Verbs.

Ц 4

3.

The Predicative Constructions with Non-Finite Forms of the Verbs.

Ц 6

4.

Body: The Predicative Infinitive Constructions. The Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction.

Ц 7

5.

The Subjective-with-the-Infinitive Construction.

Ц 12

6.

The For-to-Infinitive Construction.

Ц 14

7.

The Absolute Infinitive Construction.

Ц 16

8.

Conclusion

Ц 17

9.

Bibliography

Ц 19












INTRIDUCTION

 

The words of every language fall into classes which are called Parts of Speech. Each part of speech has characteristics of its own. The parts of speech differ from each other in meaning, in form and in function.

One of the parts of speech is the Verb. According to content, the verb can be described as word denoting action (the term УactionФ embracing the meaning of activity (to walk, to speak, to play, to study), process (to sleep, to wait, to live), state (to be, to like, to know), relation (to consist, to resemble, to lack) and the like. According to form, it can be described as a word that has certain grammatical features that are not shared by other parts of speech; they have the category of tense, aspect, voice. According to the function, verb can be defined as a word making up the predicate of the sentence.

The English Verbs can be divided into two main groups, according to the function they perform in the sentence Ц the finite forms and non-finite forms.

The finite forms have the function of the predicate in the sentence and may also be called the predicate forms.

The non-finite or non-predicative forms can have various other functions. These forms are also called the verbals.

The non-finite forms or the verbals, unlike the finite forms of the verbs do not express person, number or mood. Therefore they cannot be used as the predicate of a sentence. Like the finite forms of the verbs the verbals have tense and voice distinctions, but their tense distinctions differ from those of the finite verb.

There are three verbals in English: the participle, the gerund, and the infinitive. In Russian there are also three non-finite forms of the verb, but they do not fully coincide with those in the English language (ïðè÷àñòèå, äååïðè÷ñòèå, èíôèíèòèâ).

In English the verbals have the following characteristic traits:

a)    They have a double nature: nominal and verbal. The participle combines the characteristics of a verb with those of an adjective; the gerund and the infinitive combine the characteristics of a verb with those of a known.

b)    The tense distinctions of the verbals are not absolute like those of the finite verbs, but relative. The form of a verbal does not show whether the action it denotes refers to the present, past or future. It shows only whether the action expressed by the verbal is simultaneous with the action expressed by the finite verb or prior to it.

††††††††† In the sentence a verbal may occur.

a)    singling (without accompanying words)

Eg.† She went away smiling. Ц ќна ушла, улыба€сь.

Reading is out of question, I canТt fix my attention on books. Ц ќ чтении не может быть и речиб € не могу сосредоточить свое внимание на книгах.

b)    in phrase (i.e. with one or several accompanying words Ц an object or an adverbial modifier to the verbal). The phrases form syntactic units serving as one part of the sentence. A phrase should not be confused with a predicative construction. Between the elements of a phrase there is no predicate relation as it does not include a noun or pronoun expressed by a verbal.

Eg. Not to disquiet his sister, he had said nothing to her of the matter. Ц „тобы не тревожить сестру, он ничего не сказал ей об этом.

c)     in predicative constructions.

Eg. She heard him open the door and go out the yard. Ц ќна услышала, как он открыл дверь и вышел во двор.

All the verbals can form predicative constructions. They consist of two elements: a nominal (noun or pronoun) and a verbal (participle, gerund or infinitive). The verbal element stands in predicate relation to the nominal element. That is to say it stands in the subject and the predicate of the sentence. It most cases predicative constructions form syntactic units, serving as one part of the sentence.

Eg. The sat down to supper, Jerry still talking cheerfully. Ц ќни сели ужинать; ƒжери продолжал весело разговаривать.

УJerry still talking cheerfullyФ is a predicate relation to the noun Jerry, which denotes the doer of the action expressed by the participle.

Predicative Constructions with the

Non-Finite Forms of the Verb

 

The Non-Finite forms of the Verb are more simple and economical expressive means of thought.

Combinations of non-finite forms of the verb with a noun or pronoun standing a front of them form various grammatical constructions.

In English there are three non-finite forms of the verb: Participle, Gerund, and Infinitive. Therefore, there are three groups of predicative constructions. These are the constructions with Participle, Gerund, and Infinitive.

Participial, Gerundial and Infinitive constructions are highly varied. The structure of some of them is foreign to the Russian language, although their meaning can be fully conveyed in Russian with the help of forms, characteristic of Russian. The constructions are translated into Russian by objective, attributive, adverbial or other subordinate clauses.

eg. 1) My son having lost the key, we could not enter the house. Ц ѕоскольку мой цын потер€л ключ, мы не могли войти в дом. (Participle)

Here Participle is translated into Russian as the predicate of a subordinate clause.

2) There is no mistake about his being a genius. Ц Ќе может быть никакого сомнени€ в том, что он Ц гений. (Gerund)

3) She heard him open the door and go out into the garden. Ц ќна слышала, как он открыл дверь и вышел во двор. (Infinitive)

My course paper aims at analyzing the Predicative Constructions with the Infinitive, the ways of translating them into Russian.

BODY

 

Predicative Infinitive Constructions

In Modern English we distinguish the following predicative constructions with the infinitive:

1.     The Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction

2.     The Subjective-with-the-Infinitive Construction

3.     The For-to-Infinitive Construction

4.     The Absolute Infinitive.

I. The Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction

The Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction is a construction in which the Infinitive is in predicate relation to a noun in the common case or a pronoun in the objective case. In the sentence this construction has the function of a Complex Object. In translating the Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction into Russian there is always used a subordinate clause.

Eg. She is a wonderful teacher and IТve never seen her lose her temper or get angry about anything. Ц ќна замечательна€ учительница, и никогда не видела, чтобы она вышла из себ€ или рассердилась из-за чего-нибудь.

I believe him to know this subject well. Ц я пологаю, что он хорошо знает этот предмет.

I consider this question to be very important. Ц я считаю, что этот вопрос очень важен.

Although, sometimes a sentence containing The Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction may be translated by a simple sentence.

Eg. The dread of the unknown made me recede (step back). Ц —трах перед неизвестностью заставил мен€ отступить.

He wonТt allow himself do otherwise. Ц ќн не позволит себе поступить иначе.

OneТs gaze made me turn round. Ц „ей-то пристальный взгл€д заставил мен€ обернутьс€.

His parents let him go to country excursion. Ц ≈го родители позволили ему поехать на загородную экскурсию.

She will never let him leave. Ц ќна никогда не позволит ему уйти.

 

The Use of the Objective Infinitive Construction

The Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction is used:

1.     After verbs denoting sense perception, such as: Уto hearФ, Уto seeФ, Уto watchФ, Уto feelФ, Уto observeФ, Уto noticeФ, etc.

Eg. I havenТt heard anyone call me. Ц я не слышал, чтобы

кто-нибудь мен€ звал.

I saw David enter the room. Ц » видел, как ƒевид вошел в комнату.

After verbs of sense perception only the Indefinite Infinitive Active is used. If the meaning is passive Participle II is used.

Eg. I saw the fire slowly faded. Ц я видел, как пожар постепенно потух.

If a process is expressed, Participle I Indefinite Active is used.

Eg. He saw Wendy coming Ц ќн увидел, как ¬енди идет.

It should be noted that the verb Уto seeФ should be followed by a clause and not by the Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction, when it is used in the meaning of Уto understandФ.

Eg. I saw that he did not realize the danger.† Ц я видел (понимал), что он не осознает опасность.

After the verbs Уto seeФ and Уto noticeФ the Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction is not used with the verb Уto beФ. In such cases Subordinate Clause is used.

Eg. I saw, that he was pale. Ц я видел, что он побледнел.

When the verb Уto hearФ is not a verb of sense perception and is used in the meaning Уto learnФ, Уto be toldФ, a clause or a gerund is used, but not the Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction.

Eg. I heard that he had left for France. Ц ћне сказали (я слышал), что он уехал во ‘ранцию.

We have heard that she has found a job. Ч ћы узнали, что она нашла работу.

2.     After verbs denoting mental activity, such as: Уto knowФ, Уto thinkФ, Уto considerФ, Уto believeФ, Уto supposeФ, Уto expectФ, Уto imagineФ, Уto findФ, Уto feelФ, Уto trustФ, and etc.

After verbs of mental activity in the Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction the verb Уto beФ is generally used. But this restriction does not apply to the verb Уto expectФ. The use of this construction after most verbs of mental activity is more characteristic of literary than of colloquial style.

Eg. I know you to be the most honest, spotless creature that ever lived. Ц†† я знаю, что ¬ы самое честное и безупречное существо из всех, когда-либо живших на свете.

If you suppose that boy to be friendless, you deceive yourself. Ц ≈сли вы предполагаете, что у этого мальчика нет друзей, вы ошибаетесь.

Everybody expected her to marry Pete. Ц ¬се ожидали, что она выйдет замуж за ѕита.

After verbs of mental activity the Perfect Infinitive is used, but seldom.

Eg. The doctor found his heart to have stopped two hours before. Ц ƒоктор установил, что его сердце перестало битьс€ два часа тому назад.

In the Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction after verbs Уto thinkФ, Уto considerФ, Уto findФ, the verb Уto beФ is left out.

For instance, instead of УI consider him to be a good specialistФ we can say УI consider him a good specialistФ and translate into Russian literally Уя считаю его хорошим специалистомФ. (This sentence is translated by simple sentence.)

3.     After verbs of declaring: Уto pronounceФ, Уto declareФ, Уto reportФ.

Eg. The surgeon pronounced the wound to be a slight one. Ц ¬рач сказал, что рана легка€.

She declared him to be the most disobedient child in existence. Ц ќна за€вила, что это самый непослушный ребенок на свете.

4.     After verbs denoting wish and intention: Уto wantФ, Уto wishФ, Уto desireФ, Уto meanФ, Уto intendФ, Уto chooseФ (in the meaning УхотетьФ) and also after the construction УI would likeФ (я хотел бы).

Eg. He intended me to go with him to India. Ц ќн хотел, чтобы поехала с ним в »ндию.

I want you to come and dine with me. Ц я хочу, чтобы вы пришли со мной пообедать.

I donТt choose you to go by yourself to a hotel. Ц я не хочу, чтобы вы жили в госитнице одна.

I would like her look to through my report. Ц я бы хотел, чтобы она посмотрела мой доклад.

5.     After verbs and expressions denoting feeling and emotion: Уto likeФ, Уto dislikeФ, Уto loveФ, Уto hateФ, Уcannot bearФ, etc.

Eg. I dislike you to talk like that. Ц я не люблю, когда ты так говоришь.

I hate him to be flogged. Ц я терпеть не могу, когда его бьют.

I cannot bear you to speak of that. Ц я не могу выносить, когда вы

говорите об этом.

6.     After verbs denoting order and permission: Уto orderФ, Уto allowФ, Уto sufferФ, Уto haveФ, etc.

Here we find the Objective-with-the-Infinitive only if the object is expressed by a noun or pronoun, denoting lifeless thing or when the Infinitive is passive. This restriction does not apply to the verbs Уto sufferФ and Уto haveФ.

Eg. Mr. Sinclair ordered his carriage to be ready early in the morning. Ц ћистер —инклер распор€дилс€, чтобы экипаж был готов рано утром.

She had never allowed the name to John Gordon to pass her lips. Ц ќна никогда не позвол€ла себе произносить им€ ƒжона √ордона. (This sentence is translated by simple sentence.)

He ordered the wounded to be carried away from the field of battle. Ц ќн приказал, чтобы раненного унесли с пол€ бо€.

However, if the noun or pronoun denotes a person and it is followed by an inactive form as a rule the Infinitive is not a part of the Complex Object and has the function of second Direct Object, immediately subordinated to the Verb.

Eg. He ordered the prisoners to go away. Ц ќн приказал пленным (закл-ченным) уйти. (This sentence is translated by simple sentence.)

7.     The Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction is used after verbs denoting compulsion: Уto makeФ (in the meaning УзаставитьФ), Уto causeФ (УзаставитьФ, Ураспор€дитьс€Ф), Уto getФ (Удобитьс€Ф), Уto haveФ (УзаставитьФ,Фсказать чтобыФ).

Eg. Light steps in the gravel made him turn his head. Ц Ћегкие шаги по гравию заставили его повернуть голову. (This sentence is translated by simple sentence.)

She caused a telegram to be sent to him. Ц ќна распор€дилась, чтобы ему послали телеграмму.

The noise caused her to awake. Ц ќт шума она проснулась. (This sentence is translated by simple sentence.)

I cannot get her to finish her lessons. Ц я не могу заставить ее закончить уроки.

8.     †Though the Infinitive as a rule is not used with verbs requiring prepositions, the Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction is widely used with the preposition УforФ. This construction consists of the preposition УforФ plus noun in common case (or pronoun in objective case) plus Infinitive. These construction are translated into Russian by a subordinate clause, usually introduced by the conjunctions УчтоФ, УчтобыФ and at the same time the noun or pronoun of that construction together with proceeding preposition УforФ is translated by a noun (or a pronoun) in the function of the subject of subordinate clause, and the infinitive is translated by a finite for of verb which is the predicate of the subordinate clause.

Eg. He waited for her to speak but she did not. Ц ќн ждал, чтобы она заговорила, но она молчала.

Occasionally the Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction occurs with the preposition УonФ or УuponФ (after the verb Уto relyФ).

Eg. I rely on you to come in time. Ц я расчитываю, что вы придете воврем€.

I rely upon you not to go over to the opposition. Ц я надеюсь, что вы не переметнетесь к оппозиции.

The gerund however is also possible here.

Eg. I rely on your coming in time. Ц я расчитываю, что вы придете воврем€.

II. The Subjective-with-the-Infinitive Construction

(The Nominative-with-the-Infinitive Construction)

 

The Subjective-with-the-Infinitive Construction traditionally called the Nominative-with-the-Infinitive Construction is a construction in which the Infinitive is in predicate relation to a noun in the common case or pronoun in the nominative case.

The peculiarity of this construction is that it does not serve as one part of the sentence. One of its component parts has the function of the subject, the other forms part of a compound verbal predicate.

Eg. Jane is said to resemble me. Ц √овор€т, что ƒжейн похожа на мен€ю.

The Infinitive with the Subjective-with-the-Infinitive Construction cannot refer to a future action except with the verbs and word groups whose meaning allows of it: Уto expectФ, Уto be sureФ, Уto be certainФ, and Уto be likelyФ.

Eg. We are sure to come at the heart of the matter. Ц ћы об€зательно доберемс€ до сути дела.

He is expected to give us an answer tomorrow. Ц ќжидают, что он даст нам ответ завтра.

This fire is certain to produce a panic in the morning. Ц Ётот пожар, беспорно (несомненно) вызовет утром панику.

The Subjective-with-the-Infinitive Construction is used with the following groups of verbs in the Passive Voice.

1.     With verbs denoting sense perception: Уto seeФ, Уto hearФ, etc.

Eg. Mr. McТCord was heard to laugh heartily. Ц —лышно было, как смеетс€ мистер ћак  орд.

The rider was seen to disappear in the distance. Ц ¬идно было, как всадник скрылс€ вдали.

If a process is expressed Participle I Indefinite Active is used.

Eg. JillТs father was heard approaching at that moment. Ц ¬ этот

момент они услышали, что подходит отец ƒжилл.

†††††††† The sentences (The Subjective-with-the-Infinitive Construction) with the verbs denoting sense perception are translated into Russian by complex sentence.

2.     With verbs denoting mental activity: Уto thinkФ, Уto considerФ, Уto knowФ, Уto expectФ, Уto believeФ, Уto supposeФ.

Eg. He was thought to be honest and kindly. Ц ≈го считали честным и добрым человеком.

My father was considered by many to be a great man. Ц ћногие считали моего отца незаур€дным человеком.

The manuscript is believed to have been written in the 15th century. Ц ѕолагают, что эта рукопись написана в XV веке.

The sentences (The Subjective-with-the-Infinitive Construction) with the verbs denoting mental activity can be translated into Russian both by simple and complex sentence.

3.     With verb Уto makeФ.

Eg. Little boy was aroused and made to put on his clothes. Ц ћаленького мальчика разбудили и заставили одетьс€.

Parents made him to do his lessons. Ц –одители заставл€ли его

учить уроки. (Simple sentence)

4.     With verbs Уto sayФ and Уto reportФ.

Eg. The gods had given her dark-brown eyes and golden hair, which

†is said to be the mark of a weak character. Ц Ѕоги наделили ее

темно-карими глазами и золотистыми волосами, что,

как говорат, €вл€етс€ признаком слабости характера.†

It should be noticed that after verbs in the Passive Voice the Subjective-with-the-Infinitive Construction is more characteristic of literary than of colloquial style, except with the verbs Уto supposeФ, Уto expectФ, Уto makeФ. With these verbs the Subjective Infinitive can be found both in fiction and in colloquial language.


III. The For-to-Infinitive Construction

The For-to-Infinitive Construction is a construction in which the Infinitive is in predicate relation to a noun or pronoun preceded by the preposition УforФ.

In translating this construction into Russian a subordinate clause or an infinitive is used. The construction can have different functions in the sentence. It can be:

1.     Subject, often with the introductory УitФ

Eg. I sometimes think it is shame for people to spend so much money this way. Ц я иногда думаю, что стыдно люд€м тратить на это

такмного денег.

2.     Predicative

 

Eg. That was for him to find out. Ц ¬ы€снить это должен был он.

 

3.     Attribute

Eg. There is nobody here for him to play with. Ц «десь нет никого,

скем он мог бы поиграть.

4.     Complex Object

 

Eg. He waited for her to speak. Ц ќн ждал, когда она заговорит.

He asked for the papers to be brought. Ц ќн попросил принести

бумаги.

5.     Adverbial Modifier:

a)    of result

Eg. He spoke loud enough for you to hear. Ц ќн говорил достаточно

†громко, чтобы ¬ы могли его слышать.

He had consented, and it was too late for him now to recede. Ц ќн уже

дал согласие, и теперь было поздно отступать.

b)    of purpose

Eg. He stepped aside for me to pass. Ц ќн отошел в сторону, чтобы могла пройти.

He spoke loud for me to hear. Ц ќн говорил громко, чтобы могла услышать.

 

With the expressions Уto be sorryФ, Уto be gladФ, Уto be pleasedФ the Infinitive is used only if the subject of the sentence represents at the same time the doer of the action expressed by the Infinitive, over wise a subordinate clause is used.

Eg. I am pleased to have got a ticket for the concert. Ц я рада, что достала билет на этот концертю

I am glad to have seen you. Ц я раг, что встретил теб€.

I am glad you got a ticket for the concert. Ц я рад, что ¬ы достали билет на этот концерт.


IV. The Absolute Infinitive Construction

 

The subject of the infinitive in all adverbial functions is the same person or thing as denoted by the subject of the sentence. But the Infinitive may also have a subject of its own with which it forms the so-called Absolute Construction with the Infinitive.

The Absolute Construction with the Infinitive is introduced by the preposition УwithФ. The Infinitive is used with the particle УtoФ.

The Absolute Construction with the Infinitive has the function of adverbial modifier of attending circumstances in the sentence.

Eg. Miss Jillian is bellow, Sir, with a carriage to take you home. Ц —эр, мисс ƒжиллиан находитс€ внизу, с экипажем, который отвезет ¬ас домой.

There are two parallel actions in this sentence. One of them is expressed by the predicate, the other Ц by the Infinitive. Each action has its own subject.

The Infinitive Absolute Construction is infrequent and found only in literary style.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion it should be noted that the Predicative Constructions are the constructions consisting of two elements: a nominal (noun or pronoun) and verbal (Participle, Gerund or Infinitive). The verbal element stands in predicate relation to the nominate element, that is to say in a relation similar to that between the subject and the predicate of the sentence. In most cases predicative constructions form syntactic units, serving as one part of the sentence.

In English there are three groups of predicative constructions. These are the constructions with Participle, Gerund, and Infinitive.

Participial, Gerundial and Infinitive constructions are highly varied. The structure of some of them is foreign to the Russian language, although their meaning can be fully conveyed in Russian with the help of forms, characteristic of Russian. The constructions are translated into Russian by objective, attributive, adverbial or other subordinate clauses.

The Predicative Constructions with the Infinitive are divided into four types:

1.     The Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction

2.     The Subjective-with-the-Infinitive Construction

3.     The For-to-Infinitive Construction

4.     The Absolute Infinitive.

1. The Objective-with-the-Infinitive Construction is a construction in which the Infinitive is in predicate relation to a noun in the common case or a pronoun in the objective case. In the sentence this construction has the function of a Complex Object.

2. The Subjective-with-the-Infinitive Construction traditionally called the Nominative-with-the-Infinitive Construction is a construction in which the Infinitive is in predicate relation to a noun in the common case or pronoun in the nominative case.

The peculiarity of this construction is that it does not serve as one part of the sentence. One of its component parts has the function of the subject, the other forms part of a compound verbal predicate.

3. The For-to-Infinitive Construction is a construction in which the Infinitive is in predicate relation to a noun or pronoun preceded by the preposition УforФ.

In translating this construction into Russian a subordinate clause or an infinitive is used. The construction can have different functions in the sentence. It can be: subject, predicative, attribute, complex, object, adverbial modifier (of result, purpose).

4. The Absolute Construction with the Infinitive is formed by the subject of the Infinitive which in all adverbial functions is the same person or thing as denoted by the subject of the sentence.

The Absolute Construction with the Infinitive is introduced by the preposition УwithФ. The Infinitive is used with the particle УtoФ. The Absolute Construction with the Infinitive has the function of adverbial modifier of attending circumstances in the sentence.

The Infinitive Absolute Construction is infrequent and found only in literary style. ThatТs why it is consider that in Modern English there are only three Predicative Constructions.

It should be noted that the Predicative Constructions with the Infinitive are translated into Russian by subordinate clause, but sometimes they can be translated by simple sentence.

Eg. The noise caused her to awake. Ц ќт шума она проснулась. (Simple sentence, Objective Infinitive Construction)

Jane is said to resemble me. Ц √овор€т, что ƒжейн похожа на мен€ю. (Subordinate clause, Subjective Infinitive Construction)


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УA Practical English GrammarФ

4th addition

Oxford Universities Press, 1986



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