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Jack and His Golden Box
Finite Verb or Verbal? - Exercise # 3
Analysis Key

1. I am sorry (PA) to see you go. |

First of all, "to see" does not pass the "to" test. Second, the subject of "to see" is "I," but "I to see you go" does not pass the sentence test. Thus "to see" is not a finite verb. [It is an infinitive that functions as an adverb to "sorry."]
     The "you go" will create a problem, since "you go" can be an acceptable sentence. The problem arises because "you" is used for both subjects and objects. Substitute "she/her" and the structure of the sentence becomes clearer. We would say "to see her go," but not "to see she go." And "her go" is easily recognized by students as not passing the sentence test. Thus "go" is not a finite verb. [It is an infinitive. "You" is its subject, and the infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of "to see."]
2. Jack had hardly time (DO) to get the words {out of his mouth}. |
Some students are going to see "had to get" as a finite verb phrase. Since this would be the only finite verb phrase in the sentence, this view would not be a major problem, but the sentence does not mean that he had to get the words out. It means he hardly had time. Thus the "to get" phrase modifies "time." [It is an infinitive and "words" is the direct object of "to get."]
3. There is more (PN) to come yet. |
The subject of "to come" is "more," and "More to come yet" fails the sentence test. Thus "to come" is not a finite verb. [It is an infinitive that functions as an adjective to "more."] For "There," see also "Expletives."
4. The servant was curious (PA) to know [DO what might be {in the box}]. |
The subject of "to know" is "servant," but "The servant to know ..." fails the sentence test. [It is an infinitive that functions as an adverb to "curious."]
5. Jack begged the gentleman to give him twelve months and a day to look {for the castle}. |
First, both "to give" and "to look" fail the "to" test. Second, the subject of "to give" is "gentleman," and "The gentleman to give him ..." fails the sentence test. The subject of "to look" is "him" ("Jack") and both "him to look for the castle" and "Jack to look for the castle" fail the sentence test. Thus neither "to give" nor "to look" qualifies as a finite verb.
     [They are both infinitives. "Gentleman" is the subject of "to give"; "him" is the indirect object of "to give," and "months" and "day" are direct objects of "to give." The infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of "begged." "To look" functions as an adverb to "to give," explaining why Jack wanted the time to be given.]