How to analyze e.g., “The man had trouble finding shoes to fit”

In a sentence like "The man had trouble finding shoes to fit," how might "had trouble finding shoes to fit" be analyzed? Is this like a direct object ("trouble") and object complement (the gerundive "finding shoes to fit")?

Furthermore, would the infinitive "to fit" be a complement to "finding"?

Thank you for any thoughts on this!

Answer

The man had trouble finding shoes to fit.

The NP "trouble finding shoes to fit" is the object of "had", and "to fit" is an infinitival relative clause modifying "shoes".

Infinitival relatives typically have a modal meaning comparable to that expressed in finites by "can”, "could", "should” or "would". "The man had trouble finding shoes to fit" is thus comparable to "The man had trouble finding shoes that should/would fit".

The object of "fit" is elided, but understood as "the man" ("him"), or possibly some unidentified person for whom he is obtaining the shoes.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : MYin , Answer Author : BillJ

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