I am wondering if the lack of infinitive "to+have" in the section highlighted below raises any flags for anyone.

People have been taught have faith and to trust — or not have faith and not to trust — somebody or some event. (Source)

I personally find it more recognizable if the full infinitive is used; but that could well be because of my U.S. dialect. Would this sound more natural to British speakers, perhaps?

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    It's a typo (one of many on that page). There should be a to between taught and have. Jan 12, 2016 at 10:47
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    To infinitive and beyond!
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 12, 2016 at 14:36
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    @Araucaria Indeed. Plus there should also be an in after each faith. Jan 12, 2016 at 16:34
  • @Araucaria I can tell you are a thorough person. I very much appreciate how you dug up the source material, unprompted, in order to inform yourself of its larger context so as to enable a quality analysis. I noticed you did the same on my other post. Is there a function on this forum for us to conduct a private dialogue? I wonder if you might allow me to attempt to pique your interest in a project I am working on regarding that source material.
    – Rick
    Jan 12, 2016 at 17:06
  • @Araucaria Just spent some time trying to start a new chat room and realized I don't have enough rep points to do so (I'm new, obviously). Would you be so kind to start one? Or we could meet in an existing one that has low activity, if you prefer.
    – Rick
    Jan 12, 2016 at 17:40

1 Answer 1


I would suggest that you be consistent:

"People have been taught have faith and trust — or have not faith and trust not..."

This isn't using infinitives, but the imperative form: "have (faith)" and "trust."

"People have been taught to have faith and to trust — or not to have faith and not to trust..."

This uses the infinitive forms of the verbs "to have (faith)" and "to trust." The way you've written it mixes these two: the imperative and the infinitive. While it doesn't quite color outside the lines, it lacks the parallelism we normally, if not require, very much like to see.

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    @Benjamin Harman The question was about whether to use the full infinitive (i.e. with to) or not. There is no imperative here at all. "Have" is an infinitival here, but in the OP's example it requires to, so it should read "People have been taught to have faith"
    – BillJ
    Jan 12, 2016 at 9:20
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    @R A Silver You are correct that the full infinitive should be used, since "have" is an infinitive here. "People have been taught to have faith and to trust -- or not to have faith and not to trust — somebody or some event".
    – BillJ
    Jan 12, 2016 at 9:21
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    @R A Silver. About the possibility of the subordinate clause being an imperative: if it were, one would not expect to see a to before the word "trust", and a colon (or comma) would probably be present, thus: "People have been taught: have faith and trust — or not have faith and not trust — somebody or some event". But I don't think that's a plausible analysis here.
    – BillJ
    Jan 12, 2016 at 9:35
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    @Bill J : The OP's question said, "People have been taught have faith..." That can be said, but it's not using the infinitive; it's using the imperative, and, yes, it is a plausible analysis, regardless of what you do or don't think. All of this was abundantly clear in my explanation to the OP. Furthermore, I explained that, if he wants to use the infinitive, then, yes, he must put a "to" before "have." Jan 12, 2016 at 12:30
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    @Benjamin Harman He DOES want to use the infinitive; he said as much in his message, thus: I'm partial to the infinitive forms in this case. So that is what we should focus on. By 'plausible' here, I mean the most likely analysis. And that ties in nicely with the OP's message that I just quoted..
    – BillJ
    Jan 12, 2016 at 13:09

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