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complex object

Discussion in 'English Only' started by elshan1980, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. elshan1980 Senior Member

    Azerbaijani
    Hi, everybody!

    I have a question about complex object (as we call it in that way in our country) -main verb + object + (to) infinitive.

    I expected John to study his lesson and pass the exam. (Here we leave out to for the verb pass.)

    I expected John not to study his lesson and pass the exam. (Do we need to use not for the verb pass again?)
    1. I expected John to study his lesson and not to go to the cinema. (Can we leave out to for the verb go?)
    << --- Second question removed --- >>Thanks in advance
    Elshan
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013
  2. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    Hmmm, complex question too.

    Firstly, I expected John to study his lesson and pass the exam. :tick: (Here we leave out to for the verb pass.) But you could equally have left it in.

    I expected John not to study his lesson and pass the exam. (Do we need to use not for the verb pass again?) This is ambiguous. We cannot easily deduce your expectation.

    It could be that you expected that he wouldn't study, but that he'd pass the exam anyway. There are ways of making this clearer.

    1. I expected John to study his lesson and not to go to the cinema. It seems here that he went to the cinema instead of studying. Is that what you intended?

    (Can we leave out to for the verb go?)
    Yes, probably, but the ambiguity is not resolved by omitting 'to'.
     
  3. elshan1980 Senior Member

    Azerbaijani
    Firstly, I expected John to study his lesson and pass the exam. :tick: (Here we leave out to for the verb pass.) But you could equally have left it in.

    So you say that "to pass" is also possible.


    I expected John not to study his lesson and pass the exam. (Do we need to use not for the verb pass again?) This is ambiguous. We cannot easily deduce your expectation.

    I just want to mean
    he didn't study and didn't pass the exam as I expected. How should be the sentence then?

    It could be that you expected that he wouldn't study, but that he'd pass the exam anyway. There are ways of making this clearer.

    1. I expected John to study his lesson and not to go to the cinema. It seems here that he went to the cinema instead of studying. Is that what you intended?
    Yes, it's what I intented, is the sentence correct then?

    (Can we leave out to for the verb go?) Yes, probably, but the ambiguity is not resolved by omitting 'to'.

    So you say "I expected John to study his lesson and not go to the cinema" is also possible.

    Thanks
    Elshan

     
  4. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    >So you say that "to pass" is also possible.
    I do.

    >I just want to mean he didn't study and didn't pass the exam as I expected. How should be the sentence then?
    I expected that John would not study his lesson and would consequently fail his exam, and I was right.

    >Yes, it's what I intended, is the sentence correct then?
    A sentence can be grammatically correct at the same time as being ambiguous. Yours was correct, but at the same time, meaning more than one thing.


    "I expected John to study his lesson and not to go to the cinema." Frankly, this could mean all sorts of things, including an expression of regret regarding John's failure as a student.
    If you want unambiguously to express such regret, then we at least need to know for certain what John actually did. This cannot be done through expressing an expectation alone.

    eg. "I expected John to study his lesson and not to go to the cinema, but he let me down on both counts."


    >So you say "I expected John to study his lesson and not go to the cinema" is also possible.
    I do, and it is.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2013

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