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Alternative Test

If you prefer to assess students' knowledge of the logical subjects of infinitives without using the vocabulary of a specific content area, you can use or adapt the following simple test, which was used in the research study by Berent (1983). Correct answers are highlighted.


Read a sentence. Then read the question about the sentence. Answer the question by circling your choice. "Another person" means someone that is not in the sentence.

A. George asked Tom to buy a newspaper.
Who will buy a newspaper?

George     Tom

B. Bill chose to stay at home.
Who stayed at home?

Bill      another person

C. John told Mary to close the door.
Who will close the door?

John     Mary

D. Bill promised George to wash the dishes.
Who will wash the dishes?

Bill     George

E. John said to come at 7:30.
Who will come at 7:30?

John     another person

F. Jim showed Larry where to go.
Who will go somewhere?

Jim      Larry

G. Mary asked to see the teacher.
Who will see the teacher?

Mary      another person

H. Larry told John what to do.
Who will do something?

Larry     John

I. Tom reminded George to do the homework.
Who did the homework?

Tom     George

J. Larry was asked where to sit.
Who will sit somewhere?

Larry     another person

K. Alice explained what to do.
Who will do something?

Alice     another person

L. Linda chose Mary to answer the question.
Who answered the question?

Linda      Mary

M. Mike was reminded by George to study the lesson.
Who will study the lesson?

Mike     George

N. Jim was told whom to visit.
Who will visit someone?

Jim      another person

O. Tom asked Bill what to buy.
Who will buy something?

Tom     Bill