The Nominative-with-the-Infinitive construction is a construction in which the Infinitive is in predicate relation to a noun in the Common case or a Pronoun in the Nominative case.

He was seen to cross the street.
Видели, как он переходил улицу.

This construction has no single function in the sentence; - its nominal element is the subject of the sentence and the verbal one is a part of the Compound Verbal Modal predicate of special type.

This construction has two models - with the predicate in the Passive voice and with the predicate in the Active voice.

  • Model I - the predicate is in the Passive voice.

    This model can be used with the following categories of verbs:

    • Verbs of sense perception.

      She was heard to sing merrily in the garden.
      Было слышно, как она весело напевает в саду.

      Only the Indefinite Infinitive Active is used here.

    • Verbs of mental activity – to know, to consider, to suppose, to believe, etc.

      All forms of the Infinitive can be used here.

      He is known to have been rich once.
      Известно, что когда-то он был очень богат.

      They are believed to be working at a new secret weapon.
      Предполагают, что они работают над новым секретным оружием.

      He is considered to have been living here for many years.
      Считают, что он живет здесь уже много лет.

    • Verbs of information - to say, to report, to inform, to proclaim, to declare, to announce, etc.

      All forms of the Infinitive can be used here.

      He is said to have been madly in love with an actress.
      Говорили, что он раньше был безумно влюблен в актрису.

      He was declared the enemy of the people.
      Он был объявлен врагом народа.

    • Verbs of order and compulsion – to order, to make, to force, to compel, etc.

      The monument was ordered to be build in the place of the battle.
      Было приказано возвести монумент на месте сражения.

      Only the Indefinite Infinitive is used here.


      • When used with the verb to suppose the construction acquires the meaning of obligation.

        What were you suppose to do at home?
        Что вы должны были делать дома?

      • In this special model the nominal element of the construction is not the subject of the sentence and between the elements of the construction we find not the predicate but a passive attribute expressed by Participle II.

        Yesterday the police arrested a man believed to be the kidnapper of Senator Wilson's daughter.
        Вчера полиция арестовала человека, который, как полагают, является похитителем дочери сенатора Уилсона.

    • Sometimes we find between the elements of the construction a modal verb followed by the Passive Infinitive.

      The reign of Anna Joanovna cannot be said much glory to the history of Russia to have added.
      Нельзя сказать, что царствование Анны Иоанновны добавило много славы в историю России.

  • Model II - the predicate is in the Active voice.

    • With the expressions to be sure = to be certain, to be likely, to be unlikely expressing somebody's supposition.

      All forms of the Infinitive can be used here.

      He is unlikely to merry her.
      Навряд ли он женится на ней.

      He is sure to have told them about it.
      Он наверняка сказал им об этом.

      He is likely to have borrowed some money from his friends.
      Похоже, что он одолжил денег у своих друзей.

      He is sure to be cramming now.
      Наверняка он сейчас зубрит.

    • With three pairs of synonymic verbs – to seem = to appear – казаться, to prove = to turn out – оказываться, to happen = to chance – случаться.

      All forms of the Infinitive can be used here except the last pair where the actions are always simultaneous and so the Indefinite and the Continuous only can be used.

      He seems to know about our plans.
      Кажется он знает о наших планах.

      He proved to have been a famous sportsman once.
      Оказывается, однажды он был известным спортсменом.

      I happened to remember his telephone number.
      Я случайно запомнил его телефонный номер.

      I happened to be passing her window at that moment.
      Случилось так, что в тот момент я как раз проходил мимо ее окна.


      • The negation can be connected either with the Infinitive or with the finite verb.

        He seems not to know about our plans. = He does not seem to know about our plans.
        Кажется он не знал о наших планах.

      • Sometimes we find a combination of the Nominative-with-the-Infinitive with the structure there is.

        At first there seemed to be more Chechens fighting against the Federal forces than supporting them.
        Сначала казалось (по-видимому), что было больше чеченцев, сражающихся против федеральных сил, чем поддерживающих их.

      • Sometimes the nominal element of the construction is not the Subject and we find an attribute between construction elements expressed by the adjectives sure, certain, likely, unlikely.

        The ancient Greeks despised professionalism of any kind as likely to destruct them from participation in political life.
        Древние греки призирали профессионализм любого рода, как могущий отвлечь от событий в общественной жизни.

        This is a factor unlikely to influence the general political situation in the Middle East.
        Фактор, который навряд ли окажет влияние на политическую ситуацию на Ближнем Востоке.