What Are To-infinitives?
To-infinitives, also known as full infinitives, consist of the base form of the verb preceded by the word 'to'. To-infinitives are widely used to express necessity and purpose.
To-infinitives can function as:
To-infinitive as Subject
To-infinitives can be used at the beginning of the sentence as the subject of the sentence. Here are the examples.
To-infinitives as direct Objects
A to-infinitive can also be used as the direct object of transitive verbs. Check out the examples:
To-infinitive as Object of Preposition
Sometimes to-infinitives can be used to modify a noun. So, they act as adjectives. Here are a few examples.
That was not a story
The movie is one
Different Forms of To-infinitives
There are different formations of to-infinitives. Check out the list.
A perfect to-infinitive implies a
She is said
In this example, "she was a good nurse in the past, maybe she is retired now."
Peter is known
Perfect Continuous To-infinitive
Perfect continuous to-infinitives are formed by using [have + been + the present participle of a verb]. They indicate a preceding event that is
I am glad
Continuous to-infinitives are formed by using [to be + present participle] and indicate an ongoing or continuous action. They can indicate a purpose or goal or express a future plan or intention. For example:
To-infinitives can be used in the passive form by using the verb 'to be' in different tenses followed by a past participle. Here are a few examples.
The man is
Using To-infinitives in Special Structures
We can use to-infinitives to express special concepts.
Be + To-Infinitive
This structure uses to-infinitive to express activities that somebody is going to do or is supposed to do. Here are the examples.
With Catenative Verbs
To create a chain of verbs, you can add them together using to-infinitives, with the to-infinitive serving as the direct object of the catenative verb. Here are some examples.
The kids like
To-infinitives can be used after interrogative words to form elliptical questions. Check out the examples:
They don't know where
Tell me how
To-infinitive verbs can be used in the following forms;
- perfect continuous