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Saturday, April 2, 2011


A 'preposition' is a word which comes first in position. What comes next? Ans: The preposition's object.
A preposition's object should, by and large, be a noun.
'To' indicates direction. The direction may be towards a place/person/situation/time.
E.g. : to madness.
to Portia.
to church.

How about 'to infinitive'?
The preposition 'to' + a verb's basic form (also called bare infinitive) gives us the 'to infinitive'.
E.g. : to determine.
to discharge.
to undertake.

A preposition should actually have a noun/noun phrase/noun clause as its object. How is it that verbs are following the 'to'?

E.g. : That comes to hazard for my worthless self.

Here hazard is the situation. 'To' is directing towards a situation of 'hazard'. In a way, thus to is followed by the noun hazard. Some interpretors say that 'to infinitive' indicates purpose. Purpose = 'for what?'. The preposition 'for' also gets a noun after it. We, thus, find that a verb gets the force of a noun, when following a preposition.

Gerunds and 'to infinitives' have some similarities. Both can be used as verbal nouns.
E.g. : To err is human.
Erring is human.
She likes to sing.
She likes singing.

I guess, an explanation here. The words 'determine, discharge, undertake' prima facie appear as verbs here, but they have a connotation of a noun.

Classify the following " 'to' + phrases " into 'to infinitives' and others.
To infinitives : E.g.: to change, to render, to determine etc.
Others : E.g. : to dinner, to my heaven, to myself, to himself etc.

Let us now STUDY THE FOLLOWING " 'to' prepositional phrases" from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.

1to falconbridge
1to christians.2to understand
1to determine.2to discharge.3to solemnize
1to carthage.2to judgment.3to judgment.4to marriage.5to tripolis
1to believe.2to belmont.3to contain.4to exclaim.5to harbour.6to himself.7to lorenzo.8to lorenzo.9to madness.10to observe.11to qualify
1to answer.2to attend.3to become.4to behold.5to change.6to choose.7to choose.8to choose.9to church.10to church.11to depart.12to dinner.13to dinner.14to dinner.15to hazard.16to heaven.17to heaven.18to heaven.19to making.20to myself.21to please.22to portia.23to portia.24to render.25to render.26to return.27to search.28to soften.29to supper.30to supply.31to thrive
1 NERISSA. What say you then ______________ , the young baron of
But there the Duke was given ______________
That in a gondola were seen together
Lorenzo and his amorous Jessica.
2 and he says you are no good member
of the commonwealth , for in converting Jews ______________ you
raise the price of pork.
And , when your honours mean ______________
The bargain of your faith , I do beseech you
Even at that time I may be married too.
2 Besides , it should appear that , if he had
The present money ______________ the Jew ,
He would not take it. Never did I know
A creature that did bear the shape of man
So keen and greedy to confound a man.
3 DUKE OF VENICE. Upon my power I may dismiss this court ,
Unless Bellario , a learned doctor ,
Whom I have sent for ______________ this ,
Come here to-day.
1 yet his means
are in supposition: he hath an argosy bound ______________ , another
to the Indies.
2 such it is
As are those dulcet sounds in break of day
That creep into the dreaming bridegroom's ear
And summon him ______________. Now he goes ,
With no less presence , but with much more love ,
Than young Alcides when he did redeem
The virgin tribute paid by howling Troy
To the sea-monster. I stand for sacrifice.
3 SHYLOCK. A Daniel come ______________! Yea , a Daniel.
4 I charge you by the law ,
Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar ,
Proceed ______________. By my soul I swear
There is no power in the tongue of man
To alter me. I stay here on my bond.
5 LORENZO. In such a night
Stood Dido with a willow in her hand
Upon the wild sea-banks , and waft her love
To come again ______________.
1 for if he
love me ______________ , I shall never requite him.
2 GRATIANO. You must not deny me: I must go with you ______________.
3 GRATIANO. And I must ______________ and the rest.
4 ARRAGON. I am enjoin'd by oath ______________ three things:
First , never to unfold to any one
Which casket 'twas I chose.
the whilst BASSANIO comments on the caskets ______________
Tell me where is fancy bred ,
Or in the heart or in the head ,
How begot , how nourished.
6 and even now , but now ,
This house , these servants , and this same myself ,
Are yours- my lord's. I give them with this ring ,
Which when you part from , lose , or give away ,
Let it presage the ruin of your love ,
And be my vantage ______________ on you.
7 ANTONIO. I have heard
Your Grace hath ta'en great pains ______________
His rigorous course.
8 This deed will be well welcome ______________.
9 PORTIA. If you had known the virtue of the ring ,
Or half her worthiness that gave the ring ,
Or your own honour ______________ the ring ,
You would not then have parted with the ring.
10 Nerissa teaches me what ______________:
I'll die for't but some woman had the ring.
There you shall find three of your argosies
Are richly come ______________ suddenly.
1 Vailing her high top lower than her ribs
To kiss her burial. Should I go ______________
And see the holy edifice of stone ,
And not bethink me straight of dangerous rocks ,
Which , touching but my gentle vessel's side ,
Would scatter all her spices on the stream ,
Enrobe the roaring waters with my silks ,
And , in a word , but even now worth this ,
And now worth nothing? Shall I have the thought
To think on this , and shall I lack the thought
That such a thing bechanc'd would make me sad.
2 I take it your own business calls on you ,
And you embrace th' occasion ______________.
3 SALERIO. We'll make our leisures ______________ on yours.
4 NERISSA. If he should offer ______________ , and choose the right casket ,
you should refuse to perform your father's will , if you should
refuse to accept him.
PORTIA. Therefore , for fear of the worst , I pray thee set a deep
glass of Rhenish wine on the contrary casket.
they have acquainted me with their determinations , which is
indeed ______________ to their home , and to trouble you with no more
suit , unless you may be won by some other sort than your father's
imposition , depending on the caskets.
6 ANTONIO. Shylock , albeit I neither lend nor borrow
By taking nor by giving of excess ,
Yet , ______________ the ripe wants of my friend ,
I'll break a custom. [To BASSANIO] Is he yet possessed
How much ye would.
7 This was a way ______________ , and he was blest.
8 PORTIA. You must take your chance ,
And either not attempt ______________ at all ,
Or swear before you choose , if you choose wrong ,
Never to speak to lady afterward
In way of marriage.
9 or , as you would say in plain
terms , gone ______________.
10 but let it be so hasted that supper be
ready at the farthest by five of the clock. See these letters
delivered , put the liveries ______________ , and desire Gratiano to
come anon to my lodging. Exit a SERVANT
LAUNCELOT. To him , father.
11 and my suit is-
LAUNCELOT. In very brief , the suit is impertinent ______________ , as
your worship shall know by this honest old man.
12 Shylock thy master spoke with me this day ,
And hath preferr'd thee , if it be preferment
To leave a rich Jew's service ______________
The follower of so poor a gentleman.
13 If ever the Jew her father come ______________ ,
It will be for his gentle daughter's sake.
14 SHYLOCK. I am bid forth ______________ , Jessica.
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside ______________.
16 SOLANIO. The villain Jew with outcries rais'd the Duke ,
Who went with him ______________ Bassanio's ship.
17 PORTIA. To these injunctions every one doth swear
That comes ______________ for my worthless self.
18 How much unlike art thou ______________.
19 But lest you should not understand me well-
And yet a maiden hath no tongue but thought-
I would detain you here some month or two
Before you venture for me. I could teach you
How ______________ right , but then I am forsworn.
20 First go with me ______________ and call me wife ,
And then away to Venice to your friend.
21 for your coming in ______________ , sir , why ,
let it be as humours and conceits shall govern.
And if on earth he do not merit it ,
In reason he should never come ______________.
23 first let us go ______________.
24 thou art come ______________
A stony adversary , an inhuman wretch ,
Uncapable of pity , void and empty
From any dram of mercy.
25 SHYLOCK. I am not bound ______________ thee with my answers.
You may as well do anything most hard
As seek ______________ that- than which what's harder?-
His jewish heart. Therefore , I do beseech you ,
Make no moe offers , use no farther means ,
But with all brief and plain conveniency
Let me have judgment , and the Jew his will.
27 we do pray for mercy ,
And that same prayer doth teach us all ______________
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea ,
Which if thou follow , this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.
I would she were in heaven , so she could
Entreat some power ______________ this currish Jew.
I am content , so he will let me have
The other half in use , ______________ it
Upon his death unto the gentleman
That lately stole his daughter-
Two things provided more.
DUKE OF VENICE. Sir , I entreat you home with me ______________.
31 NERISSA. Sir , I would speak with you.
[Aside ______________] I'll See if I can get my husband's ring ,
Which I did make him swear to keep for ever.

page numbers


From Nov. 14, 2009.

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