Questions about verbs in their basic (unmarked) forms, such as “be”, “do”, “have”, or “sit”, sometimes introduced by the particle “to” and other times used by itself.

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2answers
91 views

What is the function of this “to” here?

Old people did not know enough once, perchance, to fetch fresh fuel to keep the fire a-going; new people put a little dry wood under a pot, and are whirled round the globe with the speed of birds, ...
-1
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1answer
357 views

“Needs to be repaired” vs. “needs repairing” [duplicate]

Is there any difference in meaning between the following two sentences? My car needs to be repaired. My car needs reparing.
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0answers
40 views

infinitive and gerund [duplicate]

Are the following sentences equivalent in meaning? To play the flute takes a lot of effort. Playing the flute takes a lot of effort. I know that we say "It takes a lot of effort to play ...
0
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1answer
291 views

verbs not followed by that clauses

Where can I find a list of verbs like 'to want', which must be followed by an infinitive (other verbs by a gerund), but cannot be followed by a that-clause? I got from your website that there are ...
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1answer
59 views

To repair bicycle is his job. Vs. Repairing bicycle is his job

My question is what the differences are between the two sentences. In what situation do you use infinitive as a subject? And when do you use gerund as a subjective? Thanks a lot!
0
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1answer
464 views

“Needs repairing” vs. “needs to be repaired” [duplicate]

Do the following two sentences mean the same thing? If so, which is more commonly used? My car needs repairing. My car needs to be repaired.
1
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1answer
92 views

Is the second “to” grammatical in “I plan to help build and then to start”?

I wrote this sentence: I plan to help build a strategic vision for Arabic digital content and then to start implementing that vision. I want to produce value-added information in a specific ...
6
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4answers
569 views

Usage of “to find (noun) (adj)”

I am a native speaker of German, and I often see the English verb find being used like its German cognate finden. For example: My students and I find your platform very useful and very appealing ...
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2answers
1k views

“… need XXX-ing” vs. “… need to be XXX-ed” [duplicate]

What is the difference between these two expressions? Your hair needs brushing. Your hair needs to be brushed.
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4answers
102 views

Which object is modified by the infinitive in this sentence?

The sentence is like this: Governments must ensure that their major cities receive the financial support they need in order to thrive. I'm not sure about the to thrive. Does this sentence ...
2
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2answers
192 views

Reflexive pronouns and understood “to be”

So, I've got a fairly straightforward sentence: Poe did not think himself a writer of inferior material. It is my understanding that "a writer of inferior material" is the object of the ...
1
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2answers
106 views

“Known not to …” or “Known to not …”

Which one of the following word orders is correct: This program is known not to work correctly. or This program is known to not work correctly.
2
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2answers
4k views

“Suggest to go” vs. “suggest going”

I took an English assessment test online and this was my answer: Someone suggested to go for a walk. My answer was wrong and this was the correct sentence: Someone suggested going for a ...
5
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2answers
437 views

Omitting the last “to” in “All {I need to / have to / must} do is (to?) do something” [duplicate]

I remember I learned a structure like the one that this post’s title mentions: All I {need to do | have to do | must do} is do something. But is it correct to use "to do something" after the ...
1
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2answers
590 views

Noun+ infinitive + verb structure [closed]

In my grammar book I've got a sentence The woman to talk to is over there and this is the only example. That makes me believe I can say things like: -The packages to deal with will arrive tomorrow ...
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1answer
221 views

“Looking to + infinitive” vs “Looking to + gerund” [closed]

Which is the correct expression, looking to build or looking to building? Whether you are looking to build. . . . or Whether you are looking to building. . . .
3
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1answer
2k views

perfect infinitives with main verbs

My question is about usage of perfect infinitives with main verbs e.g. I would like to have lived in the 13th century. She was going to have worked in her mother's business, but decided ...
2
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1answer
961 views

How can I identify the role of an infinitive in a sentence?

Infinitives may function as nouns, adjectives or adverbs. Since infinitives are derived from verbs, they do express actions or states of being. However, there is some difficulty in identifying the ...
2
votes
1answer
977 views

“To see” vs “seeing” [duplicate]

Which of the following is grammatical? To see my stuff at your grocery is a great source of pride! Seeing my stuff at your grocery is a great source of pride! The verb "to see" is ...
1
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1answer
277 views

“Committed to build” vs. “committed to building”

If this were a mere tagline, not a complete sentence in a full paragraph, which would be more correct? Committed to build a better world Committed to building a better world
0
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1answer
83 views

Using an infinitive [duplicate]

"It is imperative that he writes a letter to his sister as soon as possible." In this case, is the correct form write? If so, why?
4
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3answers
456 views

How to remember the difference between: “Can you try to open this jar?” and “Can you try opening this jar?”

I am well aware that a similar question has been asked in the past, namely “Try to save” or “try saving”. However, I am not totally satisfied by the posted answers. My problem is that, every time I ...
0
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1answer
364 views

“Developed to [infinitive]” vs. “developed for [gerund]” [duplicate]

I am confused about when to use "to verb" and when to use "for verb+ing" constructs. For example what would be the proper construct for the following sentences extracted from scientific journals: ...
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2answers
498 views

“Important for someone to do” vs. “important that someone does”

As I know, there is no difference in meaning between the following two sentences. It is not important for you to eat good food. It is not important that you eat good food. But I believe ...
2
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3answers
5k views

“Plan to do” vs. “plan on doing”

What are the differences between the following? He is planning to do something. He is planning on doing something. When to use each?
2
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3answers
2k views

Are modal verbs finite or non-finite?

According to Oxford Dictionaries Online, finite ... 2 Grammar (of a verb form) having a specific tense, number, and person. non-finite ... Grammar (of a verb form) not limited by tense, ...
2
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1answer
237 views

Apart from + infinitive

A piece of news from the BBC reads as follows [emphasis in the original]: The UN has said very little on the matter, apart from to insist it is immune from legal proceedings. Now, I knew that ...
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2answers
2k views

Dare + have done

Here is an example from an old book. I know it’s old but it can’t be simply discarded, I hope. "I never dare have spoken — never dare have told you that my love for you was killing me" So, I ...
2
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1answer
87 views

“A tool to do” vs. “a tool that does” vs. “a tool for doing”

I'm the curator of the Open Web Platform Daily Digest link. In the "Tools" section of each daily I write entries in this format: tool_name, tool_description For example: hapi, a server framework ...
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2answers
423 views

“Committed to supporting X” vs. “committed to support X” [duplicate]

I'm trying to edit a speech and found a commonly used phase which I'm not sure if I should amend it or not. The sentence goes like this: [a subject] is committed to supporting [a project]. ...
0
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2answers
189 views

“I would like to go to a youth center to help and (to) work with teenagers”

Which is correct? I would like to go to a youth center to help and work with teenagers. I would like to go to a youth center to help and to work with teenagers. The question is whether ...
1
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3answers
197 views

What kind of infinitive is it in “to come home to be killed”?

In this example: Agamemnon comes home to be killed by his wife and her lover. We are quite sure that he didn't plan on dying, so comes home to be killed is not the “infinitive of purpose”. What ...
2
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5answers
417 views

“stop to do something” vs. “continue to do something”

A transcript of a recent speech by Barack Obama contains the following sentence: Boston police, firefighters, and first responders as well as the National Guard responded heroically, and continue ...
2
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2answers
420 views

Can object complements make any difference to sentences?

I'm reading a grammar book, and I have some questions. A. We ate the fish raw. I want Sue drunk. I prefer the music soft. I like coffee black. We drank the beer cold. This type of ...
3
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3answers
278 views

Is “to practice volleyball requires stamina” grammatical?

Is the sentence "to practice volleyball requires stamina" grammatically correct? As opposed to the sentence "practicing volleyball requires stamina"? Another example: To ensure safety ...
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1answer
661 views

“Had decided to call” vs.“had decided that we should call”

I have a question regarding using "had decided". I'm not sure if I can use either an infinitive form of a verb or a modal verb: We had decided to call each other when we are in danger. We had ...
0
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3answers
255 views

Infinitive vs. Past Simple for short technical annotations [duplicate]

I use source control management software at work. When I commit some changes, I annotate them with the bare infinitive like this: "add new feature", "fix bug #10012" I note that some of my ...
1
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5answers
9k views

Difference in meaning: “would have had to be” vs “would have had to have been”

Being a non native speaker, I cannot spot the difference here: He would have had to have been there. He would have had to be there. The only thing that comes to my mind is that in the first case, ...
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2answers
216 views

Ambiguities and use of infinite and “-ing” form [closed]

I was looking for videos on YouTube, in my (almost) daily exercise to attempt improving my understanding of the spoken English, when I settled for a video entitled: "Why you will fail to have a great ...
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1answer
1k views

When do we use “to” as an infinitive marker? [closed]

In these two sentences: I look forward to get. I look forward to getting it. Why is the first sentence incorrect? When do we use to as an infinitive marker?
2
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2answers
462 views

Can all transitive verbs take to-infinitive clauses?

Yet it would be your duty to bear it, if you could not avoid it: it is weak and silly to say you cannot bear what it is your fate to be required to bear. — Jane Eyre It seems ‘your fate to be ...
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1answer
2k views

“For clarity” vs. “To make clear” [closed]

Compare: "He modified the sentence for clarity." vs "He modified the sentence to make it clear." Any difference here?
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1answer
65 views

“Some things will be known, but others will not”, or “… will not be”?

Which is the correct sentence? Some things will be known, but others will not. Some things will be known, but others will not be.
0
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3answers
868 views

Why is a gerund used after the verb “confess to”

A simple form of the verb is often used after to, but sometimes the simple form is replaced by a gerund. For example: He confessed to having a secret admiration for his opponent. Edwards ...
3
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4answers
5k views

When is “to” a preposition and when the infinitive marker?

I want to see you. I look forward to seeing you. How can one say "to" in the first sentence is an infinitive marker and in the second sentence a preposition when we are given just the ...
1
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2answers
523 views

the best thing to do is (to) concentrate on

The best thing to do is to concentrate on something else. I've known in the sentence like that 'to' should be omitted. So, I wonder if the sentence is grammatical. *The source of the information ...
32
votes
8answers
5k views

What is the infinitive of “can”?

Like the title says: I don't think "to can" is right :) I mean "can" as in to be able to. I'm aware of other meanings. I can't find the answer here. (There's What is an "infinitive"? which ...
3
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2answers
1k views

“to further assist [you]” — Split infinitive or fixed VP?

From a descriptive standpoint (and the problem that English has at least two words in an infinitive), I understand why the split infinitive is becoming more acceptable, but is there any other excuse ...
3
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5answers
712 views

Infinitive vs. present participle (time relations)

I was told that one of the following refers to the past and the other to the future. I cannot decide which is which and would appreciate it if someone could explain the difference between these ...
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2answers
365 views

“I am full to die.” — Is this sentence correct? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “I am angry to die” or “I am angry to death” I am full to die. I meant to say, "I might die because I am full." Is this a correct expression?