Infinitives Like gerunds, infinitives also function as nouns. Therefore… Infinitives can be used as subjects. Infinitives can be used as objects. Infinitives can be used as subject complements. However, unlike gerunds, infinitives cannot be used as objects of prepositions. ALSO…Infinitives can follow adjectives and nouns.
Infinitives as subjectsTo be successful requires hard work.To work hard is important.Not to miss the flight was my objective.This language is quite formal.More commonly, we use the following combination:It+ BE + ADJ + (for s/o or s/t) +infinitive.Or It + BE + NOUN + infinitiveIt is important to work hard.It is important for you to understand what I said.It was my objective not to miss the flight.
Infinitives as objects More commonly, infinitives are used as objects.Most LCC students try to be successful.I want to buy a new car.Mariana asked her mother to send her a warm coat.Fahad told his sister to wait for him at the store.Natsume didn’t want to travel to California by car.
Infinitives as complementsHis job is to motivate people.(To motivate people is his job.)The reason you’re here is to learn English.(To learn English is the reason why you’re here.)Your goal is to pass this class.(To pass this class is your goal.)
Common verbs followed by infinitives (mental verbs) Hope to Refuse to to Plan to Seem to Want to Intend to Appear to Need to Decide to Pretend to Promise to Ask to Agree to Expect to Offer to Would like
Verb + Object + Infinitive Tell someone to Require someone to Advise someone to Order someone to Encourage someone to Force someone to Remind someone to Ask someone to Invite someone to Would like someone to Permit someone to Expect someone to Allow someone to Want someone to Warn someone to Need someone to
Common verbs followed by either gerunds or infinitives No difference in meaning:Begin Start Continue Like Love Prefer Hate Can’t stand Can’t bear
Common verbs followed by either gerunds or infinitives Difference in meaning Remember I remember locking the door. (I have the memory.) I remembered to lock the door this morning. (I didn’t forget my responsibility) Forget I forgot locking the door this morning. (That was one of the things I did this morning but forgot to tell you). I forgot to lock the door. (I didn’t fulfill my responsibility)
Common verbs followed by either gerunds or infinitives Difference in meaning Try I tried to smoke a cigarette, but I couldn’t. (I didn’t smoke. Try = attempt) I tried smoking once, but I didn’t like it. (I smoked. Try = experience)
Common verbs followed by either gerunds or infinitives Difference in meaning Regret I regret to tell you the bad news. (I haven’t told you yet. I’m about to tell you). I regret telling you the news. (I told you the news, but I should have waited.)
Common verbs followed by either gerunds or infinitives Difference in meaningStop/QuitI stopped smoking when I became ill.I quit smoking when I became ill.(I stopped the activity entirely. I don’t do it anymore).I stopped to smoke. (I stopped what I was doing IN ORDER to smoke. I took a break from reading IN ORDER to smoke).
Infinitives of Purpose Infinitives of purpose answer the question “for what reason?” Question: Why did Abdulrahman come to the LCC? Answer: He came here to study English. We can also use “in order” before the infinitive to express purpose. He came here in order to study English IMPORTANT: DO NOT USE “FOR” TO EXPRESS PURPOSE! He came here for studying English. INCORRECT!
Adjectives followed by infinitives Sorry to Lucky to Likely to Surprised to Sad to Surprised to Happy to Eager to Astonished to Glad to Embarrassed to Shocked to Delighted to Prepared to Reluctant to Pleased to Anxious to Hesitant to Relieved to Afraid to
Infinitives with TOO and ENOUGH (not ) too + adj. + (for someone) + infinitive (not) enough + noun + (for someone) + infinitive The class is nottoo difficult to pass. I don’t have enough money to buy a Porsche. The chair is not too heavy for me to lift. She’s not old enough to get married.
Simple and Past Infinitives We use a simple infinitive to indicate an action in the same general time frame as the action in the main verb.Example: Yesterday, I expected you to call.My expectation and the call were in the same time frame—both in the past. We use a past infinitive to show an action that occurred before the action of the main verb of the sentence.Example: You seem to have forgotten what we discussed.Right now it seems that you forgot our discussion.Three prisoners are reported to have escaped.It is reported now that they escaped before.
Passive and Past Passive InfinitivesPassive (same time frame):The work is supposed to be finished by tomorrow.Past Passive (different time frame):Dinner was supposed to have been made and ready before I came home yesterday.The prisoners, who escaped, are believed to have been helped by the prison cook.
Passive and Past Passive Infinitives Holly plans to invite the students to the party (simple). The students expect to be invited to the party (passive). Holly was happy to have invited the students to her home (pastsimple). The students were happy to have been invited (past passive).
Some infinitive quotes It is better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all.— Alfred, Lord Tennyson “To be or not to be, that is the question.”—William Shakespeare “It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.”— Emiliano Zapata “To err is human, to forgive divine.”—Alexander Pope “It is better to seek than to find.”—Unknown “It is better to arrive late than never to arrive at all.”--Unknown