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One way of describing small clauses is as predicative sentences without the
copula. Since matrix clauses require tense, these clausal structures appear
only as embedded sentences. They occur as complements of certain verbs, each
of which may allow certain types of small clauses but not others, depending on its
- I consider [Carl a jerk] .
I consider [Carl upset] .
?I consider [Carl in a foul mood] .
- I prefer [Carl in a foul mood] .
??I prefer [Carl upset] .