What is the function of the italicized infinitive phrases below given the choices adjective, adverb, or noun? I want to go with you to the store. Can you give me a place to put my things? He went...

What is the function of the italicized infinitive phrases below given the choices adjective, adverb, or noun?

I want to go with you to the store.

Can you give me a place to put my things?

He went to Europe to study architecture.

May I have permission to use the car tonight?

Meredith is to be restored as captain.

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jjohnson112 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

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An infinitive phrase is a phrase that begins with the infinitive "to" and then the simple form of a verb.  Infinitive phrases can function as an adjective, an adverb, or a noun.

Let's look at the provided examples:

I want to go with you to the store.

The subject "I" wants (verb) to do something.  What do they want?  "to go with you to the store."  "to go with you to the store," is the direct object of the verb "want."  Therefore, the infinitive phrase "to go with you to the store" is a noun. 

Can you give me a place to put my things?

The subject is "you" and the verb is "give".  What is given?  a "place".  That makes "place" the direct object of the sentence.  What kind of place?  "a place to put my things."  "to put my things" is describing the place.  A word that describes a noun is an adjective.  Therefore, "to put my things" is functioning as an adjective.

He went to Europe to study architecture.

The subject is "he" and the verb is "went."  Where did he go?  Europe.  That makes "Europe" the direct object of the sentence.  Why did he go to Europe?  "to study architecture."  In this case, "to study architecture" is describing why he "went."  Since the infinitive phrase is describing a verb, it is functioning as an adverb.  

May I have permission to use the car tonight?

The subject is "I" and the verb is "have."  What can I have? Permission.  That makes "permission" the direct object of the sentence. What kind of permission?  "to use the car tonight."  The infinitive phrase is describing a noun (permission), so it is functioning as an adjective.

Meredith is to be restored as captain.

The subject is "Meredith" and the verb is "is."  What is going to happen to Meredith?  She is "to be restored as captain.  "To be restored as captain" is the direct object of the sentence.  Therefore, the infinitive phrase, "to be restored as captain" is a noun.

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