Questions tagged [infinitives]

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

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Putting to+infinitive at the beginning

My question is about the place of to+infinitive in some sentences. For example, 1- Before I went on holiday for a week, I was really eager to study at mathematics. I know this is correct. How ...
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infinitive or Ving: left holding / left to carry

I saw the following sentence, which uses the present participle holding after left: See here I don't want to be left holding the bag if something goes wrong. But I also saw the to-infinitive used ...
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Is “to infinitive” a myth?

Let us observe the following examples I want to speak to you I am looking forward to seeing you I am interested to learn English In the sentence 1 we say "to speak” is a to infinitive and to as a ...
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Difference between “going to” and “not going to”

I wonder what is the difference between going to and not going to in the following sentences: We're going to play football in my garden. you're not going to play football in my garden.
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All I did today was hang around the house and watch TV

I saw this sentence yesterday and wonder why it uses the bare infinitive (hang/watch) instead of the to-infinitive (to hang/to watch). All I did today was hang around the house and watch TV. Any ...
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Can the structure “somebody doing” replace a clause?

Consider the situation. A soldier returns home safe and sound from war. And his mother says It is such a blessing for him to come back safe! It is grammatically correct to change this to Him ...
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23 views

Right way to express a thought

I want to express that I would like to write a book before I turn 40. I want to know which among the below listed is best way to express this thought and which among them are grammatically incorrect....
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using several to-infinitive subsequently

Can we say: "I want to learn to drive my car to go to my workplace to earn money"? Is it appropriate to use several infinitive with to subsequently?
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find/discover + object + to infinitive / past participle

Examples from Quirk: 1. They found him worn out by travel and exertion. 2. They discovered him worn out by travel and exertion. My remade sentences with "to be": 1a. They found him to be worn out ...
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22 views

“see someone doing something” or “see someone to do something”?

Tell me please what is the difference between the following sentences. I saw him doing his homework. I saw him to do his homework. Not so long ago, I would have thought that the second ...
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be better to do/ be better doing/

1- l'll get engaged like all the others. Get married. Maybe it's better doing things the way everyone does. (original) 2- l'll get engaged like all the others. Get married. Maybe it's better ...
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To complete or to be completed?

It took so long years to complete It took so long years to be completed Which is right? Both are okay?
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To: complement or telling the purpose

This research contributes to filling a considerable gap in academic literature dissertating on the application of CSR(corporate social responsibility) policies to address negative publicity. Does "to ...
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Negation after the to-infinitive

Do the following sentences mean the same? He seems to have not eaten for ages. He does not seem to have eaten for ages.
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Meaning of the sentence which begins with a verb in infinitive form

I cannot understand the following sentence because of its grammar. To borrow a phrase from the old Star Treck series, the "prime directive" of the limbic brain is to ensure our survival as a ...
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Can the subject of an infinitive be omitted in passive voice?

The technicians were fired to reduce costs. I have a doubt about whether this sentence is grammatically correct or not and whether I must add "for a noun" so as to make it clear what was to reduce ...
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to infinitive vs happen + to infinitive difference

Is there any difference between the following sentences, respectively? “It so happens that today is my birthday.” -- Today is my birthday. “I happen to have exactly what you need.” -- I have ...
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“I am safe” vs. “He is safe”

(A) I am safe. (B) He is safe. How do I distinguish the meanings above in sentences with the verb "to report"? For example: "I reported him to be safe." Who is safe?
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have had problem

Police claimed to have had sent the file. As have-had is used to connect past with present then how this sentence make any sense??
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“For + him/her/them + was + to+infinitive” vs “ was + for him/her/them to + infinitive”

The following sentence is from a book. [1] Her dying wish was for him to hike the Ap. trail. Why didn't the author write it as: Her dying wish for him was to hike the Ap. trail. Is there any ...
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Infinitive as adverbial modifier of purpose

I read this sentence in the Barron's practice exercises book (you should choose the incorrect usage): The understanding (a) electricity (b) depends (c) on a knowledge of atoms and the subatomic ...
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Used to vs would structural difference

I have a doubt on the following question. 1) I ______________ want to be a practising doctor but now I'm more interested in research. Options: A. was used to B. used to c. would I was ...
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Can {this/that/it} refer to “infinitive or gerund” when it is the object of “do”?

For example: I just thought it would be very hard for her to move the desk on her own, so I did {that/it} for her. ("that/it" is referring to "to move the desk") To me, moving the ...
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Why “being stripped” was used in this example ? Why not “to be stripped”? [duplicate]

The warning from the European commission could lead to that country being stripped of its European rights.
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Can we use “to be stripped” instead of “being stripped” in this sentence?

The warning from the European commission could lead to that country being stripped of its European rights. (As far as l know we must use infinitive after nouns )
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'Bare Infinitive' or 'to infinitive'?

I happened to come across a sentence in a school textbook as follows: " All you need to do is keep that passion burning in you and never give up." Why is the bare infinitive form "keep" used here? ...
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Voice in infinitive phrases?

I am confused by the voices used in these two sentences: While there's a conceptual proposal on the table for a new Appleton Public Library in a mixed-use development, there are still plenty ...
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It's kind of/for you to help me with this

Usually, we use the structure "for...to..." to indicate an infinitive with its own subject. Anna will be happy for the children to help you. (The children will help you.) My idea was for her ...
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Can “to-infinitive phrase” be used non-restrictively modifying its preceding noun?

for example, My father, to die of lung cancer in 1992, was a good husband to my mother. My father to die of lung caner in 1992 was a good husband to my mother. (The situation is that I'm ...
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Pronoun object needed or not?

In this sentence: She has too many students in the class to give them individual attention. I wonder if the object 'them' is necessary to be inserted in the sentence as 'them' refers to 'many ...
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Can “was to do” denote “the result of the past situation”?

I've never come across "was to do" that is used to mean "the result of the past situation" as in The football team was to win the trophy, defeating the opponent by 1-0 (meaning "the football ...
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A problem regarding infinitives

I was doing an exercise and I had to join two sentences using an infinitive. The pair of sentences was-- I have no aptitude for business. I must speak it out frankly. The answer was-- To speak ...
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Identifying the infinitive

I was doing an exercise and I had to find the infinitive and also its type. And fools who came to scoff remained to pray. I think here there are 2 infinitives to scoff and to pray. But the answer ...
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42 views

I have never heard him to say it

I have never heard him to say it Now, I realize that the "to" is not supposed to be there. But why? Grammatically "say" in this sentence is an infinitive. Or it is pretending to be one. I am using ...
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“… to apply for a visa” or “… and applied for a visa”?

Here are two sentences: Once he got the passport, he went to the Chinese consulate in Toronto and applied for a visa. Once he got the passport, he went to the Chinese consulate in Toronto to ...
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Can an infinitive phrase serve as an object complement noun?

Please help me understand. Can an infinitive phrase function as an object complement noun? I.e. The teacher told her student to stop complaining. What is the function of the words ‘her student to ...
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“I want to use my energy TO READ or FOR READING?”

Which of these sentences is correct? 1) I want to use my energy to read. 2) I want to use my energy for reading. Thank you very much! Gerunds and infinitives confuse me.
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to infinitive : result or purpose?

He met Luis Suarez's cross at the far post, only for Chelsea keeper Petr Cech to show brilliant reflexes to deflect his header on to the bar. Carroll turned away to lead Liverpool's insistent ...
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To do it will be hard

I can say the sentence: It will be hard to do it But can I say it so? To do it will be hard
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passive to active reconstruction

The clerks are trained to provide customers with exceptional service. Active:Someone (unknown) trains the clerks to provide customers with exceptional service. to provide customers with exceptional ...
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noun phrase and infinitive

He is asked to investigate [what the police believe to be the root of the crime (to discover the truth.)] The first infinitive to be the root of the crime, the understood subject is what, right? Can ...
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infinitive clause and subject

1.He invented a business plan which companies can employ (to earn profits.) I bracketed the part which I think is the purpose adjunct, the understood subject of the infinitive is companies, right? ...
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Passive Infinitive reconstruction

I remember that passive infinitive sentences can be changed into "It is PP that Subject+verb", but does the formula apply to the following sentences? I wonder if all passive infinitive sentences can ...
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103 views

So + adj + as to + verb / so +adj + to + verb

Can I use those forms interchangeably? I think 1 and 1' don't mean the same thing but 2 and 2' mean the same thing. 1-She was so radiant as to be almost beautiful. 1'-She was so radiant to be ...
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actor of the infinitive clause

Identifying whether the infinitive clause is a purpose or a catenative complement helps me understand what the understood subject is. (I hope the interpretation below is correct) He wrote the book ...
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the missing object of the verb

But the thing I didn't care a damn about, didn't even grasp to be happening, was the passing-away of the old life I'd know. (Coming up for air) What is the object of the verb grasp ? Is it the thing ...
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“the only thing you did today was breathe” vs. “the only thing you did today was TO breathe”

Sometimes it's okay if the only thing you did today was breathe. In this sentence, should I use a bare infinitive, 'breathe', or 'to breathe'? I think I should use a bare infinitive, otherwise ...
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33 views

Can infinitive tell purpose

He led the team to win the competition without support from the instructors. Infinitive clause tells purpose most of the time , but can infinitival clauses sometimes tell the result? Like the ...
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infinitive clause ambiguity

We need him to accomplish this task. Is this an ambiguous sentence? I think the possible interpretations are: 1: We can't accomplish this task without him/We need him in order to accomplish this ...
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Same sentence structure, different modification

We learned an approach that is used to measure company growth. We employed a strategy that is scarcely used to generate profit. (The above sentences probably seem weird) In the first sentence , ...