Infinitive Phrases

Infinitive phrases are phrases that look like infinitives but they are used in special positions.

Intermediate
What Are Infinitive Phrases in English?
Infinitive Phrases

What Are Infinitive Phrases?

'Infinitive phrases' are phrases that are comprised of the particle 'to' and a verb, such as to study, to drink, to dance, etc. Infinitive phrases are used as nouns, adjectives, and adverbs.

Infinitive Phrases: Function

Infinitive phrases can take different grammatical functions:

Infinitive Phrases as Subjects

'Infinitive phrases' can be nouns and as a result, they can be used as subjects in sentences. Remember, subjects are normally used at the beginning of the sentences. Here are a few examples in which the infinitive phrases are used as subjects:

To drink coffee every morning makes you fresh.

To meet you was a pleasure.

Infinitive Phrases as Objects

'Infinitive phrases' can also be used as objects after transitive verbs. Here are a few examples:

I love to dance on the stage.

I hate to paint the walls on my own.

using an infinitive phrase as a subject

Infinitive Phrases as Modifiers

Infinitive phrases can also be used as adjectives describing or modifying nouns. Here are a few examples of infinitive phrases that are used as adjectives.

This is a hotel to relax and have a nice time.

She was a friend to understand me and comfort me.

Infinitive Phrases as Adverbs

Infinitive phrases can also be used as adverbs and give further information about the verb, adjective, or another adverb in a sentence. Here are a few examples:

I stopped to smoke.

I just eat to live not to enjoy.

Split Infinitives

Sometimes there is an additional word between the particle to and the verb, so they make an infinitive in which you can divide the two parts of the infinitive that in this case, an informal conversation is made. For example:

You need to quickly move in.

They went to perfectly clean her house.

Review

Infinitive phrases are to-infinitives that are used as:

  1. nouns (subjects and objects)
  2. adjectives
  3. adverbs

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