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(Code and Color Key)

Finite Verb or Verbal? The "To" Test (Ex # 2): from
Stories of Robin Hood Told to the Children, by Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall
Analysis Key


 
1. But it is all a trick (PN) {of the Sheriff's} to get hold of Robin Hood [#1]. |
 

2. He knew [DO Robin and his men would hear {about this shooting-match}, and

would come to try to win the prize [#2]. |
 

3. I'll do anything (DO) [Adj. to "anything" I can] to hide you [#3] {from the Bishop and his men}. |
 

4. The old woman had barely had time (DO) to get [#4] {into Robin's clothes} [Adv.

to "had had" before the Bishop arrived]. |
 

5. [DO of "whispered" "It's the King (PN),"] whispered one man [Adj. to "man"

who was near enough to hear [#5] [DO of "to hear" what was said (P)]]. |


Notes
1. Possessives generally function as adjectives. Thus the apostrophe in "of the Sheriff's" implies a noun, as in "of the Sheriff's *tricks*." I would probably not draw attention to that unless someone asked. The important point in this exercise is that students realize that "to get hold" is not a finite verb. Beyond that, we can note that this construction can be explained in two ways. "Robin Hood" can be considered the direct object of the infinitive "to get hold of" (which means "to capture"). Alternatively, "to get" can be considered the infinitive; "hold" as the direct object of "to get"; and "of Robin Hood" as a prepositional phrase that modifies "hold." Either way, the infinitive phrase as a whole functions as an adjective to "trick."
2. "Prize" is the direct object of the infinitive "to win"; that infinitive functions as the direct object of the infinitive "to try"; "to try" functions as an adverb to "would come."
3. "You" is the direct object of the infinitive "to hide"; the infinitive functions as an adverb to "will do." [Because they look at just the words and do not pay attention to the meaning of those words in the sentence, some students will almost certainly mark "can to hide" as a finite verb.]
4. The infinitive "to get" functions as an adjective to "time."
5. The infinitive "to hear" functions as an adverb to "enough." The complexity of the clauses in this sentence will confuse some students, but the important thing at this point is that they identify "to hear" as a verbal and recognize the four finite verb phrases and their subjects.