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In terms of grammatical organisation infinitival sentences should reasonably be subdivided into one-member and two-member sentences. The two groups may well be illustrated by the following examples:
(a) To be unwordly and quite good! How new! How exciting!... To be onewho lived to make people happy. (Galsworthy)
(b) That fellow to talk of injuries! (Galsworthy)
In two-member sentences the infinitive is preceded by a noun or a nounal phrase.
Infinitival sentences are fairly common in spoken English and literary prose.
Like other units of predicative value, they can communicate not only their denotative meaning but also the connotative suggestions of various circumstances of their use.
The context, linguistic or situational, and intonation in actual speech will always be explicit enough to make the necessary modal meaning clear.
Aubrey Green threw up his hands. "Ah! That white monkey — to have painted that!(Galsworthy)
There are interrogative infinitival sentences, e. g.:
Why waste time? Why not stay here?
A suggestion made in such infinitival sentences may be rejected as impossible (nexus of deprecation).
We surrender? Never!
In terms of style and purpose, infinitival sentences merit attention as synonymically related to sentences with finite verb-forms. Identical in their grammatical content, such synonyms differ in stylistic value, and modal force. Compare the following: