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Semantics of Complement Clause as Direct Object of Verb (Part 2 of 7)

5 minute read Semantics of Verb in Main Clause and Non-finite Complement Clause Action verbs require physical effort whereas Cognitive verbs require mental effort and Mental verbs are instinctive or inherent which do not require any effort to manifest. Action verb like ‘run’ involves activity which do not prospect or describe other actions unlike action verb like ‘try’ which prospects action of accomplishment (try to fix/plan to finish). Similarly Cognitive verbs like ‘know’ do not prospect further action (we use ‘to know’ and not ‘know to’) whereas verbs like ‘decide’ prospects action based on judgement/reasoning (agreed to quit; we do not say ‘want to agree to sign’ or ‘try to decide to resign’) and reporting verbs of cognitive action like ‘advise’ reports prospective action by somebody else (advised her to take gluten free diet). When verb like ‘remember’ is not cognitive, it can be prospected as in ‘try to remember’. In ‘I remember locking the door’ and ‘I remember/ remembered to buy water bottles on the way’; verb is either about an activity or about a prospective action where ‘remember’ is more like a mental action verb without requiring judgement/ reasoning like a cognitive verb. We do not use stative or mental or opinion or cognition or behavioural or perception verbs. One test is to use ‘try to +verb’ and it is obvious that ’try to hate/ love/ want/ believe/ agree/ decide/ expect/ cry/ laugh/ behave/ smell’ are all wrong usage of infinitive because these verbs cannot be prospected by any plan, tendency, will, inherent/ external cause, accident or chance. These verbs cannot also be used as gerund followed by noun, because mental state verbs cannot act, whereas gerund describes action or activity. Mental stative verbs take both infinitive and gerund of physical action or cognitive action verb as in ‘I hate to drive /driving in Bangalore traffic.’ / ‘She likes to solve/solving puzzles’. Since ‘hate’ is of permanent nature ‘hate to drive’ expresses permanent hesitation to drive where ‘drive’ is prospective and ‘hate driving’ expresses permanent dislike for an activity. Though ‘enjoy’ is a mental verb, it is not about one’s nature nor is it permanent. It is a temporary feeling in response to an ongoing activity and therefore ‘enjoy’ cannot prospect or prevent an action. As such ‘enjoy to watch’ is wrong but ‘enjoy watching’ is correct. As a temporary feeling verb ‘enjoy’ can be prospected as in ‘want to enjoy’ unlike ‘want to love’ because ‘love’ is inherent/innate and cannot be prospected. However ‘hesitate to enjoy’ is incorrect like ‘hesitate to hate’, because there can be indecision or reluctance for an action but not for a feeling or what is inherently innate. It is also correct to say ‘enjoying playing Holi’ where ‘enjoy’ is in present continuous tense like an action verb without any effort. Unlike innate emotion metal state verbs dread/love/like/hate/tend, emotional response mental verbs do not prospect physical or cognitive action. These verbs are: amuse, annoy, baffle, bewilder, bore, confuse, depress, disappoint, embarrass, excite, frighten, frustrate, impress, interest, irritate, motivate, overwhelm, please, puzzle, shock, surprise. These verbs cannot be followed by infinitive to-verb or gerund nor can be preceded by any main verb. Similarly following category of verbs do not license infinitive to-verb or gerund to follow these verbs as object. These verbs too cannot follow any main verb as object. Stative Opinion verb: believe, consider, suspect, think Stative emotion verb: adore, admire Sense verbs: hear, look, see, seem, smell, taste, touch Verbs of possession: belong, contain, consist, have, include, own, possess Stative relational verbs: concern, cost, deserve, equal, fit, involve, lack, matter, resemble, measure, weigh It is to be further noted that mental stative verbs, feeling verbs, cognition verbs, opinion verbs cannot be used in future tense because of the very nature of these verbs. For example ‘I will enjoy reading the story’ / ‘She will believe/ admire/ love/understand’ are incorrect. Verbs which can be INFINITIVE but cannot be followed by INFINTIVE a) Action verbs for potential action without any potential for further action: attract, avenge, build, catch, cut, eat, deliver, discuss, finish, kill, rescue, release, run, surrender, win can be preceded by ‘to’ such as: to avenge murder

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