A time and place

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
India- hindi
Structure and function What time and location do you associated with the clause for Madonna to write a novel? There's no answer to that: no time, no place. It hasn't happened, anywhere; it might never happen; though in principle it could. But the thing is, the construction isn't designed to tie down the situation to a time and place. The ‘for NP to VP’ construction is non-finite in the sense of having no temporal or spatial bounds, the way infinity has no temporal or spatial bounds. That's the way the traditional notions ‘finite’ and ‘non-finite’ arose.

Non-Finite Clauses

Please explain to me the use of "the" before "situation" and "a" before "time and place"?
  • grassy

    Senior Member
    It's a particular situation: Madonna writing a novel. It can, however, happen at any place at any time, therefore these are not specified.


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Here it's being used in a countable way: a particular time (occasion) and a particular place. In an uncountable sense, the situation isn't located in time or space.
    < Previous | Next >