What is Infinitive? Definitions, Examples and Verb + Infinitive List

What is Infinitive? Definitions, Examples and Verb + Infinitive ListWhat is Infinitive? Definitions, Examples and Verb + Infinitive List



Infinitive is obtained by adding the suffix “to” in front of the verb or using the verb in plain form. Just like gerund, it is a named verb that can be used in the case of a subject or object in a sentence. It can be a single word. Sometimes it can be a group of words.

  • She wants to study languages at university.
  • To be a student is really difficult.
  • They are planning to move into another house.

To make a negative, “not” is brought to the beginning.

There is a meaning difference between the predicate being negative and the infinitive sentence being negative.

  • I have not decided yet to go to the cinema with you.
  • I have not decided to go to the cinema with you.




It can be the subject of the sentence but there is an important detail. If the subject expresses a special case, it is the infinitive but if it refers to a general case it is gerund.

  • To swim in that river is not at all wise. (Gerund)
  • Swimming is my favorite sport. (Infinitive)

 

Present infinitive

To + be

  • They came to help me.

 

Progressive infinitive

To+be+ing

  • It is difficult not to be sleeping during this morning.

 

Perfect infinitive

To have +past participle

  • He seems not to have made a mistake.

 

Passive infinitive

  • Paul did not expect to be invited.

 

They can also be used in the case of the object of the sentence.

  • The doctor ordered to stay in bed.

 

Some verbs do not receive a “to” after their objects. Such verbs are converted to passive roof when they take this suffix.

Note: The ‘help’ and ‘be’ verbs both of these take “to” tag and can be used without.

  • The boy helped a (to) carry the table uptairs.

 

The infinitive + preposition can be followed by a noun.

  • Sally needs a friend to play with in the garden.

 

In formal uses, the noun may be followed by preposition + whom / which + infinitive.

  • She is looking for a flat in which to live.

 

In indirect expression, the infinitive can come after question words like who, what, where.

  • Can you show me how to get to the post office?

 


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