The verb "to be" is very confusing for me. I am not a native speaker and I want to use it correctly. I know that "is, am, are, was and were" are diffetrent forms of the verb "to be". I know how to use these forms, when building up a sentence. I am confused in cases when "to be" is used in its basic (infinitive) form as shown in the example below.

"This will continue to be such in the future".

From the context, I can understand the meaning. My question is when I should use "to be" in its infinitive form like in the example above. I searched for various online resources but all of them are talking only about "is, am, are, was and were" forms. Could you please tell me what resource I should try yet?

  • Verb "be" in to-infinitive form here. It's same like its gerund form("being") Oct 31, 2016 at 8:45
  • 1
    The verb to be is no different than any other. It means to exist (when it is not used as a linking verb or "copula".) The sentence in your example is fine. The verb to be is the same as any other verb in English, except that it is irregular, like have, go, fall, and many others. To learn how to conjugate this verb, see, for instance, this link. Oct 31, 2016 at 9:39

1 Answer 1


In this case, you use the to-infinitive because of the preceding verb "continue."

The forms "is, am, are, was and were" are classified as "finite" forms of the verb.

In general, finite forms cannot be used after other verbs. Instead, it's necessary to use a "non-finite" form such as the infinitive or gerund. Some verbs tend to be followed by to-infinitives, and others tend to be followed by gerunds. A small number are followed by bare infinitives (the verbs in this last class tend to be very commonly used, such as the modal verb "will" in your example sentence).

Here is a related question on ELU: When should a verb be followed by a gerund instead of an infinitive?

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