Infinitives with to
The marker to is normally used before infinitives. Note that this to is not a preposition; after the preposition to we use -ing forms.
The to-infinitive has many functions.
Infinitive as subject
An infinitive can be the subject of a sentence. This was fairly common in older English.
- To err is human, to forgive divine.
- To find fault with others is easy.
In modern English, this is unusual. We more often use it as a 'preparatory subject', and put the infinitive clause later.
- It is human to err.
- It is easy to find fault with others.
Infinitive as object
Many verbs can be followed by an infinitive clause in the place of the direct object.
- She wants some exercise. (noun object)
- She wants to dance. (infinitive object)
- I don't want to go to bed.
Infinitive clause as complement
An infinitive clause can be used after be as a subject complement.
- The best thing to do now is to vanish.
- You are to sit in that corner and keep quite.
- The main thing is to stay calm.
To-infinitives can be used as the object or complement of a verb, adjective or noun.
- You have the right to remain silent.
- She was anxious to contact her husband.
- That was a sight to see.
- Automation has come to stay.
- It is time to go.
Sections in this articleIntroduction To Adverbs
Formation of Adverbs
Adjectives or Adverbs - Confusing Cases
Adverbs of Certainty
Adverbs of Degree
Adverbs of Indefinite Frequency
Adverbs of Manner
Adverbs of Place
Adverbs of Time and Definite Frequency
Transformation of sentences
Common mistakes in the use of nouns
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 1
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 2
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 3
More CBSE English Grammar worksheetsPassive voice worksheet | Simple past tense
Passive voice worksheet | Past continuous tense
Passive voice worksheet | Simple future tense
Passive voice worksheet | Future perfect tense