Diagramming Sentences

Sentence Diagrams

~ One Way of Learning English Grammar ~

The Anatomy of a Sentence

 Part 8

 
Every year on the afternoon of December 24, you, a Christmas procrastinator, loaded down with sacks and boxes, walk from store to store, down endless aisles, your eyes scanning windows and racks to find the perfect presents for Mom, Grandpa, and Uncle Joe, but since you know in your heart of hearts that Uncle Joe will appreciate nothing you give him and that you will capitulate to necessity and buy Grandpa a fifth of Seagramís, you concentrate on Mom, as you move into the aisle that you hope to be able to call the final stop of this holiday season.
Infinitives are usually preceded by the word to. In this sentence, the group of words beginning with to find and ending with Uncle Joe is called an infinitive phrase.  This infinitive phrase expresses purpose; it is an adverbial modifier that tells why the eyes are scanning the windows and racks. Like present active participles, active infinitives can have direct objects. In this sentence, the direct object of find is presents, which is modified by the definite article the and the adjective perfect. If you find it hard to decide whether the prepositional phrase for Mom, Grandpa, and Uncle Joe is adverbial or adjectival, you're not alone. I think I can argue both sides persuasively. 
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