THE INFINITIVE: FORM

1. Form

The infinitive is the base form of a verb. It may be preceded by ‘to’ (the to-infinitive) or stand alone (the base or zero infinitive).

2. Infinitive with or without ‘to’

The to-infinitive is used:

  • after certain verbs. e.g. want, wish, agree, fail, mean, decide, learn
  • after the auxiliaries to be toto have to, and ought to
  • in the pattern ‘it is + adjective + to-infinitive’

Examples

with ‘to’

  • The elephant decided to marry the mouse
  • The mouse agreed to marry the elephant
  • You will have to ask her
  • You are to leave immediately
  • He ought to relax
  • She has to go to Berlin next week
  • It’s easy to speak English
  • It is hard to change jobs after twenty years
  • It’s stupid to believe everything you hear

without ‘to’

  • would rather visit Rome.
  • She would rather live in Italy.
  • Would you rather eat steak or fish?
  • He would rather work in a bank.
  • I’d rather be a forest than a tree.

Quick Courses & Quizzes: For English4Today members.
Non-members: STANDARD MEMBERSHIP is free.

REGISTER NOW


TRY THE RELATED QUICK COURSES

No items found

Close Menu
×
×

Basket

Learn English online with English4Today

English4.today STANDARD MEMBERSHIP is free and unlocks heaps of great English learning content for you!

TRY IT... WE ARE SURE IT WILL REALLY IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH.