Questions tagged [infinitives]

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

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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?
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1 answer
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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 ...
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1 answer
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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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Using modal verbs with the perfect infinitive when there is the Present Perfect in the main clause [closed]

"The year has not been as good as I'd hope it to be, in terms of results, but first and foremost I've loved playing," said Hutchins. If slight alterations were made, as to swapping to be for ...
2 votes
3 answers
292 views

Difference between "on my way to be 25" and "on my way to being 25"

Set 1: China is close to be the centre of world trade. China is close to being the centre of world trade. Set 2: I am on my way to be 25. I am on my way to being 25 Which is the correct form, ...
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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 ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
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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 ...
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2 answers
141 views

These terms are important for me to work here happily

Can I use infinitive clauses in that way? 1-) These terms are important for me to work here happily. 2-) These terms are important to work here happily.(If it is obvious that I am talking ...
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1 answer
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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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1 answer
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Infinitive and Gerund Difference: "refused to pay" or "refused paying"

She refused to pay the penalty. She refused paying the penalty What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences?
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1 answer
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Infinitives used as an adjective modifier

It is easy to beat him. Here, 'It' is used as a Subject placeholder. To beat him is easy. My question is in 'It is easy to beat him'....the Infinitive clause ' to beat him' is modifying and describing(...
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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?
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1 answer
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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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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 ...
-1 votes
2 answers
91 views

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 ...
2 votes
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184 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
141 views

He brought a bag for someone to take (it)

I have been thinking about the sentence "He brought a bag for someone to take (it)" because if I used "so that", I think "it" would be required. "He brought a bag so that someone can take it". I have ...
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2 answers
119 views

Can we put infinitives at the beginning in order to emphasize them?

In order to emphasize the infinitive, can I change its position? Example, 1-) Your brother has some opportunities to get a better education in the U.K, but to go to the U.S, he doesn't have any ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
176 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" + ...
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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 ...
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1 answer
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I want you to finish/to have finished

I've given a friend of mine a task to do. I want him to finish it before I come in after an hour. Which the simple or the perfect infinitive better with before and by? I want you to finish it before ...
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1 answer
237 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?
2 votes
4 answers
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Can we use infinitive clauses with prepositions at the end of them for a purpose?

Do they always have to be next to nouns? Examples; To talk about, We should find a topic. To live lots of amazing moments with, I need some friends. To study with, I will invite my friend ...
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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
366 views

Perfect gerund usage

She denied seeing him yesterday. vs She denied having seen him yesterday. What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences?
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2 answers
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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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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 ...
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1 answer
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the people’s anxiety for the war (to end)

"the people’s anxiety for the war to end" "the people's anciety for the war" means they want the war to happen ? What's the function of 'to end' after for the war? Is there any ...
2 votes
1 answer
118 views

"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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1 answer
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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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
113 views

Is it posible to recommend somebody to do something

Among the patterns for “recommend” are: you can recommend somebody/something [for something] You can recommend somebody/something [as something] But I am not sure if I can recommend somebody [to do ...
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&...
3 votes
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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
419 views

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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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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
297 views

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 ...
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3 answers
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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. ...
1 vote
1 answer
736 views

'be + to- infinitive'

We use 'be+ to- infinitive' when discussing formal or official arrangements or to give formal instructions or orders.It is also used frequently in newspapers, radio and television reports to refer to ...
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2 answers
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To infinitive or not infinitive?

In the following sentence: "My job was to ride all of the horses and then to feed all of those horses." Do I need a "to" before the word "feed?"
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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?
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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
191 views

Have+ object +bare infinitive usage

I will have him believe it What does this mean? Does this mean “I will make him believe it”? My friends are saying have + object form is used in the sense of wish. Is it correct?
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3 answers
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Function of Bare Infinitive

I have recently learned about infinitives. I know that infinitives act as nouns in the sentence rather than verbs, and that most infinitives are 'to + verb'. Now bare infinitives have created a lot of ...
2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
108 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 ...
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4 answers
223 views

Which is correct in this sentence - 'to inhibit', 'inhibit', or 'inhibits'?

What this medication does is (to inhibit / inhibit / inhibits) the reproduction of the certain kinds of bacteria.
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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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