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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2
votes
2answers
310 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
103 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
243 views

Correct usage of infinitives

I am not sure about the usage of infinitives in this sentence: Finally, one of the accused confessed to have forged the director's signature on the report. Could anyone explain correct usage? ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

“How best to handle” vs. “how to best handle”

Are there rules on the placement of 'best'? They are deciding how to best handle the matter. They are deciding how best to handle the matter. Is one of them wrong?
3
votes
1answer
724 views

Usage of infinitives in this sentence

In my academics I learned that we use infinitives (to + verb 1st form). So I was surprised when someone told me this sentence is incorrect. I am not able to figure it out why this sentence is ...
6
votes
1answer
215 views

Do I need a “to” for a second infinitive in a sentence?

It was common practice to first test and execute a program's source code by hand before using a computer. It was common practice to first test and to execute a program's source code by hand ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

in order to [gerund] or [infinitive]?

There are few questions and answer on the choice of gerund versus infinitive. From what I understand, when conveying a purpose the infinitive should be used: I use my key in order to open the ...
-2
votes
2answers
283 views

Where to place the word “easily”? [closed]

Where should I place the word easily — before or after edit and share your bookmarks? Do you want to edit and share your bookmarks easily? or Do you want to easily edit and share your ...
3
votes
1answer
778 views

What do you call “to be to” constructions and are they proper/good English?

Consider the following examples: You have to be really patient if you are to go shopping in the afternoon. It must be active if it is to record the film. What is the construction in bold ...
0
votes
3answers
1k views

Why “should be doing” and not just “should do” in the following sentences?

What is the difference between "should X" and "should be Xing" in the following contexts? Or are they interchangeable? 10 Things you should do to improve the health of your hair. 10 Things ...
1
vote
2answers
850 views

Infinitive or Gerund for celebration of an event?

Which of the following sentences would be correct in a baby shower invitation. My grandparents are looking forward to celebrate my arrival in February. My grandparents are looking forward to ...
1
vote
0answers
233 views

With “to+infinitive” & without it [closed]

I am having problems writing sentences of the pattern "to + infinitive". Long ago I heard that in a sentence there should not be two verbs, but I feel if I write it as below, then that rule is ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

“To be” or just “be”

Which of these two are more correct? 1) When clicking the Edit customer button, I would expect the changes be transferred to the edit view. or 2) When clicking the Edit customer button, I ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Help + Noun + Gerund or Infinitive

Help my sister peel oranges. Help my sister to peel oranges. Help my sister peeling oranges. Help my sister with peeling oranges. Which of the above is/are correct, and why are the others ...
1
vote
1answer
524 views

Under what circumstances can the word “be” be used directly without any change? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use the subjunctive mood? 2 examples first: 1.It is announced that the accounting class of the 3rd and 4th hours on the morning of this Wednesday be ...
1
vote
1answer
2k 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
2answers
641 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
156 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
253 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
2k 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), ...
8
votes
3answers
1k 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
538 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
11k 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
1k 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
1k 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
1k 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
4answers
994 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
437 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
679 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
401 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.
3
votes
2answers
11k 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
359 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
416 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
5k 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
186 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
143 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
310 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
420 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
700 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
8k 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
7k 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
4k 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
535 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
546 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 ...