In the following sentence, the word “for” is commonly postulated as a complementizer which introduces a non-finite clause.

Is it okay for me to put these away?

And there are some other sentences that seem to have the similar structures as the sentence above.

It's kind of you to say so.

Can I rely on you to be punctual?

My question is: can we consider these preposition-like particles(of, on) to be complementizers? And are there any research papers on this topic?

I hope my English is not too bad to confuse you.

Thank you in advance.

  • "For" is a clause subordinator serving as a marker for to- infinitivals that contain a subject. "Rely" is a catenative verb when it is in combination with a prepositional complement (like "on"), and hence the infinitival "to be punctual" is its catenative complement. In your other example, the infinitival "to say so" is complement of "kind".
    – BillJ
    Commented May 2, 2019 at 6:29

1 Answer 1


Actually, the complementizer is usually called "for-to" (not just "for") to keep it apart from the preposition "for". I do not see a case for "on" or "of" as complementizers. Rather, these are prepositions whose objects can be for-to complements. The "for" part of the complementizer is deleted when it is immediately after a preposition, but it does show up elsewhere. For example: "What I can rely on is for you to be punctual."

  • 1
    That makes total sense. Thank you for your answer!
    – Tzetachi
    Commented Apr 30, 2019 at 14:11
  • One more question: is "What is kind of is for you to say so." grammatical?
    – Tzetachi
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 8:35
  • 1
    No, it's not grammatical. However, "It is kind of you that you would say so" is okay. Also, "You are kind to say so", "For you to say so is kind (of you)".
    – Greg Lee
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 10:50
  • Ah, now I got it. Thanks again.
    – Tzetachi
    Commented May 1, 2019 at 14:12

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