Questions tagged [infinitives]

The infinitive is the base verb form, conveying no information about person, number, mood or tense.

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I'm happy returning home

I'm happy to return home. I'm happy returning home. What do sentences 1) and 2) mean? a) Have I already returned home? Or, b) Am I on my way back home? Or, c) Will I return home soon?
Mr. X's user avatar
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To phrase + that clause = prepositional phrase (direct object) + noun phrase (complement) or object complement (infinitive phrase) + complement?

Right from the get-go - I'm not a native speaker, so be understanding ;-), in my native polish the premium is placed on the form of the part of the speech, not in the distribution, that is, the part ...
Amadeusz Lis's user avatar
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Infinitive objective complement

Why do some verbs can have “to infinitive” as object complement? I found him to be marvelous But others cannot: I painted the house blue And why do some verbs can omit the “to” in infinitive but some ...
Gimletful's user avatar
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Like somebody to do /doing something

Nobody likes his friends to take advantage of him. (A New English Grammar, by Zhang Zhenbang, page 373) Can I use "taking" instead of "to take" in the above sentence?
Stephen 's user avatar
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"it turns out" in the narration of a past event

Very often I see "it turns out" used in the description of a past event. One veteran user said "it turns out" is okay when we are describing a recent event. But can't it be used ...
Apollyon's user avatar
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Why is placing an adverb before infinitives sometimes natural, but sometimes awkward?

The following sentences are quoted from an blog post discussing adverb positions for infinitives: GOOD: I want you personally to supervise the work that is to be done. AWKWARD: I want you carefully ...
catwith's user avatar
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What is the meaning and role of "to" in "if these beautiful animals are to survive"? [duplicate]

If we are to succeed in this enterprise, we shall need to plan everything very carefully. The time has come for action if these beautiful animals are to survive. The "to" in the first ...
Englishgood's user avatar
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Can the "to do" structure imply either an active or passive relationship, depending on the context?

Consider this sentence: There is no one to help. I think the meaning could be ambiguous. It could mean There is no one to help me. In this case, one is the agent of the verb help. It's an active ...
joy2020's user avatar
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Using a verb after a verb

I'm always confused in using a verb after a verb. For example: I prefer using the computer. I prefer to use the computer. I like to help people. I like helping people. ... etc. Actually the verb+ing ...
Emre's user avatar
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Needs an explanation difference between "like to go..." and "like going..."

The question is : Peter _____ running in the evening. The answer can be either likes to go, and likes going. I assumed that both answers mean the same thing, however they could be interpreted slightly ...
NRCSSD's user avatar
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Is saying "I am excited to eat grapes" correct to imply that you like eating grapes?

Context: We asked a friend to translate "Me gustan las uvas" (spanish) to English. The literal translation would be "I like grapes". He used the phrase: "I am excited to eat ...
Dragomir Yordanov's user avatar
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5 answers
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Why do commit title sentences start with an infinitive without to?

I am a developer and I am not native English speaker. When I see commits I can't understand why titles for them start with infinitive without to. For example from Spring commits Add missing runtime ...
Pavel_K's user avatar
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1 answer
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How does passive infinitive work? E.g. 'She likes to be looked at'

It's hard to me to understand sentences like "She likes to be looked at". I know it means "She likes it when somebody looks at her" but the second sentence is natural to me and I ...
Kyamond's user avatar
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Tom was too kind to tell Sally the truth

a. Tom was too kind to tell Sally the truth. Can't that sentence mean two things? Tom didn't tell Sally the truth, because he was too kind. It was too kind of Tom to tell Sally the truth. Many ...
azz's user avatar
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Infinitive clause functioning as what?

She gifted the man a dog who ought to have been named. Is who the implicit subject of the infinitive clause (italicized)? If so, what would the infinitive clause function as? Note: "function&...
anu's user avatar
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If I want to use an infinitive as an adverb in the sentence then I can use an infinitive with any verb as an adverb?

If I want to use an infinitive as an adverb in the sentence then can I use it with any verb or specific verb? suppose I want to say " I went there to drive the car" so here to drive the car ...
Sammed's user avatar
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That is the shirt I want to give to John

That is the shirt I want to give to John. Could that sentence mean: a) That is the shirt I want in order to give it to John. b) That is the shirt I want so that I can give it to John. Obviously, 1. ...
azz's user avatar
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Why can't we use infinitives after prepositions, and only gerunds?

I've had the question of: Why can't we use infinitives after prepositions if the infinitives and gerunds can both act as verbal nouns?
Stim Roe's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
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adjunct or complement

My question is whether these sentences are each grammatical or not: a) As a common language, English is good to communicate with you. b) As a common language, English is good to communicate with you ...
beancurdog's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
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"I was made to laugh"

We know that we use bare infinitive with certain verbs like make. I made him laugh. (Active voice) He was made to laugh by me. (Passive voice) Why is the bare infinitive used in the active voice ...
Jvlnarasimharao's user avatar
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About the "adjective+infinitive" and its role in a sentence

Here is the sentence: Scientists from the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program VDAP — part of the U.S. Geological Survey and based at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Cascades Volcano Observatory in ...
Chase_777's user avatar
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'she must NOT have made it' vs. 'she mustn't have made it' vs. 'she must have not made it'

In this passage there is a slight pause after 'must' and a stress on 'not': 'I saw Isabella she had a blank expression on her face. I'm not sure what happened with the knife she was carrying it looked ...
tes389's user avatar
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I think that is always a healthy thing to have collaborators. (???)

First, could you have a look at the quote below, focusing on the highlighted portion? I am forced to think in a very different kind of way because I am collaborating, and I think that is always a ...
The OED Loves Me Not's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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Is "I heard old war drums beat." from the Eric Bogle's song "Welcome Home" grammatical?

In the Eric Bogle's anti-war song "Welcome Home" (about the Vietnam War) there is a line "I heard old war drums beat.". Is it grammatical or is it licentia poetica? I think I ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
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1 answer
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To Do v.s. To Doing

Sentence in question: (From Yahoo News) Beijing’s apparent openness to easing tensions with Washington may be no coincidence. ('to'- preposition? ) What is the difference between the above sentence ...
J.Joe's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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What better way to

Do the following all work? If so, is there any difference? What better way to please John than to give him a candy? What better way to please John than giving him a candy? What better way to please ...
Apollyon's user avatar
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1 vote
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The usage and meaning of the infinitive --the unpleasant 'to discover' in this sentence

I come across the following sentences. Please explain the usage of this infinitive. Does 'to discover' work as an adjective qualifying the noun 'the unpleasant occasion'? I want to know what does the ...
Japanese English teacher's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
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infinitive functioning as a noun or an adjective

I got him to repair the bike. In this sentence is the infinitive functioning as a noun or an adjective? Or without context is it just an <object + object compliment>?
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How to know what form of the non-finite verb to be used in a sentence?

In this sentence: He is the second person ___ this morning. A. falling B. to fall C. fallen D. fell The answer is B. I do understand the past tense fell is not a non-finite verb. But I am confused why ...
Freddy's user avatar
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Usage of "rely on"

Could you tell me who is doing the action of telling the time, me or my watch? I don't sleep with a bedside alarm-clock, so when I wake up in the middle of the night, I rely on my watch to tell the ...
ForOU's user avatar
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be seen to do/be seen to have done

Usually, a plain infinitive is used with "be seen". She was seen to leave at 9. But is it possible to use the perfect infinitive? Here is one example which seems correct. If a player is ...
user1425's user avatar
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Strange intuition about split infinitives

I recently encountered a sentence in a story that has got me to thinking: He at least had class enough not to leer. The sentence as-is seems fine, although I would usually use a word order of "...
SoronelHaetir's user avatar
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Why is it "what is that supposed to mean?" And not "...to means?"

I know it looks stupid but I really couldn't understand why it's "mean" and not "means". Is it because it's on the past?
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it was/had been the right thing to do/to have done

I've come across the following sentence: The doctors confirmed (after the surgery) that it was the right thing to have done. In my opinion it would be much better to say either: The doctors ...
Dominik Petříček's user avatar
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1 answer
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What is the difference between "going to" and "going to be"?

What is the difference between two sentences: Are you going to be filling the bird feeder soon? Are you going to fill the bird feeder soon? Is this something to do with active and passive voice?
Naeem 's user avatar
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1 answer
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"sitting on the fence" grammar

First of all, I realise that "He's still sitting on the fence about buying the coat" sounds the most natural, but is "He is still sitting on the fence about deciding whether to buy the ...
bambie's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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Questions about infinitives & when do we omit 'to'

I have been learning English and this question arose when I was doing some reading. 'not to do but to do' or ' not to do but do', which one is grammartically correct? And I have yet another question ...
Louisa Aeilot's user avatar
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3 answers
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Is "to" in "going to" part of the verb

I have read that infinitives in English can function as one of three parts of speech, namely nouns, adjectives and adverbs. So for example in the sentence: I am going to buy groceries. Do we assign ...
Michael Munta's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
50 views

Coins are pretty easy to be found/to find

I have this assumption: we can use either passive or active infinitives when there isn't the agent in the sentence and the characteristic belongs to the very thing, for example: This jalapeno is too ...
Mr Dandelion's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
182 views

(Hadn't got/didn't have) to have got

I know that "had to have +past participle" can be used for deduction about the past, so when it comes to the negative, can I use both "hadn't got" and "didn't have" + ...
Mr Dandelion's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
325 views

Mind to have or mind having

Two sentences are: Would you mind having a cup of tea with me? Would you mind to have a cup of tea with me? I think both sentences should be correct. But internet says just no.1 is correct. Why ...
Mirajul Momin's user avatar
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1 answer
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Is it correct to use to plus infinitive with 'not'?

from The BBC Learn English: We don't use to + the infinitive with 'not'. For example, I wouldn't say "I went to bed not to watch TV." That doesn't make sense. I would prefer to use a ...
learnerdude's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
387 views

Get to followed by a gerund or an infinitive?

I got to poking around and I found this oyster. He gets to feeling ashamed of the showing he is making. The new neighbours got to know each other. I'd really like to see you again and get to know you ...
Abid's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why is the infinitive form of the verb used after "for" and the present simple after "before" in this example?

In the sentence below, why is the infinitive form of the verb used after "for" and the present simple after "before"? London is a beautiful place for her to visit, but she must go ...
Antonio Oliveira's user avatar
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Comparing two forms of the infinitive

A few issues. Am I correct in thinking that the first action to happen in 1 and 2 is "when I saw him"? I saw him first then I happened to ... Right? 1 I happened to be standing in a line (...
user1425's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
171 views

Are both gerund and infinitive okay? "needed for earning" or "needed to earn"

I am struggling between gerund and infinitive in some cases, to me they look the same, is there a rule to decide or both are okay? A university diploma is not needed for earning high profits trading ...
wichian's user avatar
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0 votes
3 answers
115 views

Grammar with gerund or Infinitive

He tried ________ (work) in a newspaper firm but he still wasn't satisfied. These variants are wrong: working / to work / work / having worked What is the correct form of (work)?
Olga Klimchuk's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
178 views

Difference between 'happened to be' and 'happens to have been'

What's the difference? He happened to be at that wedding. He happens to have been at that wedding. I know that different forms of the infinitive are used, but what's the difference in meaning?
user1425's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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object + infinitive?

In a book there is an expression like '' Many verbs are followed by object + infinitive '' I want you to listen. They told me to go. What is meant by '' object '' in this statement ? Yes i know these ...
emilywenly's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
238 views

"to be invited" vs "being invited"

I try to say It's a great honor to be invited/being invited by you. Which one is correct? If both are correct, what is the difference between them?
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