Questions tagged [infinitives]

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

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a good game for them to lose

I was thinking about the structure 'adjective+noun+for+noun+infinitive' and was wondering whether the structure itself could be used in two ways. Consider the following sentences: a. This is a good ...
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I remembered to bring my books and I remember bringing my books. What is the difference between the two?

I remembered to bring my books and I remember bringing my books. What is the difference between the two? I have been searching for the difference between the two sentences but to no avail. Can someone ...
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Can I use the structure "possibility for sb. to do"?

"There is no possibility for him to be accepted to this university." Is this sentence grammatically correct or does it sound natural?
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Using of to and for before verbs

Let's see two sentences. I am thanking God to make me separate from you. I am thanking God for making me separate from you. I know that the first one is incorrect. But why can't I use "to make&...
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infinitive vs relative clause

I have learned that there are examples where the infinitive can be replaced by a relative clause, without changing the meaning: There are several assignments to mark. There are several assignments ...
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Subject-verb agreement with infinitive

Physical activity has the potential to improve the physical and mental health of people, reduce all kinds of chronic diseases causing mortality and improve life expectancy. Physical activity has the ...
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Is 'We are impossible to master English in a short time' unnatural?

I'm Chinese, my teacher told me don't use the means of code-switching to learn foreign languages, she made an instance for this: Chinese: 我们不可能在很短的时间内就掌握英语。 Divided into words by gaps: 我们 不可能 在 很短的 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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How to use a gerund+infinitive structure like "trying to win"

While reading a book, I met a sentence with a curious grammar construction which got me utterly confused. Here it is : There is a curious corollary to the principle of trying to win the big pots ...
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Why is the correct answer 'to have been cleaned'?

I'm doing my grammar practice of infinitive verbs. The room is said ( ) last week. A. to clean B. to be cleaned C. to have cleaned D. to have been cleaned √ According to my intuition of English ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Rules are made to be broken vs He is the man to rely on

He is the man to rely on and Rules are made to be broken What's the difference between the to and to be in these two sentences? Can I say both sentences the other way around? He is the man to be ...
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Is it okay to conjugate the verb 'let' (means 'rent') in this way?

'To let' seems like an irregular and special infinitive-verb phrase, which can express the meaning of a passive verb as an intransitive one. This house is to let.
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be suitable to V

Is "suitable to V" used naturally in the following? Sentence (a) is from CNN. If (a) is okay but (b) is not, why the difference? a. Ever since, Curiosity has been investigating the geologic ...
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made it impossible not to have an outburst

a. I had an outburst of anger when I was talking to John. He was extremely rude. He really made it impossible for me not to have an outburst. b. I had an outburst of anger when I was talking to John. ...
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1 vote
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Present continuous tense with a perfect continuous infinitive

Is this sentence correct? My niece is pretending to have been playing the piano for a whole hour. With this sentence I want to describe a situation when a girl is pretending at the moment of my ...
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require a lot of time and energy

a. The bridge will require a lot of time and energy to construct. b. The bridge will require a lot of time and energy to be constructed. c. The bridge will need a lot of time and energy to construct. ...
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"I regretted not have told" - could it be ever correct?

I have seen the following sentence: "I regretted not have told them the truth." Could that be - in any context - ever correct? I would have expected sth like "I regretted not having ...
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Can we say "how to not to be..."?

You should learn about how to not to be egoistic. 2 people (both are English native speakers) have corrected my sentence above, You should learn how not to be egoistical. You should learn how to not ...
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Why is bare infinitive used here?

This is the sentence, and I am not sure why 'be' is used here: The industry understood how important it was historically that smoking be accepted as a public behavior. Early in the twentieth century, ...
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Is this sentence grammatically correct? (I want to stress ***how grateful I am for giving me*** this opportunity...)

I came across this sentence online, and am wondering if it's grammatically right. First of all, I want to stress how grateful I am for giving me this opportunity to interview for this position. ...
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Continuous Imperative [closed]

Is it correct to say? "Be doing it at the moment I come in." Example: This is very important to me. Please, when I call you at 3 pm tomorrow, be reading my letters so that she can see you ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Why does the following sentence have prescriptively bad grammar?

He decided to quickly leave the house. I believe it was the split infinitive that was the concern. I was taking a verbal aptitude test, and the correct answer was "He decided to leave the house ...
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11 votes
6 answers
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Why does this sentence use "to writing" instead of "to write"?

This is a quote by Hemingway. Don't get discouraged because there’s a lot of mechanical work to writing. Should not the sentence be the following one? Don't get discouraged because there’s a lot of ...
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Use of to-infinitive

I would like to travel places, to see the world and to try exquisite cuisines. Or I would like to travel places, see the world and try exquisite cuisines. Is it necessary to use "to" for ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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have to be careful

a. It is something that you have to be careful to notice. I suppose one meaning of (a) is: You have to be careful and notice that thing. But could it also mean If you notice that, then that means ...
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"What chance do you give someone does something" or "what chance do you give someone doing something"?

Would you please tell which one of the following questions sounds more natural to you? What chance do you give Usyk beats Joshua a second time? What chance do you give Usyk beating Joshua a second ...
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2 votes
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to deal with matters related with insurance

a. We have an accountant in our company to deal with matters related to insurance. b. In our company, we have an accountant to deal with matters related to insurance. c. We have an accountant to deal ...
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a knife to defend himself

a. He had a knife in his pocket to defend himself. b. In his pocket, he had a knife to defend himself. c. He had a knife to defend himself in his pocket. Are all of the above sentences grammatically ...
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enough men to keep the city

a. We sent enough soldiers to the city to keep it from falling to the enemy. What is the 'agent' of 'to keep' in (a)? I think it could either be 'we' or 'soldiers'. If we had 'in order to keep...' it ...
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Using different infinitive forms for the "unreal past" and "future"

I assume these three sentences below have the same meaning. Only the first one conveys the message that the action of sitting happens for a longer period. Am I right? I'd like to have been sitting ...
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Bare infinitives after "is"

I cannot find an explanation as to why a bare infinitive is used after "is" in the following sentences. Are there any other cases where a bare infinitive can be used right after "is&...
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1 answer
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Omitting the second "seemed to" in a sentence

Someone has two dogs, one friendly and the other not so much. When you are describing the dogs, I think you can use this sentence: One dog seemed to like being pet, while the other seemed to dislike ...
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What does the infinitive "to call" work in this sentence? [closed]

"I tried to call but the line was busy." Is the infinitive "to call"in this sentence used as noun,adverb or adjective?
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it is good for you

a. It hurts me remembering those days. b. It bothers me talking to him. c. It is good for you eating fruit and vegetables. d. It is nice sitting here. Are the above sentences grammatically correct? I ...
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to make the lights even safer

I'm wondering what function the boldfaced infinitive phrase serves. Does it indicate purpose or result? Morris bought dozens of little telephone switchboard lights, attached them to a pair of long ...
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Infinitive or conjugated verb [closed]

I got in a doubt when writing a sentence and I would like your help to understand which one is correct. The sentence is: 1 - It is essential that everyone is aware of the project's aims and purpose. 2 ...
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used a bottle to fill with water

Are "to fill" and "filled" both okay in the following? What's the difference in meaning? He used a bottle filled / to fill with water.
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Lest and the continuous infinitive?

Is it OK to use LEST with the continuous infinitive? Give her something to eat lest she be crying. I think it's correct.
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to clear the debris

a. A surgeon is needed to operate on Tom. b. A surgeon is needed for operating on Tom. ================== c. Shovels are needed to clear the debris. d. Shovels are needed for clearing the debris. ...
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4 votes
4 answers
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this mess is yours to

a. The mess your friends made in your room is yours to clean up. (Meaning: You have to clean up the mess your friends made in your room.) b. The dessert is yours to make. (Meaning: You have to make ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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what to happen vs. what to say [closed]

Is "I don't know what to happen" natural on a par with the other sentences? I don't know what to do. I don't know what I should do. ? I don't know what to happen. I don't know what ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Why can "to" be or not be omitted in the following?

They acted as if they were mourning him rather than helping him (to) start a new life. The first step to help him was (to) give him a good education. You can omit to in the first sentence. But you ...
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needs someone to

a. He needs a wife to overcome his alcoholism. b. He wants a wife to overcome his alcoholism. ============================= c. He needs someone to overcome his alcoholism. d. He wants someone to ...
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How to make an object question for the object of infinitive of purpose?

Object questions are easy, if in the sentence there is just a main verb, showing the whole action. What if there is an infinitive of purpose with an (prepositional) object? How does one make object ...
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I promised/offered her to send the money right away

Page 632 of Collins English Usage reads When you are reporting an action that the speaker intends to perform, you can sometimes use either a 'to'-infinitive or a 'that'-clause. You do not use a 'to'-...
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Gerunds, infinitives or imperatives

I have a doubt with the use of gerunds, infinitives and imperatives in a specific kind of use. I'm a native Spanish speaker, so if I want to say: "Cumplir promesas" How would I say it in ...
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Infinitive - omitable "to be"

Is there any explanantion in theoretical grammar why «to be» in some sentences is allowed to be omitted when used with Adjectives and Nouns as Complements and in some cases it is prohibited. a) I ...
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uncommon infinitive form [duplicate]

I just have read on internet this headline: President Biden to defend Afghanistan policy in national address I guess this 'subject+to+verb' structure is an uncommon form of the infinite to express ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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gave him the book to

a. I told my theory to him to test it in the lab. b. I shared my theory with him to test it in the lab. The idea is that I wanted him to test it in the lab. I told my theory to him/shared my theory ...
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Why is "to accept" used in "I was happy to accept the appointment”?

I was happy ________ the appointment. A. to accept B. to be accepting C. to have accepted D. accepting The given answer is to accept Whether an infinitive should follow the adjective happy? Why are ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Adjective + infinitive

1. He is hard to defeat. We can write the first sentence as: a. To defeat him is hard. b. It is hard to defeat him.(extraposed) 2. He is happy to see you. Here, the doer or agent of the Infinitive ...
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