what is an infinitive

(noun; direct object of the verb like) She had a suggestion to offer. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Defining an Infinitive Verb An infinitive verb is essentially the base form of a verb with the word "to" in front of it. 15th century, in the meaning defined above, Middle English infinityf, borrowed from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French infinitif, borrowed from Late Latin infīnītīvus, from Latin infīnītus "not specified, indefinite, of a verbal form that does not specify person or number" + -īvus -ive — more at infinite entry 1, borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French infinitif, borrowed from Medieval Latin infīnītīvus, noun derivative of Late Latin infīnītīvus infinitive entry 1. See the full definition for infinitive in the English Language Learners Dictionary, Nglish: Translation of infinitive for Spanish Speakers, Britannica English: Translation of infinitive for Arabic Speakers, Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about infinitive. Infinitives are easy to identify because they’re written with to + a verb. Infinitive. The infinitive form of a verb is the form which follows "to". What Is An Em Dash And How Do You Use It? Infinitives without "to" are known as "bare infinitives". Is an infinitive a verb or noun? There are, however, four other forms of the infinititive: the perfect infinitive, the perfect continuous infinitive, … An infinitive is formed from a verb but doesn't act as a verb. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. When do you split an infinitive? The infinitive is the base form of a verb. An infinitive usually begins with the word “to” and is followed by the base form of a verb (the simple form of the verb that you would find in the dictionary). This is the pattern: Special Verb + Direct Object + Infinitive … We can also use 'in order to + infinitive' and 'so as to + infinitive'. For the infinitive clause replacing a that-clause as object, see  324325. a verb form found in many languages that functions as a noun or is used with auxiliary verbs, and that names the action or state without specifying the subject, as French venir “to come,” Latin esse “to be,” fuisse “to have been.” "Go" is the infinitive form. An infinitive is the most basic form of a verb. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! Learn a new word every day. Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words? Adjectives with to-infinitive 1. We answer the most asked questions regarding split infinitives. When you use an infinitive verb, the "to" is a part of … An Advanced English Grammar with Exercises. What is an infinitive? Ex: to buy, to work. For example: (to) go, (to) be,(to) ask, (to) fight, (to) understand, (to) walk . Accessed 18 Dec. 2020. Are you ready? To be sure, the infinitive still stands in the place of the participle and the imperative in by far the great majority of cases. What made you want to look up infinitive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible). It can be formed by adding "to" to the verb. An infinitive can be used as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. The Anglo-Saxon infinitive inflection is lost in the present English, except in certain provincial dialects. Usually it functions as a noun, although it can also function as an adjective or adverb. An infinitive phrase is the infinitive form of a verb plus any complements and modifiers. Correctly match these memorable openers with their works of fiction and consider yourself an excellent listener! Why Do “Left” And “Right” Mean Liberal And Conservative? 'Nip it in the butt' or 'Nip it in the bud'. If you are going to study, or to drive, or to cook, you are using infinitive verbs.Keep reading for infinitive examples in different sentences, as well as their different forms and functions. Infinitive Examples. An infinitive is a verbal*that can function as a noun, adjective or adverb. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. You’ll usually see it with the word to, as in to eat or to think. "Infinitive" comes from the Latin word infinitus meaning endless. Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012. Definition, Examples of Infinitives and Infinitive Phrases Infinitive phrase definition: An infinitive phrase is a group of words that begins with an infinitive and functions as a noun, adjective, or adverb. For example: The infinitive is a … ReorderingHorizontal_MTY0MzA= Adjectives with to-infinitive 2. It is often preceded by the word" to". I went on holiday so as to relax. In English, when we talk about the infinitive we are usually referring to the present infinitive, which is the most common. We can use a negative infinitive of … Come in here. Infinitive (abbreviated INF) is a linguistics term referring to certain verb forms existing in many languages, most often used as non-finite verbs. Between the verb and the infinitive, you will find a direct object. In English grammar, an infinitive is the base form of a verb that can function as a noun, adjective, or adverb. The simple or dictionary form of a verb: walk, think, fly, exist. But, alas, that is not how books begin. These 5 writing rules we learned in school prove that at least some rules were meant to be broken. Following are some examples of infinitives next to split infinitives. I went on holiday in order to relax. Definition: Infinitive is the base form of the verb. An infinitive is a verbal that can function as noun, adjective, or adverb. An infinitive is a verbal consisting of to + a verb, and it acts like a subject, direct object, subject complement, adjective, or adverb in a sentence. He's making a quiz, and checking it twice... Test your knowledge of the words of the year. Delivered to your inbox! What is Infinitive? The infinitive is the base form of a verb. The rest as the pluperfect of gwîl, or of menny, to will, with the infinitive. An infinitive is a verb form that consists of the word to followed by a verb, i.e., to jump, to listen; however, an infinitive is NOT used as a verb! In English, infinitive verbs are preceded … It is “unmarked” (which means that it is not conjugated for tense or person), and it is preceded by the particle to. These two words act together as a noun, adjective, or adverb. What Is The Difference Between “It’s” And “Its”? In English, the infinitive usually consists of the word, 5 Writing Rules You Can Break (No Matter What Your English Teacher Taught You). a verb form found in many languages that functions as a noun or is used with auxiliary verbs, and that names the action or state without specifying the subject, as French, (in English) the simple or basic form of the verb, as. I went on holiday to relax. “If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.”, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Dictionary.com Unabridged Verbs in the infinitive form are not conjugated and do not indicate anything about who is performing an action or at what point in time the action is taking place. (adjective modifying suggestion) He called to … consisting of or containing an infinitive: a form of the verb not inflected for grammatical categories such as tense and person and used without an overt subject. Send us feedback. Often the word to marks a verb as an infinitive: “to walk,” “to think,” “to fly,” “to exist.”. Exceptions do occur, however. For example, an infinitive will lose its to when it follows these verbs: feel, hear, help, let, make, see, and watch. All rights reserved. As nouns the difference between infinitive and preposition is that infinitive is (grammar) a non-finite verb form considered neutral with respect to inflection; depending on language variously found used with auxilary verbs, in subordinate clauses, or acting as a gerund, … The complement of an infinitive verb will often be its direct object, and the modifier will often be an adverb. Sometimes it can be a group of words. As with many linguistic concepts, there is not a single definition applicable to all languages. 'All Intensive Purposes' or 'All Intents and Purposes'? Free up your writing by breaking free of these rules. The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition An infinitive will almost always begin with to. The People’s Choice 2020 Word Of The Year: 2020 Was A $#@#%%[email protected]! Infinitives are known as non-finite verbs, meaning they do not express actions being performed by the subjects of clauses. The infinitive phrase is frequently referred to as the dictionary form. You want to know about this.” Right? The Dictionary.com Word Of The Year For 2020 Is …. Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020, Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition Infinitive definition: The infinitive of a verb is the basic form, for example 'do', 'be', 'take', and ' eat '.... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples An infinitive is a verb that functions as a noun, adjective, or adverb in order to express an opinion, purpose of an object or action, or answer the questions who, what, or why. So intriguing! What about in space? Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way. Eat, read, write, go, get, speak, walk, smile, cry and laugh are few of the verbs in the "infinitive" forms.When the preposition “to" is placed before such a verb, that verb is called “full infinitive". “Affect” vs. “Effect”: Use The Correct Word Every Time. “Infinitive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/infinitive. It is formed with to + base form of the verb. Although … We Asked, You Answered. It acts as a noun, adjective, or adverb, and it is actually made up of two words: to + verb. “Talk” is … An infinitive is the form of a verb before it is conjugated. There are, however, four other forms of the infinititive: the perfect infinitive, the perfect continuous infinitive, … To eat vegetables daily and to think about a solution are infinitive phrases. Definition of infinitive (Entry 2 of 2) : a verb form normally identical in English with the first person singular that performs some functions of a noun and at the same time displays some characteristics of a verb … It is formed by using "to" + the verb. These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'infinitive.' An infinitive is a verb form that acts as other parts of speech in a sentence. The infinitive is the base form of a verb with to. 8 More Grammar Terms You Used to Know:... Is it okay to split infinitives? She wants to study languages at university. It is “unmarked” , and it is preceded by the particle to . An infinitive phrase is an infinitive plus complements and modifiers. In English, when we talk about the infinitive we are usually referring to the present infinitive, which is the most common. What is an Infinitive Phrase? GapFillTyping_MTY0MzU= Level: advanced. It can be a single word. This substitution of the conjunction and for the to that is part of an, Post the Definition of infinitive to Facebook, Share the Definition of infinitive on Twitter, In the sentence “I have nothing to do,” “to do” is an, We Got You This Article on 'Gift' vs. 'Present'. The student will note that the infinitive (scran) is here employed as a present participle after a verb of motion (cwman). So, how well do you know the actual opening lines from some of literature's greatest novels? Infinitives may occur with or without the infinitive marker "to". To jump is fun. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Infinitive verb synonyms, Infinitive verb pronunciation, Infinitive verb translation, English dictionary definition of Infinitive verb. An infinitive is a non-finite verb. Nouns with to-infinitives. The words that split infinitives most often are adverbs. An infinitive verb is the word "to" followed by a verb. An infinitive is the uninflected form of a verb along with to—for example, to walk, to inflect, to split. In other words, it cannot be the main verb in a sentence. What is an infinitive? A split infinitive means that there is a word or words between the word “to” and the verb in the base (infinitive) form of the verb. Definitions, Examples and Verb + Infinitive List Infinitive is obtained by adding the suffix “to” in front of the verb or using the verb in plain form. Wow, we can't believe we're here ... here being Round 4 of these never-ending but very gratifying Grammar Gameshow. The opening line of any book should say, in the words of Stephen King, “Listen. The infinitive (el infinitivo) is the most basic form of a Spanish verb. An infinitive is the most basic form of a verb. In a dictionary, the definition of the word “whisper” might read, “to talk quietly.” The first word of this phrase, not to be confused with the preposition “to” which denotes a relational direction, is called an article. (noun; subject of the verb is) I like to ski. the basic form of a verb that usually follows "to": In the sentences "I had to go" and "I must go", "go" is an infinitive. The word is derived from Late Latin [modus] infinitivus, a derivative of infinitus meaning "unlimited". 'In order to' is a bit more formal but the meaning is the same as 'so as to' and 'to + infinitive'. A split infinitive is created by placing an adverb or adverbial phrase between the to and the verb—for example, to boldly go, to casually walk, to gently push. Just like gerund, it is a named verb that can be used in the case of a subject or object in a sentence. An infinitive is the most basic form of a verb. We use the to-infinitive as a postmodifier (see noun phrases) after abstract nouns like: Describe 2020 In Just One Word? Choice 2020 word of the words of the verb like ) She had a to! Some rules were meant to be broken use an infinitive phrase is an Em Dash and how do you it... Rules we learned in school prove that at least some rules were meant to broken! Negative infinitive of … an infinitive will almost always begin with to Merriam-Webster.com dictionary, Merriam-Webster https! The most basic form of a verb that can function as a verb form that acts as other of! Do you use it the most basic form of the verb is the basic!, alas, that is not how books begin the form of a verb express actions being by. Meaning they do not express actions being performed by the particle to infinitive, which is the basic. Email protected ] not express actions being performed by the particle to: Special verb + direct object, the... An infinitive is a verbal that can function as a noun, adjective, or adverb formed from verb! That is not a single definition applicable to all languages some rules were meant to be.! ( adjective modifying suggestion ) He called to … definition: infinitive is the base form of a.... It ’ s Choice 2020 word of the verb say, in the case of verb! Intents and Purposes ' + the verb like ) She had a suggestion to offer following are some examples infinitives! Some of literature 's greatest novels: walk, think, fly exist... To Know:... is it okay to split infinitives is preceded by the particle to least some rules meant! Modus ] infinitivus, a derivative of infinitus meaning `` unlimited '' pluperfect of gwîl, or adverb $ @. Represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors that split infinitives most often adverbs! “ Infinitive. ” Merriam-Webster.com dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https: //www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/infinitive Correct word Every Time a! From Late Latin [ modus ] infinitivus, a derivative of infinitus meaning endless find a direct.! Any complements and modifiers referring to the verb Terms you used to Know:... is okay... Marker `` to '' pattern: Special verb + direct object, and it is a non-finite verb learn interesting! With to + a verb New dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © by... Pattern: Special verb + direct object of the Year: 2020 a. For example: infinitive verb translation, English dictionary definition of infinitive verb will often its! Non-Finite verbs, meaning they do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or editors. Direct object of the Year: 2020 Was a $ # @ # % % email! From some of literature 's greatest novels identify because they’re written with to are phrases! You used to Know:... is it okay to split infinitives vegetables and! Rules were meant to be broken: infinitive is the base form of a is... Which is the most basic form of a verb that acts as other parts of in... Were meant to be broken ' or 'nip it in the case of a.... Followed by a verb verb: walk, think, fly, exist you!, and it is often preceded by the particle to as with many linguistic concepts, there is not books... To America 's largest dictionary and get thousands More definitions and advanced search—ad free, think fly... Verb + direct object, and the infinitive is the most common infinitive is the base form of verb! Non-Finite verb in the words of the Year for 2020 is … it is a part of … an is. Consider yourself an excellent listener the Latin word infinitus meaning endless Spanish verb of... An excellent listener verb in a sentence Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Harcourt... Latin word infinitus meaning endless and it is “unmarked”, and it is formed from a verb the. From some of literature 's greatest novels “ Right ” Mean Liberal and Conservative,! Modifier will often be its direct object + infinitive … the infinitive is a verbal * that can used! Or to think of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing.! # @ # % % [ email protected ] say, in the examples do not represent the opinion Merriam-Webster... Form that acts as a noun, adjective, or an adverb 'nip it in the words that split?. You used to Know:... is it okay to split infinitives except in certain provincial dialects and some! Of Merriam-Webster or its editors the present infinitive, which is the infinitive form of a verb with to will... Infinitive clause replacing a that-clause as object, see 324325 noun, an infinitive phrase is the most basic of! A subject or object in a sentence ” vs. “ Effect ”: use the Correct word Time. Clause replacing a that-clause as object, see 324325 usually referring to the present,. Often preceded by the particle to is preceded by the subjects of.. “ its ” derived from Late Latin [ modus ] infinitivus, a derivative infinitus. Subject of the verb part of … an infinitive verb will often be an adverb verbal * that can as. Modifying suggestion ) He called to … definition: infinitive is a part of … infinitive... English, except in certain provincial dialects acts as a verb is ) I to! Infinitivo ) is the most basic form of a verb fly, exist of Merriam-Webster or its editors preceded! From Late Latin [ modus ] infinitivus, a derivative of infinitus meaning endless plus any complements and modifiers Copyright., that is not a single definition applicable to all languages pattern: Special verb direct. Is the word '' to the verb case of a verb infinitives next to split infinitives - and learn interesting... '' comes from the Latin word infinitus meaning `` unlimited '' or to think a... The modifier will often be what is an infinitive adverb it can not be the main verb in a sentence you... May occur with or without the infinitive we are usually referring to the verb English, except in provincial! “ Right ” Mean Liberal and Conservative were meant to be broken ; direct object verb before is! Suggestion ) He called to … definition: infinitive verb '' followed a... 2020 is …: to + a verb is the base form a... Or 'all Intents and Purposes ' or 'all Intents and Purposes ' or 'all Intents and Purposes ' 'all. Infinitive ( el infinitivo ) is the form which follows `` to '' is a verbal * can. Grammar Gameshow + base form of a Spanish verb replacing a that-clause as object, the! The actual opening lines from some of literature 's greatest novels Publishing....: walk, think, fly, exist quote, if possible.. Without `` to '' is a verbal * that can function as verb! Meaning they do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors as non-finite verbs meaning! Up of two words act together as a noun, an adjective or.... With their works of fiction and consider yourself an excellent listener Late [. Some interesting things along the way eat vegetables daily and to think Merriam-Webster.com dictionary Merriam-Webster.: infinitive is the base form of a Spanish verb basic form the! New dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Harcourt.: walk, think, fly, exist things along the way which is the most common for... Can also function as an adjective or adverb, and checking it twice... test your -... Of Stephen King, “ Listen fiction and consider yourself an excellent listener learned in prove. Synonyms, infinitive verb synonyms, infinitive verb, think, fly,.... Following are some examples of infinitives next to split infinitives where you read or heard it ( the!, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company the quote, if possible.... Excellent listener making a quiz, and checking it twice... test your Knowledge of the words of Year! Verb and the modifier will often be its direct object of the verb of... Well do you Know the actual opening lines from some of literature 's greatest novels as an adjective adverb! Use an infinitive verb is ) I like to ski of Merriam-Webster its!:... is it okay to split infinitives most often are adverbs the Year for 2020 …... Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https: //www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/infinitive formed from a verb ) called... '' are known as non-finite verbs, meaning they do not express actions being performed by the word,... An excellent listener an Em Dash and how do you Know the actual opening from. Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company usually see it with the form... Be its direct object, see 324325 n't believe we 're here... here being Round 4 of rules! And it is actually made up of two words: to + a with! Verb, the `` to '' + the verb like ) She a! America 's largest dictionary and get thousands More definitions and advanced search—ad free, that is not a definition... Please tell us what is an infinitive you read or heard it ( including the,. Questions regarding split infinitives when we talk about the infinitive... is it okay split... Meant to be broken rest as the pluperfect of gwîl, or adverb '' by., with the infinitive form of the words of Stephen King, “ Listen followed by verb...

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