Technical English II - FINITE AND NON-FINITE CLAUSES

Anna university

Technical English II Lecture Notes

FINITE AND NON-FINITE CLAUSES


FINITE AND NON-FINITE CLAUSES

(from Engelsk Grammatikk og Språkbruk by Johansson / Lysvåg)


Finite clauses /sentences – finite verb forms, i.e. the verb is conjugated (past, present, future)

Non-finite clause – non-finite verb forms (no time aspect)

-ing clauses and infinitive clauses

Examples of non-finite clauses:


Verb + -ing clause as object:

Mind (do you mind moving the car?)

Deny (she denied having been there)

(other examples: admit, avoid, consider, detest, dislike, endure, enjoy, finish, can’t help, imagine, involve, keep, miss, postpone, practise, resent, resist, risk, can’t stand, suggest)


Preposition + -ing clause:

We look forward to seeing you

I’m no used to speaking English

In addition to taking the kids to school you have to do the dishes

Without intending to, she hurt him

Are you good at swimming?


-ing clause with a subject:

Your changing the plan has caused a lot of problems for us

Do you mind me/my smoking?

I heard about John arguing all night


-ing clause as subject (Norw. ‘det å’):

Rolling stones down a steep hill is dangerous

Teaching grammar to college students is a challenge

Writing literary essays is fun


-ing clause as adverbial:

Having taken the train for three years, I know the standard of the NSB

Preparing the evening meal, he thought about everything that had happened that day

The letters having been written, he went home


-ing clause as an explanatory apposition:

He poured me a drink, spilling most of it on the table

She just stood there, feeling completely lost

“That’s quite all right,” she said, not wishing to upset him


Infinitive clause as subject:

To roll stones is dangerous

To do well is important for me


Infinitive clause as object:

I told him to leave the house

I taught him to play the guitar


Infinitive clause with a subject:

I want him to help me (no subj: I want to help you)

This caused them to change their minds

I expect you to clean up the mess

It is necessary for Mary to be there

(other verbs that take infinitive clauses with a subject: advise, allow, ask, beg, cause, expect, force, help, invite, like, need, order, permit, persuade, prefer, remind, teach, tell, want)


Verb + infinitive clause:

I can’t afford to date her

Would you care to help me?

(other verbs: agree, appear, attempt, beg, choose, dare, decide, determine, fail, forget, hesitate, hope, intend, learn, manage, need, neglect, offer, prepare, promise, propose, refuse, seem, try, wish)


Some verbs take both infinitive- and –ing-clauses:

Remember, regret, go on, stop + -ing clause: when something has happened or is happening:

I remember locking the door

I regret sending her those flowers

They stopped smoking

Remember, regret, go on, stop + infinitive clause: when something is going to happen:

Remember to lock the door

I regret to tell you that we cannot make it

They stopped to smoke

Like, love, hate, prefer + -ing clause: something happening often:

I love walking in the rain

I prefer cycling to work

She hates being late

Like, love, hate, prefer + infinitive clause: an imagined or future situation:

I’d love to walk with you

We would prefer to stay longer

She will hate to see you like that

See, hear, feel, watch, notice + -ing clause: a focus on the activity:

Did you see him climbing up that tree? (mens han klatret)

I heard somebody running outside (da de løp)

See, hear, feel, watch, notice + infinitive clause: completed activity:

Did you see him climb up that tree? (at han klatret)

I heard him run outside (at han løp)

Allow, advise, forbid, permit + -ing clause when this has no subject:

We don’t allow cycling on the pavement

We forbid smoking inside

Allow, advise, forbid, permit + infinitive clause when this has a subject:

We don’t allow our pupils to cycle on the pavement

I forbid you to smoke inside


EXERCISES

-ing form or to infinitive?

1

You should practise (write) English more often

2

He denied (have) had anything to do with it

3

I can’t help (think) of his tragic death

4

I promise (pay) you back next week

5

He never intended (offend) you

6

Do you enjoy (swim)

7

He failed (report) the incident to the police

8

We don’t mind (help) you

9

We are considering (move) to London

10

I’d appreciate (hear) form you very soon

11

(smoke) is a bad habit


Which of these sentences is wrong and why?

Sitting by the fire, we heard the door bell ring and I went out to see who it was

Sitting by the fire, the doorbell rand and I went out to see who it was

Being extremely popular, they all wanted to catch a glimpse of him

Being extremely popular, he caught the attention of everybody


What is the difference in form and meaning between these sentence pairs?

1

A

I saw him swim across the river

B

I saw him swimming across the river

2

A

I do remember closing all the windows

B

I did remember to close all the windows

3

A

I’m not used to hard work

B

I’m not used to working hard

4

A

I like going abroad

B

I’d like to go abroad

5

A

They stopped to look at it

B

They stopped looking at it

6

A

I regret to say that Paul was guilty

B

I regret saying that Paul was guilty

7

A

I’d like to be a genius

B

I like being a genius



Choose the correct alternatives from those given in the text below:

The incident naturally made sensational headlines in the press. A strange light (appearing/to appear/appeared) in the night sky is one thing, but the death of an experienced pilot in circumstances (associating/to associate/associated) with a flying saucer is quite another. The public understandably got (worrying/to worry/worried). Even people who had so far been reluctant (talking/to talk/talked) about the UFO phenomenon began (feeling/to feel) pangs of anxiety. Had this pilot gone in pursuit of a spaceship (manning/to man/manned) by hostile beings, or was it a new weapon (inventing/to invent/invented) by the Russians? Scientists (working/to work/worked) in the field rejected every theory (putting/to be put/put) forward, (observing/to observe/observed) that no aircraft could possibly change its shape in mid-air, which was the essence of the pilot’s report before (disappearing/to disappear/disappeared).


Choose an infinitive or an –ing form:

I used think that the earth was flat and that if anyone tried reach China from Europe by sail west they would fall off the end of the earth and disappear. The Polish astronomer Copernicus is generally believed prove that the earth was round at the beginning of the sixteenth century, but it was mainly as a result of the great voyages of discovery that people stopped believe it be flat. It is easy for people today laugh at the idea of the earth be flat. But I remember as a boy think to myself that it could not possibly be round. In fact I used get quite scared whenever I was told it was round. If it were round, I thought, everything would fall off and go spin into space. Of course, I knew nothing then about the force of gravity; but neither did the people at the time of Columbus. I cannot help think it must have been very brave of him set out discover a new route to China without know what dangers he might encounter on the way.