Syntactically non-finites possess both verbal and non-verbal features. The verbal character of the non-finites in syntax is manifested mainly in their combinability. Similarly to finite forms
they may be followed by nouns functioning as direct, indirect or prepositional objects, by adverbs
and prepositional phrases used as adverbial modifiers, and by subordinate clauses.
The non-verbal character reveals itself in their syntactic functions. Thus, the infinitive and
the gerund perform the main syntactic functions of the noun, which are those of subject, object and predicative. Participle I, II functions as attribute and adverbial modifier, participle II as attribute.
They cannot form a predicate by themselves, although they can function as part of a com-
All non-finite verb forms may function as the so-called predicative constructions, that is, two- component syntactic units where a noun in the common case or a pronoun in the objective case and
a non-finite verb form are in predicative relations similar to those of the subject and the predicate:
I saw him crossing the street. We waited for the bell to ring.
The Double Nature of Non-finite Forms of the Verb Verbal Features Non-Verbal Features Morphological categories
voice non-passive /
passive time-relation non-perfect / perfect aspect non-continuous / continuous
(only the infinitive)
by an object
(direct, indirect or prepositional) an adverbial
an adverb subject