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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4
votes
2answers
963 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
8k 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
215 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
605 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
2k 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
4k 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
4answers
794 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
21k 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
2k 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.
6
votes
1answer
4k 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

“For [verb]ing” vs “to [verb]”

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
3k 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
662 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
4k 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
571 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.
6
votes
2answers
22k 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
410 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
544 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
2k 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 ...
3
votes
7answers
17k 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
210 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
156 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
341 views

Is “Why to… …” grammatical?

From Google Support: Why to use page-level permissions Page-level permissions allow you to.. Is the sentence "Why to use page-level permissions" grammatical?
1
vote
4answers
547 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
137 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
21k 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
2answers
17k 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
9k 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
589 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
991 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
921 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
6k 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
1k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
71k 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
682 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
2k views

“I am starting learning xyz”

Is this sentence correct? I am starting learning xyz.
2
votes
3answers
14k 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
175 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
302 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
844 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
319 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
107 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
1k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
3k 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
109 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Do I need to add “to” in every clause in this sentence?

Working in the field helps us to learn how to apply theories to solve real-world problems, to apply […], and to […]. Are the "to" after each comma necessary?