Infinitives as subject complement

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stayeron

New Member
Korean
I came across the following sentences on The New York Times:

For shellshocked small-business owners in the region, Mr. Stampler of the S.B.A. offered some advice. "The first thing is take care of themselves and the second is to start thinking about what it will take to get their business operational and develop a plan to accomplish that," he said.

I know infinitives with to can be used as a subject complement, like to start in the above extract. This is often presented in most advanced grammar books.

What about infinitives without to? The above extract indicates we can also use them as subject complements, like take in the example, although personally I rarely read any rules on this use in grammar books.

- My additional comment is I would use infinitives either with to or without to (i.e. not both) as subject complements in one single piece of writing, to maintain consistency. What do you think? (For this comment, I don't refer to the extract above, because perhaps "take" and "to start" were originally used by the speaker himself.)

Many thanks for your time!
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    - My additional comment is I would use infinitives either with to or without to (i.e. not both) as subject complements in one single piece of writing, to maintain consistency. What do you think?
    I agree with you. I would prefer to see consistency in the language you quoted. However, it is easy for speakers to accidentally omit little words like to as they begin speaking and thinking of what they are going to say next in their comments.
     

    billj

    Senior Member
    British English
    Bare infinitival clauses functioning as predicative complement are restricted to cases where the subject noun phrase contains "do" in a relative clause, as in All I did was print out the table of contents, though "to" can be optionally added.

    But that is not the case in your example, so I would say they should be to-infinitivals.
     
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