Complementary Infinitive vs. Objective Infinitive

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Complementary Infinitive vs. Objective Infinitive

Post by blutoonwithcarrotandnail » Fri Jun 16, 2006 8:09 pm

In latin:

Complementary Infinitive: A second verb is used to complete the meaning of the main verb in its infinitive form


We ought to give help to miserable people

Ought=main verb Give=Infinitive Help=Object

Now look at the objective infinitive: Infinitive as object of main verb with noun in accussative form which is subject of infinitive


The farmer taught the slaves to work

"Slaves Work" = one block or object of the main verb teach

If you look at the first sentence (complementary infinitive) the object 'help' was seperate from the rest of the verbs. It is an object of them but it is not considered one working unit. As far as i am aware in the second sentence (objective infinitive) 'slaves work' is one gigantic block or object of the main verb. This is a combination of the object + infinitive to form an object.

What is so special about the second sentence that is not in the first? Why cant 'help' in the first trigger the same relationship and be attached so that it looks like 'help give'. It cannot be because there is no person involved like 'the slaves' can it? In the first sentence we gave 'help'. there is no person. In the second line there was a slave involved. Could this be it?

Last edited by blutoonwithcarrotandnail on Mon Aug 14, 2006 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Michaelyus » Sun Jun 18, 2006 11:31 am

Not being a real master of grammar, I'm not really in a position to say.

With the complemetary:
we ---ought---> give ----> help ----> miserable ones.

The objective:
farmer ---teaches----> (slaves ----> to work)

I would say that the sense of each main verb determines the structure of what follows. The first is a modal verb, needing another verb in a complementary way. The second main verb can stand meaningfully, but has a clause as its predicate, which is indeed an object.

Agricola not agricolas, maybe?

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