Infinitive Verbs in English

reviewed byKateryna Protsenko / more about Editorial Process

Welcome to your language journey!

  • - 01

    Learn through the article!

  • - 02

    Pass a language test

  • - 03

    Check the results

  • - 04

    Subscribe to reach fluency!

girl point on notes

This reference will provide you with a comprehensive guide to infinitive verbs in English. They can help improve writing and understanding of language. Infinitives are common in all sorts of sentences - acting as nouns, adjectives, and adverbs.

What is an infinitive verb?

Infinitive verbs are a type of verb that can be used as the main verb in a sentence. An infinitive verb is made up of two parts: the word “to” and the base verb. The base verb is the main verb in the sentence. For example, in the sentence “I want to go,” “go” is the base verb and “to go” is the infinitive verb.

Infinitive verbs are sometimes referred to as “bare infinitives” because they are not conjugated. That is, they are not changed to indicate a particular tense or person. For example, the infinitive verb “to go” does not change to “goes” or “went” like other verbs do.

Infinitive verbs can also be used as adjectives or nouns. When used as an adjective, the infinitive verb is preceded by the word “to” and followed by a noun. For example, in the sentence “I want to find a job,” “to find” is an infinitive verb used as an adjective. When used as a noun, the infinitive verb has no “to” and is followed by a noun. For example, in the sentence “Swimming is my favorite activity,” “swimming” is an infinitive verb used as a noun.

Why are infinitive verbs important?

Infinitive verbs are important because they are the most basic form of a verb. They are the form of the verb that is used in most dictionaries and grammar books. As such, they are the foundation of the English language and are essential for understanding and using verbs correctly.

Infinitive verbs are also important because they are used in many common expressions, such as “to be or not to be” and “to have and to hold.” They are also used in many idiomatic expressions, such as “to make a long story short” and “to beat around the bush.”

Infinitive verbs in English grammar

Infinitive verbs are an important part of English grammar. They are used in many ways, including as the main verb in a sentence, as an adjective, or as a noun.

Infinitive verbs are used as the main verb in a sentence when the subject of the sentence is not known or not specified. For example, in the sentence “I want to go,” “to go” is the infinitive verb used as the main verb.

Infinitive verbs are also helpful in the passive voice, in modal verbs, and in phrasal verbs.

In the passive voice, infinitives come together with the verb “to be” to form the past participle. For example, in the sentence “The house was built,” “built” is a past participle of the infinitive verb “to build.”

Modal verbs are auxiliary verbs that help express necessity, possibility, or permission. They are often followed by an infinitive verb. For example, in the sentence “I must go,” “must” is the modal verb and “go” is the infinitive verb.

Phrasal verbs are verbs that are made up of a verb and a particle (such as “up,” “down,” “in,” or “out”). They are often followed by an infinitive verb. For example, in the sentence “I picked up the book,” “picked up” is the phrasal verb and “the book” is the infinitive verb.

1

Types of infinitive verbs

Infinitive verbs can be divided into two types: regular infinitives and irregular infinitives.

Regular infinitive verbs are always conjugated in the same way. For example, the verb “to look” is conjugated as “looks,” “looked,” and “looking.”

Irregular infinitive verbs are verbs that are conjugated differently depending on the context. For example, “to be” is conjugated as “am,” “is,” “are,” “was,” “were,” and “been.”

Examples of infinitive verbs in sentences

Here are some examples of infinitive verbs used in sentences:

  • I want to go. (Infinitive verb used as the main verb)
  • I gave her permission to go. (Infinitive verb used with the modal verb “to give”)
  • I picked up the book. (Infinitive verb used with the phrasal verb “to pick up”)
  • To be or not to be. (Infinitive verb used in an idiom)

How to use infinitive verbs

When it's the main verb in a sentence, an infinitive is preceded by “to.” For example, in the sentence “I want to go,” “to go” is the infinitive verb used as the main verb.

When used as an adjective, an infinitive verb is preceded by the word “to” and followed by a noun. For example, in the sentence “I want to find a job,” “to find” is an infinitive verb used as an adjective.

When used as a noun, an infinitive verb has no “to” and is followed by a noun. For example, in the sentence “Swimming is my favorite activity,” “swimming” is an infinitive verb used as a noun.

List of infinitive verbs

Here is a list of common infinitive verbs in English:

  • To be
  • To have
  • To do
  • To go
  • To make
  • To take
  • To say
  • To see
  • To get
  • To give
  • To think
  • To know
  • To find
  • To tell
  • To ask
  • To use
  • To seem
  • To become
  • To put
  • To feel
  • To try
  • To work
  • To call
  • To play
  • To show
  • To change
  • To keep
  • To write


Infinitive Verbs in English 
 

Summary

Infinitive verbs can be divided into two types: regular infinitive verbs and irregular infinitive verbs. The best way to learn infinitive verbs is to practice using them in sentences and pay attention to the structure. With the right approach, you can master infinitive verbs in English and become a better speaker very quickly.

Make your next step to fluency with Promova

notepad
Infinitives Exercises
Get a review of your skills & track your progress as you improve!
10 min
10 questions
Take test
phones
Try Promova
Learn English with a handy app full of awesome lessons!
Verbs in EnglishParts of Speech in English List of Verbs in EnglishIrregular Verbs in EnglishHelping Verbs in EnglishModal Verbs in EnglishStative Verbs in English

Comments

0
PromovaOct 24th, 2023
Infinitive verbs are used in various ways. They can be used as the main verb in a sentence, such as "I like to dance." They can also follow certain verbs and expressions, like "I want to learn" or "He needs to go."
Patrick CoxOct 24th, 2023
how are infinitive verbs used in sentences