In my country, I learned to-infinitive has three kinds. I am not sure these terminology, so I will introduce usage of .

  1. One is usage of noun. For example, it is difficult for you to solve.

  2. Another is usage of adjective. For example, I have to quit smoking to make me sick.

  3. The other is usage of adverb. This type has a lot of usage like common adverb. However, I will say only one example, which is about "(in order) to". For example, In order to get good grade, studying hard is necessary.

When I was in Boston, my English teacher graduated from Harvard taught me that "STARTING WITH TO-INFINITIVE IS WRONG, SO PEOPLE WRITES IN ORDER TO, RATHER just TO." My teacher said like this. (Not exactly same.)

However, I see many sentences in papers with starting with TO. Surely, teacher said there are a few exception like "to be honest", and "to begin with,". And she added speaking to "However, people use "Speaking frankly" rather than "to speak frankly" in the head of sentence.

What is true? Do I have to reject to use "to-infinitive" in starting part of sentence?

  • 2
    Of course not. Demand to see your teacher's diploma. Consider To err is human; to forgive, divine. – deadrat Aug 4 '16 at 2:01
  • My teacher said "it is used and possible. But for more formal words, you have to avoid starting with to." I also agree with the statement that using to in the head of sentence is often used in informal chatting and speaking. How about formal paper?? I want to know that – Danny_Kim Aug 4 '16 at 2:06
  • 2
    To be or not to be, that is the question. – Steven Littman Aug 4 '16 at 2:36
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    Let's count the lies your teacher has told you. 1) It's wrong to start a sentence with an infinitive. (It's not.) 2) People should write "in order to" instead of just "to". (They shouldn't. The APA style guide advises eliminating useless words like "in order".) 3) People use speaking frankly instead of to speak frankly. (They don't: the Ngram viewer finds the latter more popular than the former.) 4) Formal usage disdains the initial infinitive. Your teacher is an ignoramus. Find a better one if you can. – deadrat Aug 4 '16 at 6:15
  • @deadrat Thank you for easily understandable answer. – Danny_Kim Aug 4 '16 at 8:25

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