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The for-to-infinitive constructions

§ 134. The for-to-infinitive construction is expressed by a noun in the common case or a personal pronoun in the objective case and an infinitive with the particle to. It is introduced by the preposition for. The construction may function as different parts of the sentence:

1.Subject. In this function it usually follows introductoryit and is very seldom placed before the predicate.

It was practically impossible for them to meet anybody.

For one to spend a summer with them was a wonderful experience.

2.Predicative. The usual link verb is to be, although other link verbs are also possible.


Thatis not for me to decide.

What it all meansremains for an expert to say.

3.Object. The construction can be used as an indirect non-recipient object of certain verbs (to ask, to watch) and adjectives (anxious, eager, impatient, sorry, willing, etc.).


I watched for him to appear through the bushes.

Everybody was impatient for the experiment to begin.

4.Attribute. In this function it modifies nouns or indefinite, negative, and universal pronouns.


She gave orders for everyone to stop packing.

There was nothing for him to say.

5.Adverbial modifier:

a)of purpose.


I rang for you to show the lady out.


Unlike the infinitive, the for-to-construction in this function can be placed only after the predicate.

b)of consequence.


The chance was too good for Jack to miss it.

The real cause of the explosion was evident enough for everyone to discuss it.

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