I would like to know what is term for a verb when is with "to" (for example "We need "to do" it.) and a verb that is without "to" (for example: "We do it everyday"). Now I read the article infinitive on wikipedia but it is not clear to me how differentiate between them.

3 Answers 3


They are often referred to as "infinitive with 'to'" and "infinitive" (or "bare infinitive").

I prefer to call "do" the "base form" (infinitive is one of its uses).

Edit: Correction: the form in your second example is not the "bare infinitive"/"base form", but the (not third-person-singular) present form. For nearly all verbs this is the same as the base form.

  • The second example the question asker gives is We do it every day (heh), and here we're not talking about the plain form of do, but the plain present form, whereas in the first example (We need to do it) we have the plain form of DO. Only BE exhibits the distinction in shape between these two forms, however. You can keep your terminology provided you make this exception explicit. (+1 regardless.)
    – user3395
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 12:10
  • You're right: I am guilty of not reading the question carefully. I assumed the second example was of bare infinitive, and it's not. I will edit.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 16:19
  • I often write to-infinitive, myself.
    – user230
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 16:27

Verbs that aren't infinitives are finite.

  • 1
    Actually, no. There are other non-finite forms as well.
    – user230
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 16:54
  • I do the work every day. do = is the verb, the main verb in the sentence, aka an action verb.

  • I need to do the work today. a to-infinitive with the verb to need [something].

    Verbs with to-infinitives We use the to-infinitive after certain verbs (verbs followed by to-infinitive), particularly verbs of thinking and feeling: [there is an entire list here.]

Need, like want, love, hate, is considered a verb of feeling: I need to leave now.

to-infinitive from the British Council

[The examples would be the same in American English.]

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