Which are correct:
1-They have undergone torture to force them to confess to stirring up unrest.
2-They have undergone torture to be forced to confess to stirring up unrest.

3-They were tortured to force them to confess to stirring up unrest.
4-They were tortured to be forced to confess to stirring up unrest.
Original Post
quote:
4-They were tortured to confess to stirring up unrest.


This doesn't sound right to me.


Rachel, I didn't check at the time of my original posting, still I'm finding now that there are many similar ones in published books:


131 on "tortured to confess to"
http://books.google.com/books?...2+&btnG=Search+Books

such as:
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Conflict: The History Of The Korean War, 1950-1953‎ - Page 389
by Robert Leckie - History - 1996 - 496 pages

And yet, apart from the airmen who were tortured to "confess" to germ warfare, none of the Americans held in captivity was subjected to physical torment, ...

http://books.google.com/books?...to+confess+to%22&lr=
-----
National review‎ - Page 92
by William Frank Buckley - History - 1958

... man who is being tortured to confess to crimes he never committed or dreamed of. ...

http://books.google.com/books?...to+confess+to%22&lr=
----

Now, Buckley was a pretty well-spoken author ...
quote:
They were tortured to confess to stirring up unrest.

I think this is right.

quote:
They were tortured to force them to confess to stirring up unrest.

I think this would mean "They were tortured to force some other people to confess to stirring up unrest," and thus it would not be correct.
Yes, 'tortured to confess' and 'tortured to admit' and constructions like that do appear and are correct. They mean 'tortured in order to confess' and 'tortured in order to admit.'

Navi's red sentences are also correct, with the phrases 'tortured to force them to confess.'

I prefer that construction, or 'tortured to make them confess,' but I appreciate your correct construction too, Jerry and Mehrdad.
Can I have your opinion on this, Rachel?

quote:
They were tortured to force them to confess to stirring up unrest.

We can rewrite this sentence this way:

To force them to confess to stirring up unrest, they were tortured.

But this is a dangling structure, isn't it?! I think that's why I felt this sentence is not correct.
quote:
To force them to confess to stirring up unrest, they were tortured.

It's not a beautiful sentence.

Since someone else is torturing them, that someone else should be the subject of the main clause.

The sentence could be this:

  • To force them to confess, their captors tortured them.

    Yes, the sentence has a dangling construction.
  • quote:
    They were tortured to force them to confess to stirring up unrest.

    Navi's sentence is OK. A purpose clause can go at the end of the sentence without problems.

    Putting the purpose clause at the beginning,however, just before the subject (they) of the sentence which is not being referred to by the clause, is awkward.

    It would be a bit less awkward if we started with 'in order to' instead of only 'to.'

    Still, the reader has to do a bit of mental exercise to understand just where the purpose clause goes when it appears first in the sentence, followed by the main subject which does not perform the action.

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