I'm looking for an example of using 'tell + infinitive with to'. My book said 'tell' can be used with infinitive to, but didn't give me an example. I think that it generally comes 'tell+object+infinitive to'. Can I say it as following?

She told to go there.


She was told to go there.

Please give me any reasonable example.

  • 2
    If your book doesn't give an example, it's just repeating rumors. Get a different book. Tell is a bitransitive verb -- it has two objects. One is the indirect object -- the person that the subject tells something to, and the other is the direct object -- what the subject tells that person. The direct object can be an infinitive, if the subject of the infinitive verb is the same as the indirect object of tell. Like I told him to leave. That's B-Equi. Tell doesn't allow A-Equi; it requires an indirect object. Aug 2, 2016 at 14:15

1 Answer 1


You use tell with an infinitive when tell means "to request or command."

Tell him to stop.

When tell is expressed in passive voice, the direct object is not needed, because the person being told is the same as the subject.

She was told to stop.

If we need to say who is doing the telling, by X can be used.

She was told to stop by Michael.

If tell is not in passive voice, then omitting the direct object sounds weird, because it leaves the question "tell who?" unanswered.

Tell to stop. (Tell who?)

You must log in to answer this question.