for them to safely survive (subject and predicate?)

ironman2012

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

Major said: “We don’t have long time to leave the Kurds where they are and for them to safely survive. We must proceed with action now without delay.”

(This comes from my English study material and I don't find its source.)

I want to know if the subject and predicate of the blue part is "we have long time", that is, "we have long time for them to safely survive".

Thanks in advance!
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It should be 'a long time' (or 'much time' without 'a'). The sentence is unusual, as 'we don't have a long time' has two infinitive complements, but the second one has its own subject, 'them':

    We don't have a long time
    (a) __ to leave the Kurds where they are
    and (b) for them to safely survive.

    (That is, we leave the Kurds, and the Kurds safely survive.)

    The implied subject of (a) is the same subject above it: 'we'. We don't have a long time (for us) to leave the Kurds where they are. It's unusual to switch internal subjects like this, but it makes sense.
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Major said: “We.......don’t have....a long time....to leave the Kurds where they are....... and......... for them to safely survive.
    .................Subject.....verb.............object................adjectival phrase..................conjunction...adjectival phrase. (both phrases qualify the object.)
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Thank you, one more question: what does "We have a long time to leave the Kurds where they are" and "We have a long time for Kurds to safely survive" mean, although I know what "a long time"means.

    Does they mean "we leave the Kurds where they are for a long time" and "the Kurds safely survive for a long time"?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "We have a long time to do something" makes no sense to me, but then neither does the negative version in the OP.

    "We don't have much/enough time to do it". "We have plenty of time to do it".:tick:
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Compare
    "We have a house."
    "We do not have a house."
    I understand the above exmples, but I'm still confused by "We don't have / have a long time to...". What does 'a long time' modify or refer to?

    We don't have / have a long time to leave the Kurds where they are
    We don't have / have a long time for Kurds to safely survive
     
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