The word 'bare' means without the addition of something. So you can easily get the meaning of a bare infinitive.
What Is a Bare Infinitive?
The particle 'to' is used as a marker for an infinitive. But it is important to know that it is not necessarily used with infinitives.
An infinitive that does not have of 'to' is called a bare infinitive (also called infinitive without to, the base form of the verb, or the basic verb).
What is a Full Infinitive?
The infinitive that includes the term 'to' is called a full infinitive or a to-infinitive. Remember, when we are using a to-infinitive, the term 'to' is not considered a preposition. It is a particle (a part of the infinitive). For example:
When to Use Bare Infinitives
It is important to know when to use the bare infinitive:
Using Bare Infinitives with Modal Verbs
We should use a 'bare infinitive' after the modal verbs. Look at the following examples:
Using Bare Infinitives with 'Why'
Using Bare Infinitives with Causatives, Permission and Perception Verbs
After perception verbs with a direct object, we are supposed to use a bare infinitive. Also, after some causative or permission verbs, we use a bare infinitive. For example:
He made me
I felt it
Oh God, let it
The most common perception verbs are:
The most common causative verbs are:
The most common permission verbs are:
Using Bare Infinitives with Would Rather and Had Better
After the expressions 'had better' and 'would rather', we should use a bare infinitive. Check out the examples:
She would rather
They had better
Using Bare Infinitives with Prepositions
After some prepositions, we can use a bare infinitive. A few of these prepositions are 'except,' 'but,' and 'than.' Here are the examples:
I did nothing but
The girl could not find a solution but
Using Bare Infinitives with Coordinating Conjunctions
When two clauses have to-infinitives, the second clause can have a bare infinitive because of the coordinating conjunctions such as 'and.' Check out the examples:
I like to invite you
They need to clean up
A bare infinitive is an infinitive that does not need the particle to. We use a bare infinitive:
- with modal verbs
- with 'why'*
- with causative, permission and perception verbs
- with would rather and had better
- with prepositions
- with coordinating conjunctions
- What Is a Bare Infinitive?
- What is a Full Infinitive?