In the conversation below which verbs are non-finite?

Cook: What shall I cook for dinner tonight, sir?
Master: Prepare some sweets, I am expecting two guests.
Cook: Fine, sir.
Master: Also make some fruit salad.
Cook: Yes, sir.

There are 6 verbs and I'm bit confused. I think that shall and am are finite verbs, and the rest are non-finite, but I don't understand why. I read some material too on the topic but it is of no help.

I want to know what characteristics these verbs have which makes them non-finite.

  • 2
    In a sentence or two, what are some characteristics of a "finite" verb? What are the five verbs that you see in the example dialog? Which verbs seem to be "finite" to you? Which ones don't seem to be finite to you?
    – Jasper
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 4:56
  • Did you mean to say "a none finite verb"? Or perhaps you meant "a non-finite verb" or "an infinitive verb"?
    – Jasper
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 4:58
  • "Which one" doesn't make sense here. There are four non-finite and two finite verbs in this example.
    – user230
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 5:36
  • 'Shall' and. 'am'. are finite verbs. The remaining verbs as 'expecting, make, and prepare I want to know which characteristic of them make them non finite. Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 5:39
  • 1
    @AltafJahangir Very good, but you left out the sixth verb, cook.
    – user230
    Commented Feb 8, 2019 at 5:40

1 Answer 1


"Cook" and "expecting" are non-finite forms, because they are governed by "will" and "am" respectively. However, I don't think that's a useful analysis: better to regard "will cook" and "am expecting" as (compound) finite forms.

"Prepare" and "make" are imperative. I would regard imperatives as finite, but that depends which grammatical theory you choose to follow.

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