Where-s the possession.

Pash   Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:12 am GMT
If these sentences are supposed to be about possession, just exactly what is it that is being possessed+

I have a letter to write.

I have a letter to post.
Mary   Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:00 pm GMT
These sentences don't really concern possession. Here, the direct object ("a letter") has been placed between the two parts of the verb. The sentences could be rewritten:
I have to write a letter. (I must write a letter)
I have to post (mail) a letter. (I must mail a letter)
This is a common sentence structure in spoken English. However, I have heard that it is grammatically incorrect to "split" the verb - that is, to place an adverb or a direct object in between the words in a multiple-word verb, as has been done in these sentences.
Sho   Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:58 pm GMT
These sentences seems to me to be perfectly acceptable and grammatical to me. Where did you hear the 'incorrect' thing?
To me, the sentences Pash gave sounds like noun + infinitive phrase like the following sentence;
'I need a pen to write with.'
The above sentence cannot be rewritten:
'I need to write with a pen,'
because these setences imply different things. In the first sentence, what the speaker needs is a pen and in the re-written sentence, what the speaker needs is 'to write (with a pen)'.

Likewise, 'I have a letter to post' implies that the speaker has 'a letter (to post)' and 'I have to post a letter' implies that the speaker has to 'post a letter,' although in this case, the concepts are very similar.