This part of the speech, as a verb in the English language has two forms — personal and impersonal (the finite form / the non-finite form of the verb). Finite verb form is required to have such categories as person, number, dimension, time, deposit and inclination. They serve as a predicate in a sentence. Non-finite verb forms is deprived of certain categories. In impersonal forms of the verb has only appearance and bail. Predicate they can not be, though used as a part thereof. Most often they perform the function of other parts of speech in a sentence. Total English has three non-finite verb forms: infinitive, gerund and participle. On our blog has articles on each of these impersonal forms of the verb. And this article discusses the infinitive in English.
The functions of the infinitive verb in the English language: the example sentences
As already mentioned, the infinitive of the verb in the English language — it is non-personal form of the verb that expresses action. The infinitive form of the verb is the first and it is this form of each verb is presented in the dictionary. The hallmark of this form of the verb is the presence of particles to (to run — run, to cook — cook). Without this particle, we use the infinitive after modal verbs (except ought to); verbs shall / will; verbs sensory perception (like feel — to feel, see — to see, hear — hear, etc.); verbs let (permit), have (to have), make (make); After expression had better (better) and would rather (it would be better).
We shall visit you tomorrow. — We will see you tomorrow.
He must reread this book. — He should read this book.
I heard her sing. — I heard her sing.
Let him behave the way he wants. — Let it behaves the way he wants. (Allowing him to ….)
I would rather go to the cinema. — I’d rather go to the cinema.
The following forms of the infinitive in the English language (for example, the verb to ask — ask):
- Indefinite Active Infinitive (undefined in the active voice) — to ask.
- Indefinite Passive Infinitive (undefined in the passive voice pledge) — to be asked.
- Continuous Infinitive (long) — to be asking.
- Perfect Infinitive (perfect) — to have asked.
- Perfect Passive Infinitive (perfect in the passive voice) — to have been asked.
- Perfect Continuous Infinitive (perfect long) — to have been asking.
Now let’s look at the functions of the infinitive in English on the example sentences.
Infinitive in the active voice refers to the action that the subject and in the passive voice — an action directed to the person subject to express:
I like to teach. — I love to teach (someone).
I like to be taught. — I like it when I teach (anything).
Infinitive indefinite does not specify the process flow of action and a long duration emphasizes the infinitive:
He likes to read magazines. — He likes to read magazines.
He must be still reading this magazine. — I think he is still reading this magazine.
Imperfect infinitive determines the action that occurs simultaneously with the action of the predicate (or following him). But the perfect infinitive in English describes the action that preceded the action expressed by the predicate:
I am sorry to have told him this secret. — I wish I had told him the secret.
As we remember, the infinitive can be not only a part of the predicate (What I want is to be left alone — All I want is to be alone), but also to fulfill the role of other parts of the sentence. It may be:
Subject: To walk late at night was very dangerous. — Walking late at night it was very dangerous.
Addendum: She was glad to have moved to another city. — She was glad that moved to another city.
Definition: Who will be the first to start working here? — Who was the first begin to work here?
Fact: You are too young to use make-up. — You’re too young to use makeup.
Here are all the necessary information concerning the right use of the infinitive in English. However, in this language there are special infinitive phrases which are used quite often, and that should be explored.