Dear teachers,
"He wants someone to take some photographs"
Please tell me if I parse the sentence correctly?
He = subject
wants = verb
someone = object
to take some photographs = object complement of "someone"
Does the sentence mean He wants someone who can take some photos of him?
Thank you.
Original Post
I would consider "to take some photographs" as an object. This is actually what Marcella Frank believes too. In the chapter on "infinitive phrases," she says:

b. object of verb Her husband wants her to clean the house everyday.

And I don't think "to take some photographs" can be an object complement of "someone." When a word or phrase is the object complement of another word or phrase, the two words or phrases are the same or similar persons or things. Examples:

They elected John president. (John = president)

I consider my uncle a very fortunate man. (My uncle = a very fortunate man)

We named him Ali. (Him = Ali)


But in your sentence, this is not the case:

He wants someone to take some photographs. (He = to take some photographs)
Those example you've cited and the sentence you've offered have OBJECT complements, Mehrdad. In the sentence He wants someone to take some photographs, it's the "someone" who is to take the photos, not "he."
quote:
Those example you've cited and the sentence you've offered have OBJECT complements

Yes, of course. I also said they were OBJECT complements, and that's also what Coco named "to take some photographs."

quote:
In the sentence He wants someone to take some photographs, it's the "someone" who is to take the photos, not "he."

That was a typo, Richard. I meant:

He wants someone to take some photographs. (Him = to take some photographs)

Please reread my previous post.
Well, I guess we're viewing this differently, my friend. I suppose this means I don't really agree with Dr. Frank either.

To me, someone is the direct object, not someone to take some photographs. I feel to take some photographs is a complement for the direct object.

This falls into the same kind of construction as one finds in a sentence like He wants her dead / He wants her fired in which dead and fired serve as direct object complements. For me it's the same kind of construction or pattern.
quote:
He wants her dead / He wants her fired

I also agree that these have object complements, but I think it's not the case with "He wants someone to take some photographs." Here's the reason why I believe so: When we use object complements, we can always insert a "to be" before the object complement. Examples:

He wants him dead = He wants him to be dead

He wants him fired = He wants him to be fired

They elected John president = They elected John to be president

I mean they make sense with "to be," but our original sentence does not make sense if we add "to be":

He wants someone to take some photographs = He wants someone to be to take some photographs


How do you find this, Richard?
I don't think I can agree with that, my friend.

Take, for example, the sentence I saw him jogging. I consider jogging one of the many forms that a direct object complement can take. Your rule about always being able to insert to be before d.o. complements doesn't work here: I saw him to be jogging.

And then there are sentences like I found him asleep and The teacher heard her yawn. Asleep and yawn are also forms of d.o. complements, Mehrdad, but you can't insert to be before them.

What we've really got here are lots of ways that English collapses two smaller sentences into single, more efficient sentences:

  • He want this. Someone should take some photographs.
  • He wants this. She should be fired.
  • He wants this. She should be dead.
  • I saw him. He was jogging.
  • I found him. He was asleep.
  • The teacher heard her. She yawned.
  • Hi,

    In my opinion, he wants something to happen, that is, he wants the photos to be taken, not by himself but by someone else. So the sentence doesn't mean "he wants someone, who is supposed to take photos for him". That is to say, the direct object is not "someone", but "someone to take some photos", which is a to-infinitive clause with its own subject "someone". In some cases, "for" is used to introduce such subject. For example, Dave arranged for someone to drive him home.
    Well, I guess we seem to have a different way of viewing the construction of these kinds of sentences. I see a direct object which is followed by whatever information refers to that object, be it a noun, an adjective, a base-form verb, an infinitive verb, a present participle, or a past participle. If I understand correctly, you want to incorporate those elements in the direct object. I suppose it's six of one, half-dozen of the other. Wink
    quote:
    And then there are sentences like I found him asleep and The teacher heard her yawn. Asleep and yawn are also forms of d.o. complements, Mehrdad, but you can't insert to be before them.

    I see that "to be" cannot be inserted to have grammatical sentences. By I mean they make sense with "to be," I meant the meaning will be logical. Ok. I think it is very difficult for me to explain that. Anyway, as you said, I think we see that differently.Smile



    quote:
    Take, for example, the sentence I saw him jogging. I consider jogging one of the many forms that a direct object complement can take.

    Wow! I have never considered that an object complement either, Richard.Smile Lol!
    quote:
    That is to say, the direct object is not "someone", but "someone to take some photos"

    Well, we have the same opinion, Michael.Smile


    quote:
    I just prefer one of them because I am deeply influenced by Quirk's theory.

    Could you quote the part from Quirk in which you've found the same discussion, Michael?

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