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EGR IV Question

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    EGR IV Question

    #5 on p. 23 under Practice A says it’s is a linking verb in the teacher manual. Wouldn’t this be a helping verb?

    I also have a question about Practice C on p. 24. I am confused as why #3 wouldn’t be a complementary infinitive because “to eat” is necessary for the meaning of the sentence. “It is important to eat a healthy breakfast each morning.”

    Also #4 and #7 - I’m not sure why they are complementary infinitives because it would make sense to say, “Mark began Johnny Tremain yesterday” and “ Jane is learning chess”.
    Last edited by KariE; 10-15-2020, 06:02 PM.


      A complementary infinitive is an infinitive that fills out the meaning of another verb, for example, begin, learn, try, decide, wish, dare, ought, etc. Those verbs often sound incomplete without an infinitive to complete the meaning. He began to read. She learns to play chess. (Maybe you are thinking of the complementary infinitive as an infinitive important to the overall sentence structure and meaning? It is more specific than that.)

      So you see that, in the sentence "It is important to eat a healthy breakfast each morning,” to eat is not a complementary infinitive. It does not complete/fill out the meaning of another verb. (Along with its object, the infinitive is actually the subject of the sentence. The sentence can be rephrased as, "To eat a healthy breakfast ... is important. It is just a filler word standing in for the subject.)

      I don't know whether you are studying Latin, but both these concepts -- the infinitive as a verbal noun that can be the subject/object/predicate noun in a sentence, and also the complementary infinitive -- are taught in Latin, where, I think, they become much easier to understand.

      (I don't have EGR in front of me, so I don't know what your first question was. Do you want to post the sentence? )

      Does this help?


        Thank you Bonnie. My student is in 2nd form Latin. I know EGR IV is specifically tied to concepts learned in 3rd form Latin so maybe it would be better for us to hold off on this grammar until next year? The only information given about complementary infinitives is Grammar Question 70. "A complementary infinitive is an infinitive used as a direct object". So my student knows that direct objects are necessary to the meaning of the sentence so that is why she tried to use that logic in deciding which were commentary infinitives and that seemed to make sense to me too. I understand what you are saying about sentence #3.

        But in the sentence "Jane is learning to play chess". What part of speech is chess? Also in the sentence "Mark began to read Johnny Tremain yesterday." What part of speech is Johnny Tremain? Just wondering because I'm not sure.

        My first question was about p. 23 #5 "Is your class coming with us?" Is is listed as a linking verb in the teacher guide, but my student thought it was a helping verb with coming and I agree because you can turn it around and say "Your class is coming with us." Please correct me if I'm wrong. I just don't understand how that would be a linking verb.


          I agree with you that is functions as a helping/auxiliary verb in that sentence.On the other questions, chess is the object of to play. Johnny Tremain is the object of to read. An infinitive may have an object.

          On another point, a complementary infinitive completes, or fills out, the meaning of another verb. Its name comes from the Latin verb compleo, fill out. Mark began to read. The infinitive to read completes the idea of began. The action of the verb and the action of the complementary infinitive are done by the same subject. Verbs that may take a complementary infinitive often sound incomplete without the infinitive, for example, Mark began. She learns. Verbs like began, learn, try, decide often (not always) take a complementary infinitive; you will learn to use many of these in Latin.

          In addition to being used as subjects or predicate nominatives, infinitives may be used in objective ways, particularly in a Latin construction called indirect statement, but that is more advanced syntax.

          I can't answer the first question about the scheduling of EGR IV with Latin. That's a great question for the MP experts.



            To your first question regarding helping/linking verbs, in my copy of the Teacher Manual it says "helping" for answer 5 in Practice A on p. 23. If yours says otherwise, it is possible you have an older copy which has since been corrected.

            To your complementary infinitive question, Bonnie is correct. A simple way to understand Grammar Question 70 is the bit about direct objects. In "Jane is learning to play chess," "learn" is a transitive verb that takes a direct object; as a verbal noun, the infinitive "to play" is the verb's direct object and, therefore, a complementary infinitive. Since "to play" is also transitive, it takes a direct object, i.e. "chess".

            Whereas, the linking verb does not take a direct object, so it cannot take a complementary infinitive. As aforementioned by Bonnie, in "it is important to eat a healthy breakfast each morning," "to eat" is what is called a predicate nominative, which renames the impersonal subject "it".

            As far as scheduling goes, yes, we do recommend that EGR IV accompanies Third Form. However, unless you continue to run into bits in EGR that don't make sense without referring to unknown Latin grammar, I wouldn't let one hiccup dissuade you from continuing EGR IV for now.

            - Jon


              I have no grammar wisdom to share, but I did want to say that I slow down our English Grammar Recitation one year so that it would line up again. Josie is repeating Book 3 this year and Malachi will repeat Book 1 next year. If everyone stays on pace with Latin then we will be set through the end of the grammar series for them. We'll see!
              Festina lentē,
              Jessica P

              2021-2022 • 12th year HSing • 10th year MP
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