I had a confusion between Infinitive form of the verb and the base form of the verb. But this LINK explains the difference between infinitive and base form of the verb.

Base form: be, have, hold, sleep, dream

Infinitive form: to be, to have, to hold, to sleep, to dream

Can we write all helping verbs in infinitive form which are mentioned below:

  1. be (including am, is, are, was, were, been)
  2. have, has had
  3. do, does, did
  4. can
  5. could
  6. may
  7. might
  8. will
  9. would
  10. shall
  11. should
  12. must

I know these exists to be, to do, to have, but do others?

  • 1
    The rest are modal verbs. They don't have infinitive forms.
    – Helmar
    Sep 23, 2016 at 9:00
  • Ok! Then, I assume, am, is, are, was, were, been these are the "be" forms. Hence they will not have "to" as the prefix.
    – Shaggy
    Sep 23, 2016 at 9:09

2 Answers 2


Short Answer:

No, you have written all possible conjugations

Long Answer:

No. Modal (Specifically Conditional) Verbs (pretty much the -oulds and their "relatives") do not have infinitive forms, because all usages of those verbs are the same (except for the modals that can be used for other purposes like to be and to have). The subject of the sentence does not change how those verbs are written at all.

This is also a case for a lot of English Verbs, not just the modals

English pretty much did away with subject conjugation (the only verb I can think of that has a conjugation for nearly every subject is the verb to be)

  • 2
    Neither your short, nor the long answer provide any references.
    – Helmar
    Sep 23, 2016 at 9:19
  • @Helmar Well, feel free to add them, if you wish. I'm only on this stackexchange site, because I am bored with stackoverflow. If there is a reference rule on this stackexchange site. I'll look some up, but I don't see how they are useful, because someone else could easily google my statement just easily as I can to see if I am right.
    – user189910
    Sep 23, 2016 at 9:21
  • As you can see, I come from a site that puts a lot of emphasis on doing your own research, not the answeree doing it for you
    – user189910
    Sep 23, 2016 at 9:22
  • 2
    @DaMaxContent References are useful so people can judge the accuracy of your answer. What makes you think "subject conjugation" is a thing?
    – deadrat
    Sep 23, 2016 at 14:57
  • 1
    @DaMaxContent On this site, you're expected to show that you've done your research both as the asker and as the answerer. An answer here should contain vetted references for the same reason that scientific articles should: to make their accuracy easier to judge. (This goes for SO too, by the way.) It's also not true that the subject of the sentence doesn't change how “a lot of English Verbs” are written—that's only the modal verbs. And have and be are not modal verbs; they don't express any kind of modality and don't take bare infinitives. Sep 23, 2016 at 16:41

There's a little confusion here.

  1. With the two exceptions noted below, all present-day English verbs employ exactly the same form (sometimes called the “base” form) for both ‘present-tense’ and infinitive/imperative/subjunctive uses; for present-tense uses with 3d-person singular subjects they employ a form with terminal -s.


    • BEbe is the infinitive/imperative/subjunctive form; are is the basic present-tense form, and it has two further present-tense inflections: am with 1st-person singular subjects and is with 3d-person singular subjects. (Unlike all other present-day English verbs it also inflects its ‘past-tense’ form were, employing was with 1st- and 3d-person singular subjects except in subjunctive contexts.)

    • The modal verbs can/could, may/might, must, shall/should, will/would are “defective”: they have no infinitive/imperative/subjunctive form (and no participles, either), and they do not inflect for person and number.

  2. Linguists do not agree on what to call the to often displayed in front of infinitive forms—some call it a “particle”, some call it a “subordinator”, some call it a “preposition”—but they generally agree that to is not part of the inflection but an “infinitive marker” required in many syntactic contexts.

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