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 checked a few dictionaries, and they say that the infinitive clause after "curious" should be along the lines of "to know", "to find out", or "to see", not "to open".
Does that mean my example is wrong?

  • In an elliptical way, it is possible to use curious to do something -- there are precedents in the writings of authors.
    – Kris
    Jan 6, 2014 at 11:32
  • When I desire to see a thing, I say I am curious to see it, but it is absurd to say, that my being curious to see it, is the reason why I desire to see it, for being curious to see it, is here only another term for a desire to see it. Whatever creates the desire in me, is the very thing that creates my curiosity, ... Martin M'Dermot: A philosophical inquiry books.google.co.in/…"
    – Kris
    Jan 6, 2014 at 11:39
  • If change your example to: "I am curious to open the door and see what's on the other side", it sounds much better. Jan 6, 2014 at 14:37

2 Answers 2


The definition of curious is

a. eager to know or learn something

If we substitute curious for its definition we get:

I am eager to know to open the door

Which is nonsense. If you are trying to convey curiosity about what's on the other side of the door, you should say that. Something like:

I am curious about what is behind the door

  • I would have said "inquisitive to know" as a definition fits better than to be eager. It is also acceptable to say: "I am curious to know/discover/find out/ what is behind the door."
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 6, 2014 at 9:21
  • @Mari-Lou: Both usages have declined, but to my ear, inquisitive to know really does sound Victorian. Today, it's almost non-existent by comparison with curious to know. Jan 6, 2014 at 16:05
  • @FumbleFingers I expressed myself poorly, I wanted to say that "inquisitive" defined curiosity better than "eager to know" as suggested by ElendilThetall
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jan 6, 2014 at 17:40

I take your usage to be wrong, as you suggest.

curious is an adjective that applies to a person or animal and indicates per Merriam-Webster:

a : marked by desire to investigate and learn

b : marked by inquisitive interest in others' concerns

Thus, it pairs with will and knowledge verbs not physical action verbs.

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