- To find fault with others is easy. (The infinitive is 'to find', and it functions as the subject.)
- Alone in her cubicle, all she wanted was to survive. (The infinitive is 'to survive,' and it functions as the direct object.)
Don't confuse infinitives with prepositional phrases that begin with to. Remember that a prepositional phrase always ends with a noun or a pronoun; an infinitive always ends with a verb.
An infinitive can be used as a phrase. An infinitive phrase, as with the other verbal phrases, contains modifiers that together act as a single part of speech. Following are some examples:
- The pilgrim's hope was to reach the shrine before sunset. (The infinitive phrase 'to reach the shrine before sunset' describes 'hope.')
- To make mistakes is easy.
- I like to have cornflakes for breakfast.
Sections in this article
Infinitives without to
Infinitive with its own subject
For-structures after adjectives
For-structures after verbs
For-structures: other uses
Infinitive clauses of purpose
Verbs that can be followed by infinitives
Adjectives that can be followed by infinitives
Nouns that can be followed by infinitives