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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32
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
1k 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?
1
vote
3answers
73 views

Is the “sorry to [infinitive] ” structure always grammatical?

I'm sorry to be so late. I'm sorry to hear about your sick mother. I'm sorry to waste your time. I'm sorry to make you feel so sad. I'm sorry to frighten you. I'm sorry to disagree ...
20
votes
7answers
11k views

Order of “not” with infinitive

This is one thing that keeps bugging me, and maybe there's a direct answer. Grammatically, which one is more correct of these two? Does it make a difference? I tried not to do that. I tried ...
2
votes
2answers
168 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
17k views

“I like to do (be) something” vs “I like doing (being) something”

This is what I read in an answer to a previous question: Verbs Followed by Either Gerund or Infinitive Sometimes the meaning changes according to the verb used. <…> (dis)like ...
3
votes
2answers
58 views

stop vs stopped?

what is the difference between; "what if we stop X" and "what if we stopped X" We are trying to write an inspirational statement, not so much a question, to provoke thought around stopping X. For ...
0
votes
3answers
76 views

“I want [pronoun] [adjective]” vs “I want [pronoun] to be [adjective]”

Take these two sentences. 1.I want him dead. 2.I want him to be dead. What is the differences between two sentences? What does the "to be" mean?
1
vote
0answers
93 views

infinitive clauses/phrases; identifying subject

In sentences such as the following, there is (as I understand it) an infinitive clause and an infinitive phrase. Which part is the infinitive clause and which part is the infinitive phrase? And what ...
4
votes
3answers
84 views

“To not” vs. “not to” [duplicate]

A little bit of context, I read the sentence below after the system - a computer application - has been subject to a certain kind of update: The system will be able to not create a record of that ...
0
votes
1answer
203 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

For a past situation: simple infinitive or perfect infinitive after “ought to”?

In Michael Vince's New First Certificate Language Practice, page 92, exercise 2, sentence number 10, you are given the sentence: "I thought that you would know better!" which has to be re-written ...
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), ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

usage of infinitive after feel [duplicate]

What is grammatically wrong with the sentence, "I feel to eat."? After the verb feel, can the infinitive of another verb be used?
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?
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Difference between “is to do” and “is doing” [duplicate]

I saw below sentence: Her job is to clean the hall. So can I also say like: Her job is cleaning the hall. It's present participle or gerund? What's the different meaning between these two ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

“to successfully complete” or “to complete successfully”? [duplicate]

A Google search yields 41,200,000 results for the former but only 3,150,000 for the latter. Are split infinitives really to boldly be avoided in English grammar, or are millions of people just ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Compound verbs with infinitive and gerund

Which statements are grammatically correct and which meaning do they convey, This concept helps understand the problem. This concept helps to understand the problem. This concept helps understanding ...
1
vote
5answers
199 views

Is it “to be left free to do something” or “to be let free to do something”?

I know "to leave someone alone" and "to let someone be on their own". What happens when the adjective is followed by a verb (in the infinitive)? Is it "*Leave me free to do whatever I want." / "*I ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Infinitives with “ought not”

Most of the references I can find about the word “ought” indicate that even when negating it, you should use an infinitive: “You ought not to go there.” That sounds quite bad ...
1
vote
2answers
120 views

Why do 'get' and 'have' work similarly in 'get/have sth done" but differently in 'get sb to do sth' and 'have sb do sth'

Why do 'get' and 'have' work similarly in I got/had my car repaired. but differently – that is are not complemented in the same way although they still mean the same – in I got someone to ...
-1
votes
2answers
4k 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.)
5
votes
3answers
917 views

Infinitive without to: The first thing I do is open my eyes

I have not been able to find an explanation for this use of an infinitive without to: The first thing I do in the morning is go to the bathroom. The first thing I do in the morning is open my ...
1
vote
4answers
121 views

Is there a difference between “way of doing something” and “way to do something”?

Is there a difference between "way of doing something" and "way to do something"? It is on purpose that I did not write "a way of doing something" or "the way of doing something" and "a way to do ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Should I factor-out “to” in a series of infinitives?

Which of the following two forms of the sentence is better? "Managers can use these findings to bound estimates, to assess the realism of road maps, to recognise unsustainable growth, to judge the ...
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. ...
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
139 views

“Required to do” vs. “required doing”

Your employer is required to deduct a certain amount from your salary as a withstanding tax payable to the federal government. 'Hamlet' is required reading [= must be read] for this course. ...
4
votes
1answer
274 views

Why do these verbs take bare infinitives?

[a] It makes the tree grow. [b] I never heard him speak. I’m wondering why causative and sense verbs (make, hear) license bare infinitives for their complement, instead of taking to infinitives? ...
13
votes
4answers
318 views

“Be” as an action rather than a state

I’ve heard, on rare occasion, a subtle differentiation between be as a state (to passively embody) and be as an action (to actively embody). The latter form often occurs in parallel with do to add ...
4
votes
2answers
101 views

Infinitive Clause For “Curious”

I need some help about the infinitive clause that comes after "curious". Let's say that I am "curious" about a locked room. Then, could I write this: I am curious to open the door. I ...
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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
199 views

to be p.p. or being p.p.?AND WHY? [closed]

Would you kindly tell me the difference between the following? She likes to be looked at. She likes being looked at.
1
vote
1answer
96 views

something is capable of to be p.p. or being p.p.?

Manual: small, helpful book capable of being carried in the hand. What is the difference between to be carried and being carried in this sentence?
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
182 views

Usage of “but” as preposition

About usage of "but", I am confused with this sentence: You have no choice but to perform the back-test yourself. "But" is the preposition in this sentence. Why is the use of infinitive? Can I ...
0
votes
2answers
84 views

fun to make and fun to eat

“These cookies are fun to make and especially fun to eat.” (source) Semantically, these cookies is both to-infinitves’ object; and to-infinitves seems to be the semantic subject of both funs, ...
0
votes
1answer
402 views

Provide to somebody to do/doing or Provide for somebody to do/doing?

I'm writing a letter to my teacher to thank her for letting me put on a party, but I'm confused by these: I would like to thank somebody for your support, guidance and encouragement, and for the ...
0
votes
2answers
72 views

What is the second “to” in “to take this opportunity to foreground poetry”?

That’s why it’s particularly appropriate for us to take this opportunity to foreground poetry as an aural experience. — Source Is this "to" the same as "something to say?" P.S.: Isn't ...
1
vote
1answer
333 views

What is the difference between “so to do” and “to do so”

I believe that both are correct. I.e. I have got the Christmas Eve off this year but my partner has failed so to do. is equivalent to I have got the Christmas Eve off this year but my ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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, ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
76 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.
1
vote
1answer
259 views

to be certain to do something versus to be certain of doing something

"Paul is certain to win the race." "Paul is certain of winning the race." What is the difference between these two sentences?
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Reasons to choose / for choosing [duplicate]

There are many reasons to choose X or There are many reasons for choosing X Are these sentences equivalent/interchangeable?
1
vote
1answer
159 views

Is 'thought it to be' grammatically correct?

Does If man continues to scathe all of Earth and its seas, then this isn’t the world I thought it to be make sense? Or should I just replace the 'to' with 'would'?
-1
votes
2answers
652 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
192 views

“Recommend to have” vs. “recommend having” [duplicate]

I am writing my bachelor dissertation and several times Microsoft Word has corrected me from "to have" to "having". One of the sentences, for instance, goes like this: The author recommends to ...
1
vote
3answers
76 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
226 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.