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Finite Verb or Verbal? -- The "To" Test (Ex # 8)
from Stories of Robin Hood Told to the Children, by Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall
Analysis Key

 
Note: Infinitives that function as subjects or predicate nouns are fairly rare. I had found the first example in my original "separation" of the story. I reread the entire tale, looking for more, but found only one additional example. 

1. He thought [DO of "thought" the best way to please them [#1] was to give them 

land and money [#2] ]. |
 

2. They lived so happily together, and loved each other (DO) so much, [Adv. to "so 

much" that "to love [#3] {like Robin Hood and Maid Marian}" came to be a proverb (PN)]. |


Notes
1. "Them" is the direct object of the infinitive "to please" which functions as an adjective to "way."
2. "Land" and "money" are the direct objects of the infinitive "to give"; "them" is its indirect object. The infinitive functions as a predicate noun to "way."
3. The infinitive phrase based on  "to love" functions as the subject of "came to be." Actually, it's the subject because it is a quotation, but it does begin with an infinitive. (Some people would see "like Robin Hood and Maid Marian" as an ellipsed adverbial clause -- "like Robin Hood and Maid Marian *loved each other*.") I would not argue with a student who wanted to explain "to be" as an infinitive that functions as an adverb to "came," but "came to be" is really idiomatic for "became."