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To close ranks Options
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2019 4:19:29 AM
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Joined: 11/3/2016
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The trees seemed to advance—to close ranks—as if in menacing formation, branches flailing, trunks forming cavities resembling huge distorted mouths from which the most horrifying and ungodly screams seemed to issue, filling the swamp with a hellish cacophony (Guerrero 210).

http://www.professorguerrero.com/2008/08/chapter-1-absolute-phrases-make-your.html?m=1
If "seemed " is the main verb and "the trees" a subject, what is the grammatical form and function of "to advance " and "to close ranks"?
thar
Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2019 5:45:25 AM

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I think you might be overcomplicating this.

It is the normal use of seem + to infinitive.


Two verbs - to advance; to close [ranks].

They seemed to advance

They seemed to close ranks

(Imagine soldiers lined up in ranks/rows, then pressing closer together to attack or defend themselves. They close ranks - reduce the distance between them.





Nowadays it is usually an idiom for protecting your organisation or friendship group by keeping silent and not letting outsiders know the truth)
But here it is literal, and they are advancing, not defending their ground.


Seem - appear, look like
He seems to be OK
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2019 6:21:02 AM
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Joined: 11/3/2016
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Thanks. Is "seem" the main verb followed by two infinitives?
thar
Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2019 6:24:38 AM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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Yes.
Because one is additional description it is added between dashes, but it is still an infinitive after the main verb.
Jigneshbharati
Posted: Sunday, August 11, 2019 6:52:01 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 11/3/2016
Posts: 2,840
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Thanks
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