Infinitive Phrases for intermediate learners

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

What Are Infinitive Phrases in English?

What Are Infinitive Phrases?

Infinitive phrases consist of the particle 'to' plus the base form of the main verb. Infinitive phrases are often used as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs in a sentence.

Infinitive Phrases: Structure

As stated above, infinitives are formed by adding 'to' to the base form of the verb. Look at the following examples:

Henry loves to eat cakes.

To take a thirty-minute walk everyday is a way to stay healthy.

Don't you like to dance with me?

Greg really wanted to talk this out but you ruined it.

Infinitive Phrases: Uses

Infinitive phrases can serve as:

  • the subject of sentence

To take a warm bath at night helps you relax. (as the subject)

  • the object of sentence

Harry wants to take the dog out.

  • an adjective

That is a place to spend the night in.

Here, it is an adjective modifying a noun.

  • an adverb

He walked to the store to buy some milk.

'To but some milk' is an adverb of purpose.


Sometimes, another word (such as an adverb) can come between 'to' and the main verb, creating what is known as a split infinitive.

They decided to quickly go over the lessons.


Loading recaptcha

You might also like

Prepositional Phrases

What are prepositional phrases? Generally, as its name requires, prepositional phrases are phrases made of prepositions. To get to know them, read the article.

Adjective Phrases

Phrases are two or more words that can function as specific parts of speech. Adjective phrases are groups of words that function as adjectives.

Adverbial Phrases

Adverbial phrases are made of two or more words and are used as the adverb of the sentence. In this lesson, you will get to know phrasal verbs.


A clause is a group of words that has a subject and a predicate. In this lesson, we will discuss clauses in English grammar.

Relative Clauses

Relative clauses give us more information about people and things. They are used to combine clauses and avoid repetition. Click here to learn!

Nominal Relative Clauses

Nominal relative clauses are used as different parts of speeches and act as a noun or a noun phrase. Click here to learn more!

Download LanGeek app