Infinitive with its own subject

February 26, 2012pdf

The structure for + noun / pronoun + infinitive is very common in English. This structure is used when an infinitive needs its own subject.

Compare:

I will be happy to do the housework. (= I will do the housework.)

I will be happy for Ann to do the housework. (= Ann will do the housework.)

My dream was to get a good job. (= I wanted to get a good job.)

My dream was for him to get a good job. (= I wanted him to get a good job.)

Note that we use object pronouns after for.

I will be happy for them to help you. (NOT I will be happy for they to help you.)

This structure is common after adjectives expressing wishes and other personal feelings.

She is anxious for her daughter to get a good job.

He said that he would be delighted for us to come and stay.

For structures with preparatory it are also common.

It is important for the meeting to start at six.

Is it necessary for him to start work this week?

Note that this structure is not possible after likely and probable.

She will probably arrive this evening. OR It is probable that she will arrive this evening. (BUT NOT It is probable for her to arrive this evening.)

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