Examples to Understand Catenative Construction
Catenative verb is a chain of verbs occurring recursively in which all except the last have a non–finite complement.
It is that sort of verb which controls a non–finite complement.
In simple definition, catenative means chaining and reflects the way that the verb can link recursively with other catenatives to form a chain.For Example:
- We decided to try to buy a house near the water park.
There are various constructive elements in this sentence:
- first, there is a chain of three verbs: decide, try and buy
- second, to try to buy a house near the water park functions as the catenative complement of decide, and
- third, to buy a house near the water park functions as the catenative complements of try.
Consider also this sentence:
- She seems to want to stop trying to avoid meeting him.
In the sentence, all the head verbs have a non-finite clause as complement. These are shown in the chart below:
to want to stop trying to avoid meeting him
|want||to stop trying to avoid meeting him|
|stop||trying to avoid meeting him|
|trying||to avoid meeting him|
- All the non–finite clause in the complement column functions as catenative complements.
- The head verbs in the first column are catenative verbs; and each of these verbs + complement pair forms what is called a catenative construction.
Note that catenative verbs are sometimes used in combination with one another.For Example:
- She managed to seem to be surprised.
- As time passes we begin to get to know each other better.