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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48
votes
8answers
13k views

"To death" vs "to the death"

Sometimes I see the former, as in "starve to death". But sometimes I see the latter as well, as in "fight to the death", or in the following quote: I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend ...
14
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4answers
30k views

I look forward to hearing from you or looking forward to hear from you?

Should I say I look forward to hearing from you or looking forward to hear from you? I have doubt because I know that the form of a verb is "to+ infinity" without the addition of the -ing ...
10
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5answers
3k views

The fire demon won't bend down his head to be cooked on

“I can cook,” said Sophie. “Unhook that frying pan and I’ll show you.” “She reached for the large black pan hanging on the closet wall, in spite of Michael trying to prevent her. “You don’t ...
10
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4answers
2k views

"On their way to killing". Does it sound right?

Today I saw this tweet from Donald Trump: Russia, Syria, and Iran are killing, or on their way to killing, thousands of innocent civilians in Idlib Province. Don’t do it! Turkey is working hard to ...
10
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4answers
25k views

"to getting" vs. "to get"

Some examples (they are book titles): to Getting The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published The Guide to Getting it On vs. to get The Ultimate Guide To Get Out Of Debt A Quick & ...
8
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3answers
894 views

Should I use "to work" or just "work"?

I'm intending to ask a question whether a person starts to work at seven or half past seven. Should I use: Do you start to work at 7 or half past seven? or Do you start work at 7 or half past ...
7
votes
1answer
78 views

What happens if object of a verb refers to the passive subject?

I have a sentence: In this regard, two hypotheses were picked to study. by which I mean selection of two hypotheses was done to study [the two hypotheses again]. As shown, study refers to ...
7
votes
5answers
584 views

ambiguity?: to infinitive phrase as a purpose clause or an infinitival relative clause

I think the grammar of To-infinitive is the most difficult part of learning English because it is hard for me like ESL students to know which is which. I mean, I'm, well, just wanting to classify the ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Subject of Infinitives for or to?

It is impossible for me to finish this work. It is impossible to me to finish this work. Are both sentences correct? (Or in the real world are both sentences spoken or written?) Or is the only first ...
6
votes
2answers
10k views

"Why not do it" vs "why not to do it"

The following sentence came up and started a discussion between me and a friend over the grammar and the use of the word to: Now that the weather is frightful, why not (to) spend the time indoors ...
6
votes
2answers
685 views

Can "to" be dropped in this sentence?

The first lesson I learnt as a soldier was never to underestimate the enemy. Here are my questions regarding the above sentence: Can the to in the above sentence be dropped? Can I replace to ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Use of "have to" vs "am to"

Suppose my friend invites me to play football. But I have planned to study. So, what of the followings should be my reply: I have to study. (Since, I am not obliged by someone else, should I use it? ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Does "to" refer to a future event

I stuck at page 338, Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English. Here's an excerpt, Certainty adjective controlling subject-to-subject raising 1.[The government] is unlikely to meet ...
5
votes
4answers
500 views

all you need to do is figure out - if "figure out" is changed to "to figure out", how does the meaning change?

Like most programming problems, if you understand the logic behind what you’re trying to accomplish, all you need to do is figure out a way of representing that logic with programming code. So let’s ...
5
votes
1answer
199 views

Why "to" is dropped after "is"?

Why is 'to' sometimes dropped in these kinds of sentences? What you want to do is make a plan There's no 'to' between 'is' and 'make'. The next thing you want to do is to stay in the present ...
5
votes
2answers
500 views

Having had some one to do

Please look at the following Having advised many of your colleagues (yet having had no one stand up for me when the shit hit the fan)... and Having advised many of your colleagues (yet having ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

"help robot population (to) adapt" -- can I omit "to"?

Actually I should be working on my bachelor report (it's due tonight), but hey, there are more important things like: Can I omit the to in the following sentence? ... foster behaviour that would ...
4
votes
1answer
109 views

use a bird to write with

In this movie clip, starting at 41 seconds, Maui says: When you use a bird to write with, it's called tweeting. Does the to-infinitive clause modify "a bird"?
4
votes
1answer
30k views

prefer doing vs prefer to do

Just saw this: "prefer ~ing" / "prefer to infinitive" and I am wondering if there are any differences between "prefer doing" and "prefer to do". I have read a book about grammar ...
4
votes
1answer
283 views

Can prepostions link verbs to other words?

I read that a preposition links nouns, pronouns and phrases to other words in a sentence. However, I saw these sentences and explanations below from the internet. Josie drove to relax. (to ≠ ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

"To be" in front of adjective?

Do we need "to be"(or a form of 'to be') before adjectives? For example: I want my hair black. I want my hair to be black. This is ready to publish. This is ready to be published. I ...
4
votes
1answer
146 views

Being to moisten

The eyes produce tears for a number of reasons, among them being to moisten the eyes, to protect them from substances... It was hard for me to understand the structure of the sentence above. To ...
4
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5answers
167 views

Is "to" always necessary?

Will the meaning of this sentence change if I remove "to" in the second sentence? He wanted to go to the park by himself. But I didn't allow him to.
3
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2answers
205 views

Sentence analysis trouble [duplicate]

I need to make an analysis of this sentence: ....and we can use them to help you to buy the best product. or ....and we can use them to help you buy the best product. We - subject, can use - ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the grammar of "for A to be considered B, …"?

I see some sentences like the below: In order for food to be considered raw, it must not have been heated over 46°C (115°F). For a person to be considered a suspect case of Ebola, they must ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

What is difference between 'walking' and 'to walk'?

(Walking / To walk) on a regular basis everyday is more effective than making intense efforts once in a while. Sometimes it is very difficult for us (non native) to understand the difference between ...
3
votes
1answer
803 views

"Answer to the phone" and "Answer the phone"

If we want to use the verb answer, should we say: "answer to the phone" or "answer the phone"? How about other cases like answering (to) other things like someones question, query etc.
3
votes
2answers
1k views

what is the difference between - I make it to go and I make it go?

What is the difference between sentences like these: I make it to go. I make it go. or You make me to cry. You make me cry.
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Direct objects of "teaching a skill"

If you teach someone to do something, you give them instructions so that they know how to do it. When teach is used with a to-infinitive like this, it must have a direct object. He taught ✳(me) to ...
3
votes
2answers
59 views

Is 'to' needed here: Jane's mother will come [to] pick her up soon. ” [duplicate]

Jane's mother will come to pick her up soon. Jane's mother will come pick her up soon. The kid Jane is being looked after at her grandparents' home. In a hour, her mother will arrive at the ...
3
votes
2answers
47 views

Correct usage of use in a sentence

Which one is grammatically correct? 1.There are two steps to use this system. 2.There are two steps to using this system.
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Comma after "to"-phrase starting a sentence

I am wondering if I need a comma in the following sentence. To further our understanding of this phenomenon(,) we conducted yet another experiment. If the sentence was the other way around (We ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

"To be or to not be" Is it grammatically correct? , that is the question

Can we put "not" between the to and the verb in infinitive form? Is it grammatically correct? Can I say: She tried to not offend people. To be or to not be, that is the question
3
votes
1answer
50 views

to obtain medical assistance to die

A CNN article titled "Euthanasia: Hope you never need it, but be glad the option is there" starts with this: The time was always going to come when society would need to face the pointy end of the ...
3
votes
1answer
30 views

Infinitive function as adjective with be and without

I saw the following examples in a book: We have several new plants to be watered Maria still has several letters to write Do you have any money to spend ? Why in first case did an author use "to be" ...
3
votes
2answers
101 views

Is there any difference in meaning between a that-clause and a to-infinitive-clause?

Is there any difference in meaning between a that-clause and a to-infinitive-clause? For example, can't the following sentence It is possible for strikes to happen at any time. be rephrased with ...
3
votes
2answers
638 views

The "To Come" Infinitive

I'm in discussion with a friend of mine and we can't seem to come to an agreement. We're specifically discussing a passage in the King James Bible in Revelation 1:4, John to the seven churches ...
3
votes
2answers
226 views

What am I talking to myself here? vs Who are you to judge me?

I encountered two sentences in a movie. What am I, talking to myself here? Who are you to judge me? Meant You aren't listening to me. My question: It looks like both sentences ...
2
votes
1answer
302 views

"all they did was (to) leave"

I've come across this sentence: [...] I've spent my all life making people happy when all they did was leave. Shouldn't it be "To leave" or something?
2
votes
3answers
42k views

grateful to someone for something?

I want to express my appreciation to someone who helped me, Can I say: I feel grateful to this person for his help on the project? (I don't want to use thank)
2
votes
2answers
129 views

raise money to do

The fundraising committee, chaired by Charles Stoddard and including Dr. G.P. Twitchell, Judge F.N. Thompson, Frank P. Forbes, and Walter S. Carson, successfully raised enough money to construct the ...
2
votes
1answer
886 views

The best way to do it is (to make / by making) him friend

Which of the following sentence choices is correct? I guess both are. But is there a difference between them? The best way to destroy your enemy is to make him friend. The best way to destroy ...
2
votes
3answers
416 views

How does "too" affect grammar?

I have two sentences here : The problem is hard to solve The table is too heavy to lift To the best of my knowledge, the former is an example of tough movement, in which the subject in the main ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Is the phrase "to not" correct in English?

There is something that I often I meet in English. It is the use of "to not", and I'm not sure about its correctness since I'm not a native English speaker. For example: I brought it to you in ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

"I like to be loved" vs. "I like being loved"

I like to be loved. I like being loved. What is the difference between them?
2
votes
1answer
363 views

Is this an adjectival or adverbial phrase?

I want to know everything there is to know about you. Does ‘to know about you’ modify everything (adjectival function) or is it an adverbial phrase? Or are both possible?
2
votes
3answers
491 views

Is this to-infinitive clause an adjunct or a complement?

He'll keep his pledge to donate 10,000 mosquito nets to charity to help fight Malaria in Africa. In this sentence, is the to-infinitive in bold a complement or an adjunct of purpose? Perhaps more ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Mean +ing or mean +infinitive with to

Can anyone explain the difference between "mean +ing" and "mean +infinitive with to"? As far as I know one uses "mean +infinitive with to" to show one`s intentions and "mean +ing" to express what will ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

'I wasn't allowed' or 'I wasn't allowed to'?

Is it appropriate to say “I wasn’t allowed?” I’m pretty sure I’ve heard it said before to me, but instinctively I want to say “I wasn’t allowed to.” We usually say that “I wasn’t allowed to ______,” ...
2
votes
2answers
518 views

to + inf vs to + '-ing'

I have been doing an online test to check my English skills and found this: I was looking forward ____ at the new restaurant, but it was closed. Incorrect (your answer): to eat ...

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