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Questions tagged [infinitives]

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

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In imperative sentences, is it correct to use a full infinitive (to do) instead of a bare

Is it correct to use a full infinitive (to do) instead of a bare infinitive (do)? I am an esl Chinese resident. And I read a comment, of which the commentator thinks I am benighted. (But I admit it's ...
fafafafa's user avatar
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not crazy to take this risk

a. I am not crazy to take this risk. b. I am not a madman to take this risk. Do these mean I am taking this risk and it is not crazy of me to do so or Only someone crazy would take this risk and I ...
azz's user avatar
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I don't know who to talk to vs. I don't know whom to talk to (which one is more used in colloquial English?) [closed]

I don't know who to talk to. vs. I don't know whom to talk to. Which one is more used in colloquial English?
gomadeng's user avatar
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"we can provide endpoints to clients to talk to" talk to what? 'the endpoints' OR 'the clients'?

"On the server, we can provide endpoints to clients to talk to to get or save various pieces of data" "We can provide endpoints to clients to talk to" In this sentence, the ...
hwkal's user avatar
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Non finite verbs - bare infinitive and present participle

Choose the correct non finite verb. Consider the two examples The inspector saw the robber escape/ escaping on a bicycle. We hear the choir practise/ practising in the hall. I think in the first ...
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1 answer
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past simple in relation to continuous infinitve

Can we use continuous infinitive with past simple. I'll give some examples. I wanted to play when she came in vs I wanted to be playing when she came in I decided to go to work vs I decided to be ...
Adam's user avatar
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Continuous infinitve

I'm heading over to play with her I'm heading over to be playing with her Is 2 wrong because there's no need to add " to be + ing"? Can you think of any examples with present continuous ...
Dary's user avatar
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does the verb provide get gerund or infinitive?

Would it be correct to say 'We can say that sports provide individuals to channelize their energy into a beneficial activity.'
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Interchangeability of Active and Passive Infinitives as Object Complements

I've been analyzing the following pair of sentences and have some questions regarding the usage of infinitives as object complements. Sentence 1: That statement's really important, because it's ...
kokomi's user avatar
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Is it okay not to use infinitive when referring to an idiom (or some other pharse)?

I saw a sentence in my textbook: I think the moral of the story is let the buyer beware. "Let the buyer beware" is an idiom, I wonder is it okay to insert it directly into the sentence ...
Nekomiya Kasane's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
249 views

I was sorry to call you/have called you/be calling you

If I say "I am sorry to have called you last week" it will mean that I regret calling you last week. If I say "I was sorry to call you last week", what will it mean? a) Before ...
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create challenges to do, in doing or for doing?

Are they all correct and idiomatic? The situation has created financial challenges for the school to retain qualified teachers. The situation has created financial challenges for the school for ...
newbie forever's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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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
2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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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11 votes
6 answers
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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
13 votes
5 answers
4k views

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 ...
A9FB987FEC983024D87B987ABE8FF8's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
199 views

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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1 answer
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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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1 vote
1 answer
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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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3 votes
2 answers
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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
126 views

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
112 views

"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
1 vote
1 answer
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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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1 vote
3 answers
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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
96 views

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
1 vote
1 answer
52 views

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
49 views

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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1 vote
1 answer
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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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1 vote
1 answer
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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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2 answers
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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?
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
132 views

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
0 votes
1 answer
38 views

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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0 votes
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
111 views

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
0 votes
3 answers
68 views

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

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