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(Examples)
・Water to drink.(adjectival; adding more information to 'water')
・I went to see the movie.(adverbial; adding more information to '(I) went')

Now, about this sentence:

Something extraordinary had certainly happened to account for my waking up in this strange house with this unknown companion, but my fancy was utterly impotent to suggest more than the wildest guess as to what that something might have been.

My book says 'to account for...' is adjectival, modifying 'something extraordinary'. Would you native speakers agree? Is it really impossible to take it as adverbial?
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Hi Taka,
I would say that "to" means "in order to". But I really don't know whether it is adverbial or adjectival (I don't know many terms and meanings). And I don't know exactly what it modifies either. I'd say it could be applied to the entire clause "Something extraordinary had certainly happened". Emotion: smile
KooyeenHi Taka,
I would say that "to" means "in order to". But I really don't know whether it is adverbial or adjectival (I don't know many terms and meanings). And I don't know exactly what it modifies either. I'd say it could be applied to the entire clause "Something extraordinary had certainly happened". Emotion: smile
Yes, initially I took it that way too. But my book says, ''to accout for' here means 'to be the reason for'. Therefore, it's the same as 'something to account for/to be the reason for my waking up in this strange house had certainly happened''...
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To determine whether this is adjectival or adverbial, ask the question why had something extraordinary (certainly) happened. It’s "to account for my waking up in this strange house with this unknown companion ..." In order "to account for my waking up in this strange house with this unknown companion ...", "something extraordinary had certainly happened." If this line if argument seems valid, the infinitive phrase is an adverbial of reason.

How does "to account for my waking up in this strange house with this unknown companion ..." qualify or modify "Something extraordinary"?

The best you can say, in my opinion, is that the phrase modifies the whole sentence and therefore it’s used absolutely. It’s still an adverbial.

BuddhaheartTo determine whether this is adjectival or adverbial, ask the question why had something extraordinary (certainly) happened. It’s "to account for my waking up in this strange house with this unknown companion ..." In order "to account for my waking up in this strange house with this unknown companion ...", "something extraordinary had certainly happened." If this line if argument seems valid, the infinitive phrase is an adverbial of reason.

How does "to account for my waking up in this strange house with this unknown companion ..." qualify or modify "Something extraordinary"?

The best you can say, in my opinion, is that the phrase modifies the whole sentence and therefore it’s used absolutely. It’s still an adverbial.
I'm beginning to feel confident in my initial interpretation. Thanks (by the way, what do you mean by 'it is used absolutely'??)

OK. Then what do you think about this infinitive?

Too much time is usurped by television to study or sleep enough.
When an adverb is used to modify the whole sentence, as in "Fortunately, we’re all okay," it’s used absolutely. Fortunately modifies the whole sentence. It's equivalent to say "It’s fortunate that we’re all okay."

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The question to ask is what does the infinitive modify? Does it modify the noun phrase ‘too much time’ or the verb phrase ‘is usurped’?

Let’s rewrite the sentence as "Too much time to study and to sleep (enough) is usurped by television." Does it make sense? I guess it does. What it means is that too much precious study and sleep time is wasted by watching TV. Or "*Too much time is to study and to sleep (enough) usurped by television."?

It’s obvious that the infinitive phrase qualifies the noun phrase. What kind of time? Too much time. Time to study and to sleep. How is usurped? Quickly? speedily? *to study and to sleep (enough)? It’s therefore an adjectival.

I must however say I don’t like this kind of construction, particularly the position of the infinitive in this sentence.

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Then, what makes you NOT think that 'to account for' qualifies the noun phrase 'something extraordinary'? Why can't it be a qualification for the extraordinary thing?

(Thank you for the explanation of 'absolutely', by the way. I understand it completely now)
Hi Taka

I tend to agree with your book: it modifies "something extraordinary".
The sentence might be reworded like this to illustrate my thinking:

Something that would account for my waking up in this strange house with this unknown companion had certainly happened, but my fancy was utterly impotent to suggest more than the wildest guess as to what that something might have been.

@ Kooyeen
I wouldn't interpret the word 'to' as meaning 'in order to'.
YankeeHi Taka

I tend to agree with your book: it modifies "something extraordinary".
The sentence might be reworded like this to illustrate my thinking:

Hmm...then I have two native speakers here, you and Buddhaheart, crashing against each other...
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