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
|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.|
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
- We eat………….
- I want a cake………..
- They like ……… story
- …………. is human.
- It is difficult ………….
- She likes ………………..
- Boys like …………… a noise.
- He did not want ………… a lie.
- ……………. in the morning is good for health
- ……………….. the sum is difficult.
B. Rewrite the following sentences using ‘too ……’ to’ :
- The tea is very hot. I cannot drink.
- The man is so weak that he cannot walk.
- The chair is so heavy that I cannot carry it.
- He is so honest that he will not accept any bribes.
- The news is so good that it cannot be true.
- The teacher is so gentle that he cannot control the class.
- You are very late. You cannot attend the class.
- I am so busy that I cannot accept any new job.
- He was so excited that he could not talk.
- She is very ill. She cannot sit.
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