"To think is an intellectual work": Good Grammar?


"To think is an intellectual work"


That phrase is proper grammar, isn't it?


Thank you for your help!

asked Jan 16 '14 at 08:56 Songibrd New member

1 answer


Actually, infinitives can function as nouns--including as the the subject of a sentence.



"To die is the only adventure." (Subject--Noun)

"I don't want to die" (Direct Object--Noun)


I think the sentence is fine, but the mistake comes later on:


"To think" = infinitive subject

"is" = linking verb

"an intellectual work" = predicate nominative renaming the subject "to think"


The problem is that "an intellectual work" doesn't accurately serve as a complement to "to think".

Perhaps what you meant was:

"To think is an intellectual's work."


What is the job of an intellectual?  to think.


PS: Patty, verbals, by their very definition, are verbs that are no longer used as verbs.

Infinitives can be used as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs.

In this case, it has taken the function of a noun.

link edited Jan 17 '14 at 02:15 Aaron Prejean Expert

I am not referring to what type of work an intellectual does, so "intellectual's work" wouldn't work (no pun intended). :-)

The predicate nominative, "an intellectual work", *does* correctly compliment "To think".
I could also swap the word, work, for one of it's definitions:

  To think is an intellectual labor.
To think is an intellectual occupation.
To think is an intellectual effort.
To think is an intellectual production.

Thank you so much for confirming that an infinitive can be used as a subject. I appreciate it!

SongibrdJan 17 '14 at 01:54

I still maintain that it *does not* correctly complement to think. If you are going to use "intellectual work", then remove the limiting article "an"--"To think is intellectual work."

Aaron PrejeanJan 17 '14 at 02:23

Oh, and if you are so determined to use "an intellectual work", then you would be better served using the gerund as Patty suggested: "Thinking is an intellectual work."

Aaron PrejeanJan 17 '14 at 02:47

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