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Infinitives and Infinitive Phrases

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Infinitives and Infinitive Phrases

Infinitives and Infinitive Phrases

Infinitives

An infinitive is a verb form that can be used as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. Most infinitives begin with to, but occasionally the word to is omitted.

EXAMPLES 
  • Is it time to go? [The infinitive to go is used as an adjective to modify time.] 
  • Try to exercise daily. [The infinitive to exercise is used as a noun. The infinitive phrase is the direct object of the verb Try.] 
  • Your next task is to lift this crate. [The infinitive to lift is used as a noun. The infinitive phrase is the predicate nominative of the verb is.]

TIP

Infinitives and Infinitive Phrases Tip


Remember that the word to is often used as a preposition
INFINITIVES 
  • to permit 
  • to count 
  • to observe 
PREPOSITIONAL PHRASES 
  • to you 
  • to the house 
  • to New York

Infinitive Phrases

An infinitive phrase consists of an infinitive and any modifiers or complements the infinitive has. The entire phrase can be used as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb.

EXAMPLES 
  • To apply a good coat of paint, sand and clean the surface first. [The infinitive To apply has a direct object, coat. Coat is modified by a and good and by the prepositional phrase of paint. The whole infinitive phrase functions as an adverb modifying the verbs sand and clean.] 
  • My little brother is easy to put to bed. [The infinitive to put is modified by the prepositional phrase to bed. The whole phrase functions as an adverb modifying the adjective easy.]

NOTE

Infinitives and Infinitive Phrases Note


In formal speech and writing it is best to avoid “splitting infinitives.” An infinitive is “split” if a modifying word or words come between the sign of the infinitive, to, and the verb.

SPLIT INFINITIVE 
  • My parents plan to soon buy a new computer. 
REVISED 
  • My parents plan to buy a new computer soon.
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Mr. ‏El-Sayed Ramadan ‎ ‎

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