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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6
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1answer
21k views

Difference between 'decided on' and 'decided to'?

Examples: I have decided on a blue carpet for the bedroom. I have decided to emigrate to Australia. What exactly is the difference between "decided on" and "decided to"? Is the usage simply based on ...
6
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1answer
11k views

“I love to [verb]” vs “I love [gerund]” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Catenatives followed by infinitives and gerunds “I like to do (be) something” vs “I like doing (being) something” What is the difference between "I love to sing" and "I ...
6
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2answers
6k views

Omitting the last “to” in “All {I need to / have to / must} do is (to?) do something” [duplicate]

I remember I learned a structure like the one that this post’s title mentions: All I {need to do | have to do | must do} is do something. But is it correct to use "to do something" after the "is" ...
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6answers
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Why are present participle and infinitive equally acceptable for some verbs, but not others?

This question about "started teaching/to teach" made me realise that even though the present participle and infinitive are both acceptable after "started", that's not the case with other superficially ...
6
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2answers
67k views

Expect +to VS expect + ing

I know that expect is used this way: I expect you to do that. But I have also seen examples like with verb in its "ing" form: What to expect working at... I will expect you doing (does not ...
6
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2answers
55k 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 ...
6
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4answers
2k views

Usage of “to find (noun) (adj)”

I am a native speaker of German, and I often see the English verb find being used like its German cognate finden. For example: My students and I find your platform very useful and very appealing ...
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2answers
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“It is fun to write letters” vs. “It is fun writing letters”

Grammatically, "It is fun to write English letters." is correct. But is the following also grammatically correct? It is fun writing English letters.
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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'...
6
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1answer
1k views

Is using split infinitive allowed in formal English? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are split infinitives grammatically incorrect, or are they valid constructs? Is it allowed to use split infinitives in formal English? I look into Wikipedia but it is too ...
6
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4answers
22k views

'To' vs 'in order to' in negative clauses

The answers to this related question suggest that to and in order to are pretty much interchangeable, the former being preferred in informal contexts. My question is about negative clauses. ...
6
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3answers
242 views

Why include “to” when speaking about verbs?

I cannot grasp any semantic difference, in discussions of grammar matters, between quoting full infinitives (with “to”) or bare infinitives (without “to”). Thus I do not understand why the longer form ...
5
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7answers
69k views

“Due to” at the beginning of a sentence

I tried to say this: Due to it will have less features than the actual standard system, the performance will be better. Basically, I used a sentence after due to, and one of my English friends ...
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8answers
4k views

How to remember the difference between: “Can you try to open” and “Can you try opening”?

I am well aware that a similar question has been asked in the past, namely “Try to save” or “try saving”. However, I am not totally satisfied by the posted answers. My problem is that, every time I ...
5
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2answers
2k views

“Heard me [infinitive]” vs. “heard me [present participle]”

"Heard me [infinitive]" vs. "heard me [present participle]" At that time, you wouldn't have heard me talk about it. At that time, you wouldn't have heard me talking about it. At ...
5
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1answer
2k views

Usage of infinitives in this sentence

In my academics I learned that we use infinitives (to + verb 1st form). So I was surprised when someone told me this sentence is incorrect. I am not able to figure it out why this sentence is ...
5
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3answers
411 views

'Should've seen it glow' or 'should've seen it glowing'?

Which one of the following is the correct one? I should have seen it glow. I should have seen it glowing. Or are both correct? Would you parse them please?
5
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1answer
2k views

Why was “to + verb + ing” used in this case? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to use “to + V-ing”? “To hear” or “to hearing”? Samson had been a strong man prior to having his hair cut. From a grammatical point of view, when to ...
5
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4answers
774 views

Do I have to use the auxiliary before all the verbs?

Which of the following is correct? I will dance and sing at the concert tonight. I will dance and will sing at the concert tonight. Does it happen with to, too? For example: I like ...
5
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3answers
6k views

“For [verb]ing” vs “to [verb]”

Someone edited my message on StackOverflow, but it really bugs me out. I'm not sure what's wrong with it: As you see, the bigger the circle becomes, the more vertices I need for hiding the straight ...
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4answers
10k views

What is an “infinitive”?

I've heard that a verb usually follows the 'infinitive' but how does one define an 'infinitive'?
5
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1answer
2k views

“Help rule out” vs. “help to rule out” [duplicate]

Duplicate of: What is the correct way to use infinitive after the verb “help”: with or without “to”? “Could help avoid” vs. “could help to avoid” “Helping you do ...
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2answers
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The choice between the gerund and the infinitive in a certain construction

I am pretty much sure that for native speakers the issue I am going to bring up might look as an uncalled question as they can easily figure out which form of a verbal part of speech should be used, ...
5
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2answers
466 views

Should “portray” be paired with “to be”?

Is it acceptable to pair "portray" with "to be"? As in The novel portrays life to be a... Would it be better to use as?
5
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3answers
652 views

“How to not be seen” vs. “how not to be seen”

I understand the following phrase as follows: how to not be seen – how to avoid being seen altogether how not to be seen – how to avoid outfits or circumstances in which you do not want to be ...
5
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2answers
122 views

Question on what role this infinitive plays in the sentence?

I am going to study. Does "to study" act as an adverb, a direct object, or something else? My gut feeling says adverb. Thanks for your help.
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5answers
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“to require someone to do something” vs “to require that someone do something” [duplicate]

Professor required his students to return their papers typed. vs Professor required that his students return their papers typed. Which of the examples is correct? Do they have the same ...
4
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3answers
718 views

'To swiftly go' or 'to go swiftly'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are split infinitives grammatically incorrect, or are they valid constructs? One of my friends once told me 'to go' is considered a whole word and no word should be put in ...
4
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3answers
4k views

“it would take me 1–2 seconds”

or "it would took me 1–2 seconds"?
4
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3answers
9k views

How to understand “It takes a little bit of getting used to the idea…”?

The following sentence is from a mathematical lecture note here: It takes a little bit of getting used to the idea of a function that cannot actually be evaluated at any specific point, but with ...
4
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3answers
545 views

What causes a verb to be infinitive only?

Why are some verbs only usable in the infinitive? The one example I can think of is "to spite" (see "to wit in the accepted answer). While wiktionary claims that spited is a word, that doesn't match ...
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3answers
1k views

“Need just [verb]” vs. “need to just [verb]”

I wonder if it's okay to use these interchangeably: You need just accept it. You need to just accept it.
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2answers
335 views

the first trial <stemming/to stem> from… vs. the first person to climb

Here are excerpts from different American news articles: a. Mr. Manafort’s case is separate from the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and any ties to the Trump campaign,...
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3answers
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Difference between “help + [infinitive]” with and without “to”

Englishgrammar.org has an article discussing cases where an infinitive does not use the word "to." One case is with many causative verbs like "make" and "let." I want the water to run *I want ...
4
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2answers
442 views

I have a bodyguard in order to protect myself

I have a bodyguard in order to protect myself. I was told that I cannot have a stative verb in the required condition: I have a bodyguard But I don't understand how "I need to study in order to ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Make somebody to do something

I know this verb does not take "to" after the direct object. Although, I spot T.L. Short in his "Peirce's Theory of Signs" always inserting "to" in this construction. What happens? Is it some formal-...
4
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1answer
110 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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2answers
1k views

Infinitive form in reported commands

I know that "I tried not to do that" and "I tried to not do that" are both valid sentences grammatically speaking. But can the second construction be applied to reported commands? Is it correct to say,...
4
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1answer
912 views

Repeating (or not) “to” in a sentence involving infinitives set in parallel

I googled it but I couldn't find the answer... maybe I didn't seek it in the proper way. My question is if "to" must be repeated in sentences such as the following ones: In the past, women used ...
4
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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 ...
4
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2answers
757 views

Infinitive Clause For “Curious”

I need some help about the infinitive clause that comes after "curious". Let's say that I am "curious" about a locked room. Then, could I write this: I am curious to open the door. I checked ...
4
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1answer
5k views

perfect infinitives with main verbs

My question is about usage of perfect infinitives with main verbs e.g. I would like to have lived in the 13th century. She was going to have worked in her mother's business, but decided ...
4
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3answers
763 views

Usage of consecutive infinitives of purpose

Is it possible to modify an infinitive of purpose with another infinitive of purpose if the action of the first one is not yet carried out? Ex. Jack brought beans home to give to his mother to plant ...
4
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1answer
616 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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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

Why do these verbs take bare infinitives?

[a] It makes the tree grow. [b] I never heard him speak. I’m wondering why causative and sense verbs (make, hear) license bare infinitives for their complement, instead of taking to infinitives? What ...
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2answers
419 views

How do you assign Case to sentences with an infinitival clause?

Look at this example: For the butler to attack the robber would be surprising. Here, the butler and the robber are assigned accusative case. Is 'for' assigning case to the butler and 'to attack' ...
4
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3answers
265 views

Why is “to” not appropriate before “be” in this situation?

Consider the following two phrases: It's better to be <X> than <Y>. Why be <X> when you can be <Y>? I recently got in an argument with a friend about if (and why) there ...
4
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1answer
540 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
3k views

Using a “to-infinitive” after coordinating conjunctions (e.g., “and”) or not?

I am wondering whether the "to" should be repeated after a coordinating conjunction or not. For example, a) [...] practical examples to round up the learning experience and provide the tools for real-...