A Verb that is not limited by the Tense of the verb or the person and number of the subject is called the Non-finite Verb, Verb Infinite, or Simply Infinitive.

Infinitives Examples: To err is human. This work is hard to do. We eat to live. I wish to go there.

In the above examples, to err, to do, to live, and to go are Infinitives.


Finite verb and Infinitive

Finite VerbInfinitive
The mangoes taste sweet.The mangoes are sweet to taste.
Bimal goes to school.Bimal likes to go to school.
He attended three meetings.He had to attend three meetings

Difference between Gerund and Infinitive

In Modern Grammar, the difference between the simple infinitive and Gerundial Infinitive is not stressed as both of them may be transformed into a Gerund.

To walk is a good exercise.Walking is a good exercise.
To find fault is easy.Finding fault is easy.
He likes to play cricket.He likes playing cricket.
Potato chips are good to eat.Potato chips are good for eating.

Use of an Infinitive

Use 1 – As the Subject of a Verb

To steal is a sin.To forgive is divine.
To help the poor is a virtue.To waste time in idle gossiping is foolish.

Use 2- As the Object of a Verb

I like to play games.They tried to win the medals.
I do not mean to read.She does not like to tell a lie.

Use 3 – As the Complement of a Verb

His habit is to rise early.The problem seems to be difficult.
I asked him to shut the door.The window is difficult to open.

Use 4 – As the Object of a Preposition

The patient was about to die.The runners are about to start.
He has no alternative but to go.The sun is about to set.

Use 5 – As the Adjective to Qualify a Noun

There is a lot of work to do.I have some letters to write.
He is a man to be loved.This is not the time to weep.

Use 6 – As an Adverb to Modify a Verb

We eat to live. (purpose)He came to get the job. (purpose)
She wept to see the mishap. (cause)I want to know the ground of his absence. (reason)

Use 7 – As an Adverb to Qualify an Adjective

English is difficult to learn.Sweets are good to eat.
The bird’s music is sweet to hear.You are kind to say so.

Use 8 – As a Part of a Noun Phrase

I told him what to do.He told me where to go.
Tell her when to start.They know where to buy the ticket.

Use 9 – After Preliminary ‘It’

It is wise to rise early.It is foolish to waste time.
It is harmful to smoke cigarettes.It is easy to say, but hard to do.

Use 10 – After ‘too’

I am too tired to work.She is too weak to walk.
He is too ill to sit in bed.The news is too good to be true.

Infinitives without ‘To’

Use 1 – ‘To’ is not used with some verbs such as let, see, hear, need, bid, help, make, dare, etc. in Active Voice.

Let him go now.They made us do it.
He bade me do it.We saw them read.
He helped me carry the load.I heard him cry.
You need not go there.She dare(s) not do it.

Use 2 – ‘To’ is not used after had better, can better, rather than, sooner than, but

You had better go there.She did nothing but weep.
He can better read than write.They would sooner die than suffer.

Infinitives Exercise

A. Fill in the blanks with the appropriate form of verbs from the list:

List: tell, rise, live, play, hear, do, err, dance, make, eat

  1. We eat………….
  2. I want a cake………..
  3. They like ……… story
  4. …………. is human.
  5. It is difficult ………….
  6. She likes ………………..
  7. Boys like …………… a noise.
  8. He did not want ………… a lie.
  9. ……………. in the morning is good for health
  10. ……………….. the sum is difficult.

B. Rewrite the following sentences using ‘too ……’ to’ :

  1. The tea is very hot. I cannot drink.
  2. The man is so weak that he cannot walk.
  3. The chair is so heavy that I cannot carry it.
  4. He is so honest that he will not accept any bribes.
  5. The news is so good that it cannot be true.
  6. The teacher is so gentle that he cannot control the class.
  7. You are very late. You cannot attend the class.
  8. I am so busy that I cannot accept any new job.
  9. He was so excited that he could not talk.
  10. She is very ill. She cannot sit.

You Asked, We Listened – List of All Grammar Chapters Updated 😍😍

Also, Read

Time and Tense

Time and Tense







Nominal Compound

Nominal Compound

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