"I know to X" - what part of grammar?

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bigglesworth
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"I know to X" - what part of grammar?

Postby bigglesworth » Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:06 am UTC

When I say "I know to stay alert", I'm saying I know I should and how to stay alert. What part of grammar is this use of the verb there?
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Re: "I know to X" - what part of grammar?

Postby Derek » Tue Nov 08, 2016 12:46 am UTC

Unless I'm misunderstanding something, that's just an infinitive.

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Re: "I know to X" - what part of grammar?

Postby Grop » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:27 am UTC

That is also how I parse it.

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Re: "I know to X" - what part of grammar?

Postby Fieari » Thu Nov 10, 2016 3:46 am UTC

But "I know how to stay alert" also seems to be an infinitive. Is there a grammatical term that distinguishes the "know how to" with "know to"?

Or... wait, I guess "know to" would be one infinive, and "how to" would be a different infinitive, so "know how to" is a verb with an infinitive?
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Re: "I know to X" - what part of grammar?

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:45 am UTC

"to stay" is the infinitive; "how to stay alert" is a predicate.
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Re: "I know to X" - what part of grammar?

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:10 pm UTC

I'd argue "how to stay alert" is a noun clause that is the object of the verb "know" in the sentence, "I know how to stay alert."

I'm not sure whether "to stay alert" can properly be considered an object in, "I know to stay alert," but I do think there isn't anything syntactically special about "know to VERB". Is it different from "want to" or "need to" or "like to" or "try to" or "forget to"?

The implication that knowing to do something implies knowing *how* to do it is semantic rather than syntactic. Knowing, remembering, or forgetting to do something all imply an obligation to do it, and then you're saying that you know, remember, or forget that obligation. I think it's having that obligation in the first place that really implies knowing *how* to do the thing.
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