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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912 views

What is the meaning of “ I was only to do that”? [closed]

I am a non-native English learner. Does the sentense "I was only to do that" mean "There was nothing I could do"? Gramatically what is "only" here? Is it an adjective or an adverb to modify " be to"?...
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2answers
92 views

“We have to be hard on you, you have to be cured”

"We have to be hard on you, you have to be cured," is grammatically correct? Shouldn't it be "We have to be hard on you; you have to be cured," as these are two independent clauses. I've seen it in ...
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2answers
1k views

Why can't I use the word 'to' after the verb 'helped'?

I know it is incorrect to say, "They helped to her" and that it should be, "They helped her", but why is the word "to" not needed? And yet the word to is in this sentence: "They helped to get her free....
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2answers
198 views

About Infinitive

I know that this sentence is correct: "He is not a man to tell a lie." Is it also correct if I say "He is not a man tell a lie." If it's correct what is the difference between these ...
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2answers
347 views

Infinitive usage (which sentence is correct)

I am working on the lyrics for one of my songs and english is not my first language. Here's the question - which of these sentences is correct? No thorns to prick your heart No thorns to prick your ...
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0answers
50 views

'that' + (pro)noun + infinitive: what grammar is behind such construct? [duplicate]

While reading a technical book, I stumbled upon the following sentence: It is important [that all Java programmers be fully versed in, and comfortable with, the traditional approach]. For me, it's ...
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1answer
396 views

Gerund vs infinitive paraphrase

Is there any difference between these two sentences: "The Democrats tend to increase taxes, discouraging rich people from voting for them" "The Democrats tend to increase taxes, which discourages ...
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1answer
1k views

What comes first—verb or adverb? [duplicate]

Do you say, to effectively communicate or would you say to communicate effectively. As ENL learner I get this confused quite often. Thanks.
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1answer
3k views

Infinitive in news headlines

I'm a little bit confused with understanding news titles. I recently started to read news in English willing to improve my language skills, but there is one thing that I totally can't understand (and ...
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1answer
537 views

Is there a better term for “perfect infinitive”, “perfect participle” or “perfect gerund”?

BACKGROUND There are grammar terms such as 'present perfect' and 'past perfect' as in: She has learned English for 10 years. [present perfect] She had learned English when she was little. [...
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1answer
239 views

Infinitive vs. “ing” + past particle [duplicate]

Among the earliest telescopes were Galilean telescopes, modeled after the simple instruments built by Galileo, the first person having used telescopes to study the stars and planets. I know "having ...
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1answer
1k views

Can infinitives serve as direct objects? [duplicate]

In the sentences Jack wants food and Jack wants to eat, it seems like food and to eat both serve as direct objects of the verb wants. Can a verb in the infinitive serve as a direct object in a ...
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1answer
610 views

Split infinitives—did Old English have them?

I've read a few articles as well as questions on this site about splitting infinitives. In the Wikipedia article, it claims: In Old English, infinitives were single words ending in -n or -an (...
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94 views

Word usage of “not to fly” vs “to not fly ” [duplicate]

I often read the phrase "not to" preceding an action, as in "not to run" or "not to swim". It seems awkward. Please explain explain the usage.
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2answers
823 views

What parents enjoy is playing/play? [closed]

I have a question; is it better to say: What parents enjoy doing is playing with their children. or: What parents enjoy is playing with their children. or: What parents enjoy is play with ...
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1answer
184 views

To + verb in sentence without any other verb

From time to time I come across a sentence with to + verb, but with no other verb in it. I see it often in news titles. For example: Squall, Tina and Lightning to appear in Final Fantasy Explorers ...
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2answers
325 views

Using a perfect infinitive construction to express uncertainty

My sentence: " I needed for her to have called me." The only example that I can find is from google books- title: The Ghost of Samuel Cetawayo" with a similar use of the perfect infinitive: "I had ...
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2answers
606 views

Ellipsis in “can and have occurred”

The side effects can and have occurred. The omitted verb is an infinitive (occur) but the written verb is a past participle (occurred). Is this sentence grammatically correct and suitable for formal ...
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1answer
3k views

Clauses of purpose: “for + -ing” or "to-infinitive [duplicate]

In the following sentence, how should the clause of purpose be introduced? In addition to normal maintenance, there are additional costs associated with interventions that may be required to ...
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1answer
2k views

Why is the sentence “I go to the US for studying English.” wrong?

I heard the sentence "I go to the US for studying English." is wrong. Can the preposition "for" as purpose be used in this case? Could you teach me the reason why this sentence is wrong?
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2k views

Why must the infinitive be used after “I am qualified to”?

I am not able to understand why the infinitive must be used after "I am qualified to". For example I am qualified to teach. Does not to play the role of preposition in this sentence? If the ...
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2answers
7k views

going + ing vs going + infinitive, when use which?

In the middle of a conversation I should use which of the follow sentences: Tomorrow, I'm going climbing. or Tomorrow, I'm going to climb. I did a deep search and I found these similar answers,...
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1answer
6k views

“I hope I enjoy myself very much” is this correct?

I hope I enjoy myself very much I came across the above expression when I was reading something, the writer wasn't a native English speaker. She was talking about visiting a place she wanted to go, ...
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1answer
2k views

Do “it is time for someone to do something” and “it is time someone did something” mean the same thing? [duplicate]

I know that It is time (understood: for the speaker or for a group of people including the speaker) to do something. and It is time I or we did something. do not mean the same thing: the first is ...
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1answer
21k views

“glad to receive something” or “glad to have received something”? [closed]

which is correct? "I am glad to receive your letter." or "I am glad to have received your letter." The intent is to talk about a specific letter recently received in the past.
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3answers
156 views

Trouble with translating “brainwash the populace to believe” [closed]

I am not a native English speaker, so I am not sure I understand the bolded sentence correctly: The anti-hero is actually the main character in some contemporary works of literature. Guy Montag in "...
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2answers
54k views

'decide not to' or 'decide to not' ? [duplicate]

I came up with this question when I received an email from a committee with a sentence 'We have decided not to publish it', which seems really strange to me because the grammar I learned in English ...
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1answer
636 views

Usage of “to find out” [closed]

Your father climbed to some rough rocks near the coast to find out that under the rocks, our friend Lake lies severely wounded. Is this usage of "to find something by chance (as a result of climbing)"...
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0answers
59 views

I don't like [you to go there] [duplicate]

I don’t like you going there. I don’t like you to go there. Like can take both -ing and a to-infinitive as complement. But can the expression that the matrix subject and the subject of to-...
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3answers
2k views

What's to do? vs. What's to be done?

In order to ask What should be done? or What should we do? using an infinitival clause, you can readily say What's to be done? or What to do?. (1) What's to do? But I've heard (1) used in the ...
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2answers
1k views

The meeting IS TO take place at 10 pm [closed]

The meeting is to take place at 10 pm Should "Is to" be mean here as "have to" or "going to"? Another example: Those of you, who sign up are to be commended. This kind of sentences confusing me a bit)...
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1answer
2k views

What’s the difference between “to VERB” and “to be VERBed”?

What is the difference between these two statements: A new version of Java is ready to install. A new version of Java is ready to be installed.
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1answer
109 views

Are both of these Raising’s?

[i] Equi Billᵢ wants [[(for) Billᵢ] to leave at noon] [Billᵢ wants [ __ ᵢ to leave at noon]] [ii] Raising [[(For) the casserole] to be done] seems The casserole seems [to be done] (Prof....
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1answer
185 views

Pres. perfect + going to + past infinitive

I have seen the following sentence: For four months now John has been going to have finished his novel by today. I hope I understand it (I assume it says that he has been trying to finish his ...
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3answers
448 views

“It takes” + infinitive vs. present participle

Is it grammatically correct to say "It took me five hours travelling to the US"? Most people would say "It took me five hours to travel to the US." I wonder if the infinitive is always the only ...
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5answers
35k views

“It is to be discussed”, what is the infinitive doing in this sentence?

It is to be discussed. Is be + infinitive forming the future tense here? You are to be dressed and ready by 8:00. I was thinking it's almost commanding (or speaking of a command) but this doesn'...
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2answers
95 views

“This video shows a heart transplant take place” or “taking place”?

Which is the correct version of this sentence: This video shows a heart transplant take place. This video shows a heart transplant taking place. I have a hunch that both are correct, but ...
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2answers
1k views

Do the -ing and to-infinitive “verbs” that follow catenative verbs always take the grammatical function of “noun”?

I'm wondering whether or not the verb form that follows a catenative verb has the grammatical function of a noun or of a verb, and whether or not it depends on the first catenative verb. "I like to ...
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1answer
175 views

A question about “to becoming” [duplicate]

Would this sentence be correct? Being scared is the first step to becoming free. The more I look at it, the less clear it becomes.
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1answer
483 views

“It is fun to be him/he.” Which is correct?

Would you use him or he in the following sentence? It is fun to be him/he. A teacher told me that you use the object form after the infinitive of to be. Is this true? I am a native English ...
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1answer
1k views

Is it grammatical to say of some potential meaning that it is “able to be said” or “trying to be said”?

A recent commenter on a recent word-search question nominated a term as “an even better word for what is trying to be said.” This seems to me to attribute intention to something—a ...
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36 views

What part of speech is “to” when attached to an infintive? [duplicate]

For example, in "to see", what part of speech is "to"?
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1answer
4k views

“I let him do it” and “I allow him to do it”, why exactly does one require 'to'?

I let him do it. and I allow him to do it. Why does the latter require to? What are the "rules" of using to with an infinitive? When is it necessary?
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1answer
13k views

negative infinitive: 'not to do something' versus 'to not do something'

Found in the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English under the entry 'to skip something': [transitive] not do something informal to not do something that you usually do or that you should do [...
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8k views

active voice and passive voice in the infinitive construction

Here are two sentences: That is an interesting question to answer. It is an easy sentence to translate. I am very confused about why we should use the active voice rather than the passive ...
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3answers
284 views

Can “may” be an infinitive

I was reading this article http://www.organics.org/8-beers-that-you-should-stop-drinking-immediately/ when I saw Propylene Glycol is controversial, and is said to may be potentially harmful to ...
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1answer
3k views

subject + verb + infinitive

I am having difficulty with subject + verb + infinitive set-ups, as I discovered with who/whom sentences. I understand who and whom as the subject and object forms. For sentences that I find a little ...
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2answers
648 views

what's the meaning when “be” is followed by an infinitive

"If two Weeping Angels were to look at each other at the same time, they would be trapped in stone form until an outside force moves them apart." My questions are about the phrase "were to look": ...
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1answer
170 views

How do you explain usage of infinitive in “to hear all these large words, you would think…”?

I stumbled upon this quotation from Thomas Huxley: You have all heard it repeated, I dare say, that men of science work by means of induction and deduction, and that by the help of these operations,...
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3answers
2k views

Is the “sorry to [infinitive] ” structure always grammatical?

I'm sorry to be so late. I'm sorry to hear about your sick mother. I'm sorry to waste your time. I'm sorry to make you feel so sad. I'm sorry to frighten you. I'm sorry to disagree with your ...