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Selecting an adjectival to-infinitive

The copula of being selects to-infinitives which are passive in the sense that the verb's subject has the interpretation of the direct object of the infinitival clause (see adjectival to-infinitive, high degree specification sa so).


An example of adjectival Verb Phrase (VP)-predication is given in the example below, which may feature an overt adjective:

Example 1

a. Dat is te dwaan
that is to do
That can be done
b. Dat is goed te dwaan
that is good to do
That can easily be done

The same interpretational effect is realised by the suffix -ber -able, although it does not combine with all the verbs which may occur in the syntactic construction. The verb dwaan do cannot combine with this suffix, whereas, for example, the verb beskriuwe describe can:

Example 2

a. Dat systeem is goed te beskriuwen
that system is good to describe
That system can be described quite well
b. In beskriuwber systeem
a describe.SUFF system
A describable system