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Questions tagged [to-infinitive]

For questions about the "base" form of a verb when it is used with "to". See "bare-infinitives" for questions about the base form of a verb when it is used without "to".

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What is the intended or interpreted usage of 'to infinitive' in a sentence?

The built­-in capacity for smiling is proven by the remarkable observation that babies who are congenitally both deaf and blind, who have never seen a human face, also start to smile at around 2 ...
gomadeng's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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He made an attempt to save the drowning child

He made an attempt to save the drowning child. 'to save the drowing child' is modifying either 'an attempt' or 'made an attempt'? (i.e. adjectival or adverbial?
gomadeng's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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'to+verb' vs 'to+be+verb-ing'

"Well, bout time for me to be hitting the ol' dusty trail" - Peter from Family Guy. "Well, bout time for me to hit the ol' dusty trail" - me. (1) Is the 2nd sentence correct ...
Teach_Me_Ingli's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
254 views

In general, the changes they had made were to be welcomed

In general, the changes they had made were to be welcomed. In general, the changes they had made were welcomed. What's the difference between them? (were to be VS. were)
gomadeng's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
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How many times can you use “to” before verbs?

If a sentence describes a goal, then how many times should “to” be used there? My goal is to practice conversation and to improve my vocabulary. Or My goal is to practice conversation and improve ...
Alextoo7's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
451 views

"to be born" in a non-future context

I've been only familiar with using "to be" to describe future events, but then I came across the following sentence: The first giant panda to be born in South Korea has been given quite the ...
thegreentea's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
135 views

To-infinitives modifying nouns as discussed in Huddleston's Student's Introduction

My question is concerning to-infinitives modifying nouns, in particular a paragraph in Huddleston's "A Student's Introduction to English Grammar" (2E). I will first quote the paragraph in ...
ishtar's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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see something to

In this case, I'd argue that it means "begin something." Yes, missiles are something that are literally launched. But technically they're launching a strike, not a missile, if you analyze ...
Englishgood's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
41 views

"The beach was flat enough to play soccer on." or "The beach was flat enough to play soccer."

The beach was flat enough to play soccer on. This sentence is from my English grammar book. I understand why there is an "on" at the end of the sentence, but I still wonder if the sentence ...
kuwabara's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
36 views

All you have to do now is "finish your homework" or "to finish your homework"?

I know that the sentences below are both correct. All you have to do is finish your homework. All you have to do is to finish your homework. My grammar book says that "to do is..." is an ...
kuwabara's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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be excited + infinitive

I understand that "I'm excited to see her" means that I am looking forward to seeing her.The sentence seems for me to have a similar structure with such senteces:1. I'm surprised to see her....
Nigutumok's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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seemed to leave or seemed to have left?

What is the difference between the uses of tense and aspect in the following sentences? I was told that the use of the perfect infinitive indicates an event which occurred prior to the "seeming&...
Apollyon's user avatar
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-1 votes
2 answers
105 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 ...
Englishgood's user avatar
11 votes
6 answers
3k views

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
1 vote
2 answers
115 views

They have a big project to launch a new product

They have a big project to launch a new product. Does this sentence sound natural? If so, in the natural reading, what's the syntactic function of "to launch a new product"? This is not ...
listeneva's user avatar
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1 answer
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'What a good parent should do is spending time with their children' is wrong

What a good parent should also do is spending time with their children. The model answer is to change 'spending' to 'to spend'. To me, spending and to spend are the noun phrase, the former being a ...
Louis Liu's user avatar
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2 answers
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It was creative to combine these two materials for a painting. - general past thing or single past event?

"It was creative to combine these two materials for a painting." Does this sentence have two interpretations? (1) Interpreted as a comment about a general thing. "Generally speaking, ...
VinceL's user avatar
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0 answers
62 views

The difference between to-infinitives and Ving after superlative adjectives

We can use a to-infinitive after a superlative adjective, with a meaning similar to a relative clause with who, which or that: Who was the oldest person to compete in the London Marathon of 2008? (Who ...
Jones's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
69 views

'It is impossible' followed by a that-clause vs. 'It is impossible' followed by a for + Noun Phrase + to + Infinitive construction

It is impossible that everyone is telling the truth. It is impossible for everyone to be telling the truth. What on earth is the difference between the meanings of two sentences above?
gonju yi's user avatar
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4 votes
4 answers
2k views

When is it just "dare", as opposed to "dare to"?

I see that there are different views or different answers Here are two examples from Cambridge: (to optional) If Sally dares (to) go there again, she’ll be in big trouble! (ordinary verb) He doesn’t ...
Ahmad Mohammad's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
412 views

"It is a good habit for children to read books everyday." - original: For children to read books everyday is a good habit?

"It is a good habit for children to read books everyday." I'm not quite sure how to analyze this sentence. Is the "it" a dummy pronoun? I think the whole infinitive clause is &...
VinceL's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
30 views

the use of to-infinitive

Colloquially, can (= ‘possibility’) is very often a proposal for future action: We can see about that tomorrow. In fact with second- and third- person subjects, can expresses a familiar though tactful ...
gonju yi's user avatar
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-1 votes
2 answers
67 views

What's the grammatical construction of "its sense as..."?

row The word row has many different meanings, but we are interested in its sense as a noun to mean “a noisy dispute” and a verb to mean “to noisily argue.” Row can be used in this sense as in While my ...
Englishgood's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
53 views

"XYZ is a website to improve English (on)" VS "XYZ is a good website to improve English (on)"

I am used to sentences like "XYZ is a good website to improve your English (on)" "XYZ is a great camera to film movies" "XYZ is an amazing ball to play street basketball (...
Fire and Ice's user avatar
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-2 votes
1 answer
21 views

the document to analyse [closed]

a) I sent them the document to analyze. Can't this correspond to: I sent them the document for them to analyze it and I sent them the document which was to be analyzed. (It is even possible to ...
azz's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
156 views

It is adj that... v.s. It is adj to do

I believe that "It is natural that parents love their children." can be rewritten as "It is natural for parents to love their children." Is this always the case? A1) It is ...
kuwabara's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
46 views

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
0 votes
2 answers
74 views

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
1 vote
1 answer
28 views

I " grew up " to be a germaphobe

In a recent NYT article, it says It’s no surprise, then, that I grew up to be a germaphobe too. Does it have a similar meaning to " grow to be", like " She has grown to like him",...
curious333's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
41 views

Use it to/for doing

What is the difference in meaning between the following sentences, and which one is more idiomatic? I use this app for keeping track of what I eat. I use this app to keep track of what I eat. Thank ...
Alon's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
77 views

Usage of " only to"

Could you help me understand the following structure: This sentence is from Advanced Grammar in Use: " Note, however, that the situation or event does not have to continue until the time of the ...
curious333's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
26 views

Is it correct to use the to-infinitive after past participles?

The patches are seen to merge or diverge along their lengths. The -ing shouldn't be used in this sentence? The patch is understood to be a useful minimum indicator of the distribution of gas. Is ...
HDLR's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
44 views

Wash your hands before you go to sleep. (sleep is a noun or a verb?)

Wash your hands before you go to sleep. 'sleep' is a noun or a verb in the sentence above? (In other words, the 'to' is a preposition or an infinitive?)
gomadeng's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
55 views

"To be" VS "to have been" ( the impersonal passive)

Is there any difference between (1) and (2)? (1) Almodovar's film was considered to be the most innovative. (2) Almodovar's film was considered to have been the most innovative. (1): means that the ...
Meriem AISSAOUI's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
65 views

I decided not to ____

A: Did you play tennis last weekend? B: No, I wasn't feeling so well, so I decided not to _____. What CAN'T you say in the blank? a. (nothing) b. do c. do so d. do it e. do that f. play g. play ...
listeneva's user avatar
  • 720
0 votes
1 answer
49 views

necessary or extremely useful to manage / for managing

Are the following both okay? Is there any difference? A life skill is one that is necessary or extremely useful to manage well in daily life. A life skill is one that is necessary or extremely ...
Apollyon's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
47 views

Offer A to V sentence question [closed]

The restaurant offers customers to choose spicy level. The restaurant offers customer choice of spicy level I think second sentence is right grammatically..but the first one also make sense?
user167655's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
110 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
1 answer
16 views

Last month, I asked my son to help them "the next day/one day later/on Nov 27" - do I shift the time reference?

In reported speeches, we have to change time references How about an infinitive clause? Let's assume right now is Dec 26 and last month, on Nov 11, I agreed to help on Nov 12. Example 1 Me: Last month,...
VinceL's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
458 views

using to being instead of to be

recently i saw a strange sentence about Ronaldo, but I could not understand it's grammer: Portugal coach 'really didn't like' Ronaldo's reaction to being subbed off i do not understand why they used ...
saeid's user avatar
  • 55
1 vote
2 answers
50 views

What is the difference

What is the difference between following sentences: Parents are being urged to keep an eye on their child. Parents are urged to keep an eye on their child. Thanks.
Naeem 's user avatar
  • 11
2 votes
2 answers
72 views

Why is it 'doing something' rather than 'to do something' here?

In the page of 'memory lane' in theFreeDictionary, there's such a sentence as follows. It was lovely finding our old photo albums and taking a trip down memory lane. We should use 'to do', rather ...
Michael's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
42 views

The subject of the infinitive verbs with to

I was reading a English grammar books. It says: when you use the structure: ... first (or last etc) n + to + v, there must be subject-predicate relationship between n and v. Then it give an example: ...
yixuan's user avatar
  • 269
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is "life is too short to count calories" grammatically wrong?

I am too tired to talk. I am the actual agent of the action "talk". Life is too short to count calories. However, life is not the actual agent of the action "count". I think it ...
joy2020's user avatar
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5 votes
3 answers
119 views

prepositions and to-infinitive

I learnt at school that "a pen to write" is incorrect and that you need to say "a pen to write with" because you don't write a pen but you write with a pen. However, I found this ...
kuwabara's user avatar
  • 1,488
-1 votes
1 answer
29 views

"To" + infinitive for purpose

Does "to" in the following sentence express purpose? He could not bring himself to believe that his father had really died.
Meriem AISSAOUI's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
35 views

"to + present simple" VS "to + be + past participle"

How do I know which one is correct between these two kinds: To + Present Simple It's difficult to use. I have nothing to cook. That's too personal to ask. To + be + Past Participle It's ...
user516076's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
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"TO" FOR PURPOSE

Does "to" in the following sentences express purpose? She was busy all day. She didn't have a moment to rest. He loved her but he didn't have the courage to tell her. My friend helped me ...
Meriem AISSAOUI's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
41 views

the absence of infinitives after "than"

The question is about the than-sentences which have an infinitive at the end and about why the absence of infinitive can make a sentence incorrect. oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com: (1) They are not ...
Loviii's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
79 views

Complex Gerund Usage [closed]

there is a sentence formation that didn't sit with me well. Between counseling and having to repeat my courses in summer school. It is a toss-up. I assume having to repeat part is not a complex ...
Ozzy's user avatar
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