Grammar Patterns

V n to n

Structure II: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement

Active voice: V n to n
 Verb groupnoun grouptonoun group
SubjectVerbObjectprep. Object Complement
Shechangedher nametoCaroline.
Heconvertedthe notetocash.
Heraisedhis voicetoa shriek.
Passive voice: be V-ed to n
 Verb grouptonoun group
SubjectVerbprepositional Complement
Their sentenceshave been commutedtolife imprisonment.
Hehas been promotedtosenior vice president.
Verbs with this structure are all concerned with changing something to something else. We include here the verbs promote and demote when the prepositional phrase indicates a person's new status, as in They promoted him to non-executive Director. We also include keep, which involves letting something stay at the same level.
This is a productive use: any verb which involves change can be used with this pattern. The verbs listed below are those which are most frequently used in this way.
Obtain the rate of exchange from the internet on the day you order and use that figure to convert the pounds to dollars.
He had a tendency to drop his voice to a whisper.
Security was kept to a minimum this year and the protest passed off peacefully.
  • abbreviate
  • change
  • commute
  • convert
  • decrease
  • demote
  • drop
  • increase
  • keep
  • lower
  • promote
  • raise
  • reduce (usu passive)
  • shorten
  • swell
  • turn
  • cut down
  • narrow down
  • whittle down
  • Many of the verbs with this structure also have the pattern V n from n to n. The verb is followed by a noun group and two prepositional phrases, the first beginning with from, and the second beginning with to. The first prepositional phrase indicates what the person or thing originally was, and the second indicates what he, she, or it becomes. The passive pattern is be V-ed from n to n.
    Pope Urban commuted Galileo's sentence from prison to house arrest.
    Structure information: Verb with Object and prepositional Object Complement

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