Questions tagged [infinitives]

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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Using of to and for before verbs [migrated]

Let's see two sentences. I am thanking God to make me separate from you. I am thanking God for making me separate from you. I know that the first one is incorrect. But why can't I use "to make&...
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Query regarding the function of an infinitive

What function does the infinitive serve in the following sentence? It is too early to talk about that thing.
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Can "like better" be used with an infinitive?

I was writing a poem and decided to use "like better" meaning "prefer" so it had a better rhyme. The sentence sounded like this:"you had your shot but liked it better to mess ...
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Why does one use infinitive in "He be saying nonsense."? [duplicate]

I hear some people using infinitive form especially with the verb "to be" in songs or regular conversations. I don't know exactly it mean means grammatically. Can anyone help? For example: ...
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Subject followed by infinitive — what is the grammatical name for this structure?

Example sentence: "Germany to raise prices ...", which usually can be used as "Germany (is) set to raise prices ..." but the first example is also correct. Can you help me with ...
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"for becoming" versus "to become"

According to https://www.perfect-english-grammar.com/support-files/purpose.pdf for+verb-ing should be used for function, to+infinitive for intention. Consider: ...is an essential skill required to ...
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Go doing or Go to do something [closed]

Is there a difference between "I am going cycling." and "I am going to cycle." Assuming that I'm at home right now and I'm informing everyone here that I'm leaving the house to ...
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What syntatic role does the noun 'desire' occupy in this infinitive clause?

I know that infinitive clauses can be used as modifiers. Most of the time, I can easily identify their place. See this example: [1] He found a place to sleep. Although it isn't explicitly stated, my ...
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"to risk being..." or "risk being..." [closed]

I have two sentences: Correct: The company was issued a warning and ordered to stop polluting or risk being shut down. Incorrect: The company was issued a warning and ordered to stop polluting or ...
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"A letter is written to inform" vs "A letter is written to be informed" [closed]

I write a letter to inform him I want to convert this sentence into the passive voice. But then wrote down these three sentences. I can't understand the difference between these sentences. Can anyone ...
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Difference between "long/hope for A to do"

The following two phrases are both perfectly correct: long for your return hope for your return but only the first of the following phrases sounds correct: long for you to return hope for you to ...
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How to analyze e.g., "The man had trouble finding shoes to fit"

In a sentence like "The man had trouble finding shoes to fit," how might "had trouble finding shoes to fit" be analyzed? Is this like a direct object ("trouble") and ...
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Is this sentence wrong: "write a letter for me to teach in the university" and if so, why? [closed]

Suppose I'm applying for a teaching position and asking someone for a reference letter. Then is it correct to say: Can you write a reference letter for me to teach in the university? to mean "...
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Ambiguous Information on ''verb -to and verb -ing''

There are two different pieces of information on this topic, and they are both from trusted sources but these two pieces of information are totally different. So I would love to be answered by a ...
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The difference between "need + infinitive" and "need + gerund"

What is the difference between "I don't need to learn." And "I don't need learning."? It is said that "need + gerund" is passive, meaning what "I don't need learning&...
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Gerund and infinitive both possible after main verb “start” but not always? [duplicate]

What is going on here? It started to rain. It started raining. Both are OK to my ear when start is in the simple past. But then… It is starting to rain. (OK) It is starting raining (obviously wrong!) ...
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"... help me find" vs. "... help me to find" [duplicate]

I'm trying to help my wife (non-native speaker) determine which of the following is correct (or possibly, both, and to justify it at least semi-formally) Could you help me find my sunglasses? Could ...
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Can "the idea" ever idiomatically take an infinitive?

I just ran across this sentence in an Ars Technica article: The idea to use a marble came from a scene in the pilot, in which Holmes uses a marble to determine a building’s floor is slanted. And it ...
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How to make these sentences passive: 'People believe that Jenkins is the culprit.' and 'People believed that Jenkins was the culprit.' [closed]

How to make these sentences passive? 'People believe that Jenkins was the culprit.' and 'People believed that Jenkins was the culprit.' I know it is Jenkins is believed to have been the culprit. ...
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Is "adj. + infinitive + be" a thing? Or am I understanding the hyphen wrong?

I came across this sentence during my GRE prep. I had a hard time understanding the grammar structure of it. It seems to me that the will be in the middle is referring to Crucial to fostering in the ...
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2 answers
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Do we ever use "suppose" (active) with infinitive?

I saw this structure that I've never met before: "Some people suppose to lessen the possibiity ..." etc. I can't find any relevant information. Is this normal practice, or simply a mistake ...
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Which is (more) correct? [duplicate]

Why don't you try [to speak OR speaking] to him in Spanish? ... Which variant is more correct and why?
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What's the grammatical function of "to luxuriate in their style and emotions" in this sentence?

These are films to live in, to luxuriate in their style and emotions. (source: LA Times) This sentence grates on my ear, and I am not sure it can be parsed as a grammatical sentence. The infinitive &...
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‘to start’ and ‘to starting’, prefaced by ‘key’

I have the following two example sentences: X is the key to starting their communication. X is the key to start their communication. E.g. Patience is the key to starting their communication. Which is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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"Expect": + that-clause vs + to-infinitive

In ‘I expect J will come’, you are simply saying you think he will, but in ‘I expect J to come’ you will be annoyed or disappointed if he does not. Instead of ‘expect something will not’ happen, you ...
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Are the infinitive phrases adverbial or adjectival in these sentences?

I am looking for water to drink. The infinitive "to drink" is obviously an adjectival infinitive that modifies "water". I am looking for water to quench my thirst. I feel iffy ...
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What is the grammatical function of the infinitive 'to aid them' in the following sentence? 'He could do nothing to aid them.'

I am aware that infinitives can serve as the subject of a sentence (as in 'To underestimate her would be foolish'), as the object of a sentence ('He likes to play basketball'), and as the predicative ...
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Verb agreement when using To Infinitive after ordinal numbers as subject

I know that after ordinal numbers (the first, the second etc.) we can use to-infinitive clause. E.g: Ethan was the last person to understand the joke. My questions is when the above construction ...
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What parts of speech are "like" and "to" in the sentence "Bobby does not like to walk"? [closed]

I realized that I want to be able to look at any sentence and understand what each word in that sentence is in terms of its part of speech, since I never really cared in school to learn the parts of ...
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Infinitive without to

What's the difference between" You need stay at home" and " You need to stay at home"? It seems to me that the former one talks about things that someone ought to do as ...
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3 answers
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"can remind" or "can to remind"?

I found this sentence in a book that is as follows: Great poets are expressly aware of this, and they do what they can to remind the rest of us. I ask because on one site it says that the verb that ...
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without infinitive [duplicate]

I am wondering why there is no infinitive before the word plan in the sentences below. Thanks for helping me plan this out. Is it the same rule with the words make and let? Or, it is about other ...
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Is to, of course, have | Split infinitive [closed]

Is it possible to split the "to" from the verb in this example: Is it correct? Does it sound strange to your ears?
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Is this correct usage of perfect infinitive?

My question comes from this Present perfect VS infinitive verb, where they explained that the sentence He became the first 16 year old to have scored a goal for his country is grammatically incorrect ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Using the bare infinitive after the verb "support"

I work for a large nonprofit org with a very talented marketing and writing team. That said, I constantly see the verb "support(ing)" in our blog posts and articles, followed by a bare ...
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Question re: proper usage of to + infinitive construction

I have recently been asked about the grammatical accuracy of the sentence "My mother bought the book for me to study English." This sentence is meant to convey that the writer's mother ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Placement of infinitive [closed]

How do you expect a debate on the green new deal between Marjorie Taylor Greene and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to go? Or How do you expect a debate on the green new deal to go between Marjorie Taylor ...
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Can we use a to-infinitive directly after the subject? [closed]

Hong Kong to ban flights from India, Bangladesh. Is the above sentence grammatically correct? OR does it require a verb: Hong Kong is to ban flights from India, Bangladesh. So, basically ... which ...
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Recommended: passive + to-infinitive

Fowler’s Dictionary supports examples like the following in the passive, but not their active counterparts The committee is being recommended to approve the proposals However, it says about double ...
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Can the present participle be used as adverbials of purpose?

Usually, infinitives with 'to' are used to indicate adverbials of purpose. e.g. I go downstairs to collect my parcel. In order to keep warm, my dog curls up on the rug beside my bed every evening. ...
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After the colon, should I use “to speak” and then “to be” or just the bare infinitives?

After the colon, should I use “to speak” and then “to be” or just the bare infinitives in the following sentence: Now, you can see what the two necessary conditions were in order to stay here: (to) ...
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What does this infinitive mean?

The context telling whether equality, equivalence, or congruence is to be understood. When I read the last sentence, I thought its meaning is "we need to understand the context telling whether ...
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In the sentence "I must decide which English course to take," is "which English course to take" a noun clause?

I am hesitating to call it a noun clause because there is no conjugated verb (only the verbal "to take"). I am thinking that "which English course to take" is actually an ...
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1 answer
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How do finite verbs work in questions?

I am doing an exercise Rudolf Flesch's "The Art of Plain Talk." It's point is to change as many nouns, infinitives, gerunds, and participles into "active verbs" or finite verbs. I ...
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Ellipsis of "to" in successive infinitives

Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage reads When a second infinitive is used after a to-infinitive, the second (and third, etc.) example is not necessarily preceded by to. Contrast ‘can be ...
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Objective complement?

When diagramming "You heard me sing," would you form a clause as the direct object, with me as the subject of the verb sing (even though me is an objective pronoun)? Or, would you think of ...
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Problem with gerund and infinitive [closed]

I'm confusing with use of gerund or infinitive, I don't know which one of them I should use, for example ; I'm looking for a function to reverse a string I'm looking for a function for reversing a ...
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1 vote
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Infinitive Phrase or Verb Constituent

I refer to Doing Grammar by Max Morenberg as my default grammar reference. Morenberg makes a distinction between infinitive phrases, which function as Noun Subjects & Objects (SC, NDO, etc), and ...
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Is the usage of this ‘to permit this’ ungrammatical in this sentence from the Economist?

In the January 23rd 2021 edition of the Economist, the editors write in their Leader (opinion piece) article titled “The marathon of covid-19 vaccination”: Lockdowns impose a burden on freedom and a ...
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Verb after gerund verb [duplicate]

I'm newer to this forum, and I'm learning English. My teacher has taught me that we must use gerund after "enjoy", as in: I enjoy swimming. Now, if we use a verb after gerund, which verb ...
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