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What Are Infinitives With Example, and How Do You Use Them?

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What Are Infinitives With Example, and How Do You Use Them?

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What Are Infinitives With Example, and How Do You Use Them?

Introduction:

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on mastering infinitives in English grammar! Infinitives are a fundamental aspect of the English language, serving various functions in sentence structure. In this guide, we’ll explore the definition, functions, and usage of infinitives, along with practical examples and exercises to help you grasp this essential concept with confidence.

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Infinitives – Meaning, Definition, Types, How to Use and Examples

What is an infinitive, and what is its function ?

Infinitives are the base form of a verb preceded by “to.” They can function as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs in a sentence. Unlike finite verbs, infinitives do not indicate tense or number, making them versatile and adaptable to different contexts.

What are the types of infinitives?

There are two main types of infinitives: full infinitives and bare infinitives.

Functions of Infinitives:

Infinitives serve various functions in sentences, depending on their role within the sentence structure. They can function as subjects, objects, complements, or modifiers, adding depth and nuance to your writing.

Infinitives as Subjects:

Infinitives can serve as the subject of a sentence, indicating the action or state described by the verb. For example, “To climb Mount Everest is his ultimate goal.”

Here are 10 examples of infinitives used as subjects in sentences:

  • To learn a new language requires dedication and practice.
  • To travel the world is her lifelong dream.
  • To win the competition is their ultimate goal.
  • To read books brings joy to many people.
  • To study effectively requires time management skills.
  • To exercise regularly promotes good health.
  • To write a novel demands creativity and perseverance.
  • To dance gracefully requires coordination and flexibility.
  • To volunteer at the local shelter helps those in need.
  • To cook delicious meals is her passion.

Infinitives as Objects:

Infinitives can also function as the object of a verb or preposition, indicating the action or intention of the subject. For example, “She wants to learn Spanish.”

Here are 10 examples of infinitives used as objects in sentences:

  • She wants to travel the world.
  • He likes to play the guitar in his free time.
  • They decided to visit the museum on Saturday.
  • She hopes to learn French next year.
  • He needs to finish his homework before dinner.
  • They plan to go hiking in the mountains this weekend.
  • She dreams to become a famous singer someday.
  • He offered to help with the project.
  • They love to watch movies on Friday nights.
  • She prefers to read novels rather than watch TV.

Infinitives as Complements:

Infinitives can function as subject complements, completing the meaning of a sentence. For example, “Her goal is to become a doctor.”

Here are 10 examples of infinitives used as complements in sentences:

  • Her goal is to become a doctor.
  • Their objective is to win the championship.
  • His dream is to travel around the world.
  • The key to success is to work hard.
  • Their ambition is to start their own business.
  • Her desire is to learn to play the piano.
  • The plan is to renovate the house next year.
  • Our aim is to improve customer satisfaction.
  • His hope is to find a job in the city.
  • Their mission is to make a positive impact on society.

Gerund and infinitive examples

A gerund is a verb form that ends in -ing and acts as a noun, representing an action rather than a person or thing. Almost any verb can be turned into a gerund.

  • To form a gerund, add most verbs like play, cry or bark.
  • If the verb ends in -e, “drop the -e and add the -ing”, as in sliding or riding.
  • For verbs that end in -ie, change “-ie to -y and add -ing,” such as dying or tying.
  • If the last syllable of a verb is stressed and written as a consonant-vowel-consonant, double the last letter before adding -ing. As, begging is begging and beginning is beginning.
  • However, for verbs like enter, where the last syllable is not stressed, just add: entering to form the gerund.

Gerund and infinitive examples which need to learn

Infinitives in Phrases:

Infinitives can be part of larger phrases known as infinitive phrases. These phrases consist of an infinitive plus any modifiers or complements.

According to NMU EDU,

An infinitive phrase is a group of words that uses an infinitive (to + base form of the verb) and can include modifiers, pronouns, objects, or actions/states to express the complement of the infinitive.

NMU EDU

For example, “I plan to visit my grandparents next weekend.”

Infinitive phrases examples

Here are 10 examples of infinitive phrases used in sentences:

  • She plans to visit her grandparents next weekend.
  • He hopes to travel to Europe someday.
  • They decided to go for a walk in the park.
  • She wants to learn to speak French fluently.
  • He needs to finish his homework before dinner.
  • They agreed to meet for coffee after work.
  • She dreams to become a successful entrepreneur.
  • He aspires to become a professional athlete.
  • They aim to achieve their goals through hard work.
  • She intends to pursue a career in medicine.

Common Mistakes and Pitfalls:

While infinitives are relatively straightforward, there are some common mistakes and pitfalls to be aware of. These include confusion between infinitives and other verb forms, incorrect placement within sentences, and misuse of infinitives with certain verbs or prepositions.

Practical Applications and Real-Life Examples:

Infinitives are not just theoretical concepts—they’re essential elements of everyday communication. From academic writing to professional correspondence and casual conversation, infinitives play a significant role in conveying meaning and intention. By exploring practical applications and real-life examples, you’ll learn how to incorporate infinitives effectively into your own writing and speech.

Conclusion:

Congratulations on completing our comprehensive guide to mastering infinitives in English grammar! By mastering these essential components of English grammar, you’ve taken a significant step towards fluency and proficiency in the language. Remember to practice regularly, apply what you’ve learned in different contexts, and don’t hesitate to seek further guidance if needed. With dedication and perseverance, you’ll soon become a confident and articulate communicator in English.

 Here are 15 multiple-choice questions about infinitives:

  1. What is the infinitive form of the verb “to run”?
    a) Run
    b) Running
    c) Ran
    d) Runs
  2. In the sentence “She wants ____________,” which option correctly completes the infinitive?
    a) Running
    b) Runs
    c) Ran
    d) To run


  3. Which of the following is an infinitive phrase?
    a) They decided running in the park.
    b) She enjoys to sing in the choir.
    c) He hopes to win the competition.
    d) We should study for the exam.


  4. What is the infinitive form of the verb “to eat”?
    a) Eats
    b) Eating
    c) Ate
    d) Eat


  5. In the sentence “I like ____________,” which option correctly completes the infinitive?
    a) To dance
    b) Dance
    c) Danced
    d) Dancing


  6. Which of the following sentences contains an infinitive used as a subject?
    a) She enjoys swimming in the pool.
    b) To travel is his passion.
    c) They decided to go to the movies.
    d) Running in the park is fun.


  7. What is the infinitive form of the verb “to read”?
    a) Reads
    b) Reading
    c) Read
    d) Readed


  8. In the sentence “He hopes ____________,” which option correctly completes the infinitive?
    a) Runs
    b) Running
    c) Ran
    d) To run


  9. Which of the following is an infinitive phrase?
    a) She enjoys playing soccer.
    b) They want to travel to Europe.
    c) He needs to finish his homework.
    d) We should go for a walk.


  10. What is the infinitive form of the verb “to study”?
    a) Studying
    b) Studied
    c) Studies
    d) Study


  11. In the sentence “She agreed ____________,” which option correctly completes the infinitive?
    a) To help
    b) Helps
    c) Helping
    d) Helped


  12. Which of the following sentences contains an infinitive used as an object?
    a) He loves to play the guitar.
    b) Singing brings her joy.
    c) She plans to visit her grandparents.
    d) They decided to go hiking.


  13. What is the infinitive form of the verb “to write”?
    a) Writes
    b) Writing
    c) Wrote
    d) Written


  14. In the sentence “She wants ____________,” which option correctly completes the infinitive?
    a) To dance
    b) Dancing
    c) Danced
    d) Dances


  15. Which of the following is an infinitive phrase?
    a) Reading books is fun.
    b) He enjoys playing soccer.
    c) They decided to go swimming.
    d) She needs to finish her homework.


Feel free to answer the questions based on your understanding of infinitives!

 Here are 5 frequently asked questions about infinitives along with their answers:

  1. FAQ: What is an infinitive in English grammar?

Answer: An infinitive is the base form of a verb preceded by the word “to,” such as “to run,” “to eat,” or “to study.” It can function as a noun, adjective, or adverb in a sentence.

  1. FAQ: How do you use infinitives in sentences?
    Answer: Infinitives are used in various ways in sentences, such as:
    As subjects: “To travel is her dream.”
    As objects: “She wants to learn Spanish.”
    As complements: “His goal is to become a doctor.”
    As modifiers: “She is happy to help.”
  2. FAQ: Can infinitives be split by other words in a sentence?


Answer: Yes, infinitives can be split by other words, such as adverbs or adverbial phrases. For example: “He decided to quickly finish his homework.”

  1. FAQ: Are there any verbs that don’t take the infinitive “to” before them?

Answer: Yes, there are some verbs that are followed directly by the base form of the verb (without “to”), such as “let,” “make,” “help,” and “watch.” For example: “She made him eat his vegetables.”

  1. FAQ: Can infinitives have subjects?

Answer: Yes, infinitives can have subjects when they are used as subjects of a sentence. For example: “To win the race, he trained hard.” Here, “he” is the subject of the infinitive “to win.”

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