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The Infinitive

By Learn English - Sunday, 4 August 2013 No Comments

Non – Finite Verbs

The infinitive
The participial 
The gerund 

These three verbs are called non finite verbs, and there is no any kind of limitation to use these verbs like ..,according to subject, number or person. unlike any other verbs that we have to use them according to subject, number or person.

The infinitive

There are two kind of infinitive - 
the noun infinitive –this infinitive is used as a noun, so it is also called verb noun.

Uses of noun infinitives

As the subject of a verb

  • To play with you is my pleasure.
  • To find pleasure in everything is an art.
  • To go with him is interesting.


As the object of verb..

  • He loves to see movies.
  • I want to eat some sweets.
  • It is interesting to go with him.

As the complement of verb

  • My only aim is to learn English.
  • My pleasure is to stay with my family.
  • My father dream is to see me as a doctor.

As the object of preposition..

  • She has no choice but to go.
  • He was about to go.
  • I want nothing but to be free.


The gerund infinitive
it works like adjective or adverb that’s why it is called qualifying infinitive 


The uses of gerund infinite 
To qualify noun- 

  • There is no food to eat.
  • No body has time to waste.
  • He is a man to be respected.
  • I have house to sell.

To qualify an adjective

  • It was nice to talk to you.
  •  I am keen to know about her.
  • The show was good to watch.

To qualify a verb

  • Everybody wants to live comfortably.
  • They wanted to know my interest in him.
  • We work to make a living.

There are some more ways to use infinitive 

With “to” or without “to”

Most of the infinitives come with “to” it is the only symbol to identify a infinitive .like 
To come, to go , to eat, to dance, to watch, To drink, to have been, to love, to be loved.

But there are some verbs that come without “to “like 
Bid ,behold, here, see, make, let, feel, observe, need not, dare not, no, notice, watch, like 

  • He bad me go.
  • She will watch him dance.
  • Let him speak.
  • Make him comfortable.

Note- if verbs "dare" or "need" come with "do"  "does" then we can use “to” infinitive.  like

  • Does she dare to challenge you?
  • Do I need to challenge you?
  • He dares me to cross the river.
  • She needs to talk at once.

We can also use infinitive with these verbs if it come in passive voice like 

  • I was made to do favour for them.
  • They are known to have hidden the treasure.
  • She was bidden to go.

We also don’t use infinitive “to” with following words.
May, might, must, can, could, shall, will, should, would, do, did 

  • We will go.
  •  They will come.
  •  Can I go with you?
  • She would laugh.
  • You could do.

No infinitive “to” with following verbs..
Sooner than, rather than, would sooner, wood rather, had better, had rather, had sooner 

  • He had better resign.
  • He would rather withdraw.
  • I would sooner resign than serve in this condition.

No use of infinitive “to” after “than” or “but” like 

  • She is better in writing than reading.
  • She can do nothing but weep.


Some more uses of infinitive 

Infinitive + how 
Some infinitive come with how before “to” like 
These verbs are 
Discover, decide, know, see, learn, observe, forget, teach, wonder, ask, , explain, tell  

  • He told me how to reach there. 
  • I wonder how to react for this.
  • I don’t know how to close it.
  • Please tell me How to discover the truth.
  • I can’t decide how to get rid of this.
  • He knows better how to teach.




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