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An infinitive phrase consists of an infinitive and its modifiers, objects, or complements. It can function as a noun, adjective, or adverb.

(1)Proofreading your writing is a good way to ensure the absence of typing mistakes.
infinitive phrase = adjective modifying way

(2)To greatly increase the amount of stress in your life, leave your writing task until the night before it is due.
infinitive phrase = adverb modifying leave

http://leo.stcloudstate.edu/grammar/phraseformulas.html

Now, which kind of infinitive is it here in red?

Growing up in a society, we learn how to use gestures, glances, slight changes in tone of voice, and other auxiliary communication devices to alter or emphasize what we say and do.

(1) other auxiliary communication devices to alter or emphasize what we say and do
(i.e. adjective modifying other auxiliary communication devices)

(2)we learn how to use gestures...and other auxiliary communication devices in order to alter or emphasize what we say and do=in order to alter or emphasize what we say and do, we learn how to use...
(i.e. adverb modiying (we) learn)
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Read it in full and you'll know which:

Growing up in a society, we learn how to use gestures, glances, slight changes in tone of voice, and other auxiliary communication devices that/which are (designed) to alter or emphasize what we say and do.
Yes, MH. That's exactly how I read it. But strangely enough, most of the books I have which explain—in Japanese—the construction of the stentence say it's adverbial. Really strange...
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I would take the structure as:

1. We learn to use X in order to do Y.

rather than

2. We learn to use X that do Y.

Best wishes,

MrP
MrP, does that mean your #2 is wrong? Or is it literally 'rather-than' to you?
Hello Taka,

Yes; my #2 is an incorrect interpretation, from my point of view.

Cf.

1. We learn how to use gestures and glances to alter or emphasize what we say and do.

2. Glances and gestures are used to alter or emphasize what we say and do.

All the best,

MrP
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Hmm...so if I change this sentence, which is in the first post of this thread:

(1)Proofreading your writing is a good way to ensure the absence of typing mistakes.
infinitive phrase = adjective modifying way

into this:

I learned a good way to ensure the absence of typing mistakes.

do you think the infinitive phrase is adverbial?

On reflection, perhaps that should have been "for the purpose of", rather than "in order to":

1. We learn how to use, for the purpose of Y, X.

In other words, I would take the phrase "to alter or emphasize what we say and do" as an adverbial phrase that modifies "use", not "learn".

(Which is why "To alter or emphasise..., we learn how to use..." isn't a paraphrase!)

All the best,

MrP
I learned a good way to ensure the absence of typing mistakes.

do you think the infinitive phrase is adverbial?
I don't. It tells something about the 'way'; it's not the purpose or reason for learning. You're not going to say In order to ensure the absence of typing mistakes, I learned a good way.

CJ
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