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
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.
1
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4answers
99 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
votes
2answers
187 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
97 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
votes
2answers
3k 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
votes
2answers
394 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
566 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 ...
-1
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1answer
209 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
votes
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
898 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
910 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
245 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
82 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
431 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
votes
1answer
333 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: ...
1
vote
2answers
470 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
votes
3answers
4k 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
votes
1answer
210 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 ...
8
votes
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
81 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
380 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
votes
2answers
183 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
191 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 ...
1
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5answers
404 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 ...
1
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2answers
409 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
276 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
608 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
votes
3answers
250 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, ...
-2
votes
2answers
207 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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votes
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
votes
2answers
443 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 ...
0
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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
836 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
votes
4answers
4k 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
495 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
votes
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
votes
5answers
693 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
351 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?
-1
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2answers
5k views

Is it “What should he have done?” or “had he done”?

What should he have done? What should he had done? Could you tell me which one is correct? (If any.)
0
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3answers
219 views

“Attempts to acquaint” vs. “attempts at acquainting”

The research study is an eye-opener and attempts to acquaint/attempts at acquainting us with the problems of poor nations. For me, attempts to acquaint sounds more apt. But I am not sure ...
0
votes
1answer
641 views

“Enables you to quickly and easily identify” vs. “enables you to identify quickly and easily” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are split infinitives grammatically incorrect, or are they valid constructs? I'm currently having a bit of a dispute and would appreciate your help please. Which one is ...
-1
votes
2answers
818 views

“Feel committed to [gerund/infinitive]”

Does "feel committed to" require an infinitive or gerund complement? For example, which of the following is grammatical? I feel committed to following up on that. I feel committed to follow ...
2
votes
1answer
368 views

Is it customary or grammatical to drop ‘to’ in “I’m not going to go look for it”?

There was a scene a thirty-something wife refuses to go looking for the wedding ring her husband lost in a courtyard when she was asked by her husband over the phone, in the fiction titled “The Lost ...
1
vote
1answer
661 views

“Heard me [infinitive]” vs. “heard me [present participle]”

"Heard me [infinitive]" vs. "heard me [present participle]" At that time, you wouldn't have heard me talk about it. At that time, you wouldn't have heard me talking about it. At ...
2
votes
2answers
306 views

Can we use to-infinitive after 'have trouble'?

Given the example: I have trouble speaking English. Can we use both present participle (speaking) and to-infinitive (to speak) after have trouble? If both are allowed, do the two have the same ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Retire Vs Retirement

I am confused between the two: My father is due to retire/retirement in a few months and is restless. According to my understanding, retire sounds more appropriate. But I am not sure. Could ...