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Sentence Examples

For me to go to London would be an interesting experience.

To put a spider on my desk is a mean thing to do.

Questions

In formal writing, is it ever permissible to have a non-finite clause such as these?

I also don't understand why a non-finite clause can be called a 'clause' when they sometimes don't have a subject (and no finite verb)... Why can they have no subject? How are these different from phrases?

Thanks.
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In formal writing, is it ever permissible to have a non-finite clause such as these?
Yes, of course. Formal writing is full of non-finite clauses.
I also don't understand why a non-finite clause can be called a 'clause' when they sometimes don't have a subject
The verb is usually the most important part. The subject is usually implied by the rest of the sentence or by the larger context.
For me to go to London

The subject is me. (The subject is in the objective case in for ... to ... clauses.)
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To put a spider on my desk
The subject is 'null'. anyone or any person is implied: For anyone to put a spider on my desk
CJ
Comments  
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Hi,

what I mean is, can it stand as a sentence on its own?

Or is it a dependent clause and a finite clause is a indepndent clause?

Thanks.
can it stand as a sentence on its own?
No. Non-finite clauses can't stand alone as independent clauses.
Haven't we been through this before? Emotion: smile
CJ
Yes, I was just confirming it as your answer sort of made me think otherwise.

Cheers
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Eddie88made me think otherwise
Ah. Probably because I snipped out a piece of each sentence and did the analysis of it separately from the whole sentence.
CJ