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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

1
vote
1answer
1k views

Causative verb using have/has

I can understand the causative form (quite less frequently, we simply say causal verb) with make and get but when used with have/has, it sometimes makes me think differently. Of course, I can ...
4
votes
1answer
596 views

The choice between the gerund and the infinitive in a certain construction

I am pretty much sure that for native speakers the issue I am going to bring up might look as an uncalled question as they can easily figure out which form of a verbal part of speech should be used, ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Usage of “to be done” [closed]

The following is a transcript of the well-known recorded lecture by Prof. Michael Sandel of Harvard University (the cited portion starts at 43:36): The only argument this painter makes is that the ...
5
votes
2answers
154 views

Should “portray” be paired with “to be”?

Is it acceptable to pair "portray" with "to be"? As in The novel portrays life to be a... Would it be better to use as?
-1
votes
2answers
229 views

“how to not give up” or “how not to give up” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are split infinitives grammatically incorrect, or are they valid constructs? Order of “not” with infinitive Suppose I want to tell someone that I want to ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

On the difference between “noun + infinitive” and “noun + present participle”

Infinitive and present participle can be used to modify the noun: Infinitive: I had no time to read those books. Present participle: There should be a law banning abortion. In (1), ...
7
votes
3answers
994 views

Help identifying an error type “tried to help me learning”

I have a friend from Russia who is trying to learn English and recently used the sentence "He tried to help me learning..." (implied: the English language) It is obviously wrong and I corrected it ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

“He has to do it. Hasn't he (to)?”

He has to do it. Hasn't he (to)? Is the 'to' correct/ incorrect/ unnecessary? Is that a case of an infinitive in interrogative tail (question tag)?
1
vote
3answers
474 views

“thanks to (command)”

A friend who works in business says that she has been hearing a lot of polite commands worded as e.g. "thanks to ask any questions at the end of the presentation" (she has also seen this written a few ...
-1
votes
1answer
9k views

“Prefer to do something” vs. “prefer doing something” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should a verb be followed by a gerund instead of an infinitive? What's the difference between the two: What materials do they prefer working with? What ...
3
votes
3answers
997 views

Ambiguous use of infinitive after “It's needed”

After writing this sentence, I found myself thinking that its meaning may be a little confusing to other people: It’s needed to make clear some issues regarding absences. I used the phrase to ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

“Ambitious to [infinitive]” vs. “ambitious about [gerund]”

What is the correct preposition to use with ambitious? I am ambitious to achieve success. I am ambitious about achieving success.
4
votes
1answer
961 views

Difference between 'decided on' and 'decided to'?

Examples: I have decided on a blue carpet for the bedroom. I have decided to emigrate to Australia. What exactly is the difference between "decided on" and "decided to"? Is the usage simply based on ...
3
votes
3answers
975 views

Which of these sentences is correctly written?

Someone edited my message on StackOverflow, but it really bugs me out. I'm not sure what's wrong with it: As you see, the bigger the circle becomes, the more vertices I need for hiding the straight ...
1
vote
3answers
800 views

“I'm not being” or “I'm not been”?

I'm not been able to make up my mind or I'm not being able to make up my mind? Which one is the correct sentence? Why is it correct and why is the other one incorrect? Edit 10/09/2012: ...
4
votes
1answer
397 views

Is using split infinitive allowed in formal English? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are split infinitives grammatically incorrect, or are they valid constructs? Is it allowed to use split infinitives in formal English? I look into Wikipedia but it is ...
4
votes
1answer
557 views

“Help rule out” vs. “help to rule out” [duplicate]

Duplicate of: What is the correct way to use infinitive after the verb “help”: with or without “to”? “Could help avoid” vs. “could help to avoid” “Helping you do ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Is 'I would rather…' without an infinitive immediately following it correct?

Consider: I would rather the walls remain painted in a neutral tint. Is this proper use of 'I would rather..', without an infinitive immediately following it? EDIT This suggests that 'I would ...
6
votes
2answers
372 views

“It is fun to write letters” vs. “It is fun writing letters”

Grammatically, "It is fun to write English letters." is correct. But is the following also grammatically correct? It is fun writing English letters.
1
vote
2answers
7k views

Should we use “not to” or “to not”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Order of “not” with infinitive It's OK to make mistakes; it's not OK not to learn from them. What kind of grammar structure is this? Could I use "to ...
4
votes
3answers
342 views

What causes a verb to be infinitive only?

Why are some verbs only usable in the infinitive? The one example I can think of is "to spite" (see "to wit in the accepted answer). While wiktionary claims that spited is a word, that doesn't match ...
4
votes
3answers
388 views

Usage of consecutive infinitives of purpose

Is it possible to modify an infinitive of purpose with another infinitive of purpose if the action of the first one is not yet carried out? Ex. Jack brought beans home to give to his mother to plant ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

“Would you have liked to have been” vs. “would you have liked to be”

I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in an article titled “No Rest for the Weary” in The New York Times (February 15, 2008). Would you have liked to have been president from ...
2
votes
6answers
4k views

“Due to” at the beginning of a sentence

I tried to say this: Due to it will have less features than the actual standard system, the performance will be better. Basically, I used a sentence after due to, and one of my English friends ...
1
vote
2answers
178 views

“We do is to complain” or “We complain about it”?

I was just reading a News paper. and found this sentence: Our impatient host could not understand that our security personnel are under so mush pressure in such tense red alert situations. They ...
2
votes
2answers
141 views

Is the expression, “Romney will not to let Obama change the subject” grammatically right?

The article titled, ‘U.S. factors may spare Obama EU allies’ fate’ on Japan Time May 9 issue wraps up with quotes from Mitt Romney and his campaign spokeswoman, Amanda Henneberg; “'The real question ...
3
votes
5answers
308 views

Is it grammatical to have “why” and “to” together?

Is the following sentence grammatical? Why to use page-level permissions From Google Support: Why to use page-level permissions Page-level permissions allow you to.. It sounds ...
1
vote
4answers
397 views

Is “go on +verb root” grammatically right?

I came across the line, "he went on explain (a metaphor) in the clip," at the end of the following sentence of the article, "How to insult your political opponents" appearing in New Yorker magazine ...
0
votes
2answers
115 views

“To know X is all I need” vs. “knowing X is all I need” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How does one know when to use a gerund or a infinitive? Which of the following is the correct form? To know you're interested in my book is all I need to go on ...
4
votes
5answers
652 views

Why are present participle and infinitive equally acceptable for some verbs, but not others

This question about "started teaching/to teach" made me realise that even though the present participle and infinitive are both acceptable after "started", that's not the case with other superficially ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

Expect +to VS expect + ing

I know that expect is used this way: I expect you to do that. But I have also seen examples like with verb in its "ing" form: > What to expect working at... > I will expect you doing ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

“Stop working” vs “stopped to work”

I want to know, is there any difference between "stop + v.(ing)" and "stopped to + v.". These are example sentences. I stop working for a month. vs I stopped to work for a month. I stop watching ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

'To' vs 'in order to' in negative clauses

The answers to this related question suggest that to and in order to are pretty much interchangeable, the former being preferred in informal contexts. My question is about negative clauses. ...
1
vote
2answers
496 views

Why do we use “to” after “how”? [closed]

For example: How to makes this? Why do I use the to after how?
2
votes
6answers
507 views

“I have no story to be told” or “I have no story to tell”?

The former one is what I heard in Adele's song Rolling in the Deep, is this a common usage? Or is it just for rhyme? update: to make my question more specific: Is the former one grammatically ...
2
votes
1answer
606 views

Grammatically correct form of “Way <infinitive phrase>”

There's a reasonably common idiomatic phrasing in the form "Way <infinitive phrase>!" that denotatively means "You did a good job of <whatever>", but is almost always used ironically. ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Grammatical complements for “allow”

Are any of these verb phrases grammatical? allows the user of modeling and resolving allows the user to model and resolve Which version of the following sentence is correct/better? ...
0
votes
1answer
662 views

Which of the following sentences is/are incorrect? (“Permit” vs. “allow” vs. “let”)

Which of the following sentences is/are incorrect? Why? The visa permits you to study for two months. My father would never allow me to study English Let me to go. You're hurting me. This is ...
3
votes
4answers
28k views

“Started to work” vs “Started working”

What is the difference between the following: Things started to work again. Things started working again.
5
votes
1answer
359 views

Why was _to_ verb_+ing_ used in this case? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to use “to + V-ing”? “To hear” or “to hearing”? Samson had been a strong man prior to having his hair cut. From a grammatical point of view, when ...
3
votes
2answers
962 views

“I am starting learning xyz”

Is this sentence correct? I am starting learning xyz.
1
vote
3answers
8k views

Determining main verb of a sentence which match with subject + verb + to + verb pattern

If I have sentences Member is allowed to change himself back I want to go to school He needs to stop What are the predicate of these sentences? Are they allowed - want - need, or ...
1
vote
2answers
155 views

Is this usage of “know to be” correct — “They want to eat food they know to be good for them”?

In the following sentence, is the construction know + to + infinitive grammatical? They want to eat food they know to be good for them. The dictionary says that "know to do something" is a ...
5
votes
3answers
260 views

'Should've seen it glow' or 'should've seen it glowing'?

Which one of the following is the correct one? I should have seen it glow. I should have seen it glowing. Or are both correct? Would you parse them please?
4
votes
2answers
477 views

Infinitive form in reported commands

I know that "I tried not to do that" and "I tried to not do that" are both valid sentences grammatically speaking. But can the second construction be applied to reported commands? Is it correct to ...
1
vote
6answers
256 views

“Plan not to retire” or “Plan to not retire”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Order of “not” with infinitive Someone edited my post on another StackExchange.com site to change the former to the latter. Which is better? I wrote the ...
2
votes
0answers
104 views

“Helping you do something” or “Helping you to do something”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct way to use infinitive after the verb “help”: with or without “to”? In the phrase "Helping you to master Russian", is it ...
2
votes
3answers
366 views

“To do this or do that” or “to do this or *to* do that”?

I saw on the bottom of an email: To change your email preferences or unsubscribe from certain messages, click here. Is that correct or should it be: To change your email preferences or to ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

How to understand “It takes a little bit of getting used to the idea…”?

The following sentence is from a mathematical lecture note here: It takes a little bit of getting used to the idea of a function that cannot actually be evaluated at any specific point, but with ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

“For IE (to) render them”

Which sentence is correct? I just put &nbsp; in the empty elements for IE to render them. I just put &nbsp; in the empty elements for IE render them. The render will be processed ...