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Hello again...

Please could one of you lovely ladies let me know if I have understood this sentence diagramming correctly. It's from the WTMG, lesson 68.

Both his wife and his brothers were delighted to see the coming of the dawn.

The only thing I am unsure of is the last part, "to see the coming of the dawn"

were delighted is the verb phrase

I ask, "were delighted why?" and the answer is, "to see the coming of the dawn" which in my thinking means it is an adverb phrase, so it is diagrammed below the verb phrase "were delighted".

"to see" is also a verb so I ask, "to see what?", "the coming of the dawn" which makes that phrase the direct object of "to see".

Is this right? Can a verb act as an adverb as well? I'm sorry that my questions are so base. 

Another thing, assuming my thinking is right, what part of speech is "to" in "to see". 

Please forgive my ignorance... I wouldn't be surprised if I completely messed this one up...

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2 hours ago, Taryn Schnugh said:

Hello again...

Please could one of you lovely ladies let me know if I have understood this sentence diagramming correctly. It's from the WTMG, lesson 68.

Both his wife and his brothers were delighted to see the coming of the dawn.

The only thing I am unsure of is the last part, "to see the coming of the dawn"

were delighted is the verb phrase

I ask, "were delighted why?" and the answer is, "to see the coming of the dawn" which in my thinking means it is an adverb phrase, so it is diagrammed below the verb phrase "were delighted".

"to see" is also a verb so I ask, "to see what?", "the coming of the dawn" which makes that phrase the direct object of "to see".

Is this right? Can a verb act as an adverb as well? I'm sorry that my questions are so base. 

Another thing, assuming my thinking is right, what part of speech is "to" in "to see". 

Please forgive my ignorance... I wouldn't be surprised if I completely messed this one up...

"to see the coming of the dawn" is an adverb phrase, yes. 

"To see" is the infinitive form of the verb, and actually can't be used alone as a verb in its infinitive form without helping verbs. (Try it: "I to see my father."   // "The animal to see his home.") 

English has 3 VERBAL forms - participles, infinitives, and gerunds; these words "used to be verbs" (are forms of verbs), but are NOT being used as verbs in the sentence (you correctly identified were delighted as the verb of this sentence). These VERBALS will always function as either adjectives, adverbs, or nouns. An infinitive can actually function as any of those (adjective, adverb, noun), so you have to ask what it's doing . . . and yes, you are correct that in your sentence it's modifying the verb. 🙂

 

So, short answer, no, verbs cannot act as adverbs. But VERBALS (which *look* like verbs) can act as adjectives, adverbs, and nouns (but only one of those at a time). "To see" is the infinitve, in your sentence, and "the coming of the dawn" is the rest of the infinitive phrase (containing "coming" (the retained object) and "of the dawn" (an adjectival prepositional phrase).

 

 

I have a silly-looking red poster in the shape of a pig (for when I teach verbals) that draws this out more clearly, but I don't have a picture to link here. 

P (participles) ---->   adjectives

I (infinitives) -------> adjectives, adverbs, or nouns (depends on function in the sentence)*

G (gerunds) -------> nouns

 

*on my poster, the arrows go from infinitives to all 3 parts of speech, but I can't draw that here

 

Edited by Lucy the Valiant

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