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Infinitive Verbal: What Is It?

Verbs come in many forms as we conjugate them and put them in the correct tense

Infinitives are an example of a verb form that isn’t used as a verb

You might be familiar with the concept of infinitives if you’ve studied a language other than

They don’t get as much attention in English grammar lessons, but you’re actually using them

We can’t fully understand infinitive verbals without knowing what a verbal is

When a verb form acts as a different part of speech, we call this a verbal

There are three types of verbals: participles, gerunds, and infinitives

Participles act as adjectives, and might use a past or present form

They’re more complicated than other verbals, so let’s start by defining them

It looks exactly the same as the simple present form of a verb

For example, some infinitive verbs include dance, climb, cook, run, and play

Conjugation is the act of changing a verb to fit the subject, tense, or mood

Often, an infinitive also has the word "to" in front of it, as in to dance, to

Infinitives are a type of non-finite verb, which means it will never be the main verb of

Finite verbs are verbs that can be conjugated and used as the main verb

Infinitive verbals function as other parts of speech instead of verbs

Without the "to" in front, infinitive verbs look just like the simple present tense of a verb,

The infinitive "to cook" acts like a noun because it is the answer to "what do you

I’ve always found it easier to understand infinitives in the context of learning other languages

If you have ever studied another language, the verbs you learn how to conjugate are infinitives

Neither are preceded by a subject; they follow other verbs that are conjugated

However, when you are looking up a verb in a dictionary, you are looking up an infinitive

We use infinitive phrases all the time, even if we aren’t aware of it!

There are several ways you can identify an infinitive verb in a sentence

A quick way to identify an infinitive is by looking for the word "to" in front of

In other words, if you replace it with one of those parts of speech, will the sentence

Bare infinitives can make identifying infinitives more complicated

A bare infinitive is an infinitive verb that does not use "to

These verbs include words like might, may, could, can, should, and will, to name a few

Sometimes, a bare infinitive follows another type of special verb

These other verbs are often sensing verbs, and they require a direct object before the infinitive

The special verb is in bold, the direct object is underlined, and the infinitive is highlighted

These special verbs can be conjugated, but it will still follow the format of special verb + direct

But what does this look like? Let's cover each of these in more detail

But infinitives can also act like the direct object after certain verbs

They can even act as a subject! Here are some examples where infinitives are functioning as nouns:

" We could even say, "Marriage was the only thing Kitty Bennet wanted

In the first example, the infinitive "to drink" modifies the noun "milk

Infinitives are often used as adverbs to explain how, when, why, how much, or where

In other words, the infinitive as an adverb provides more information about the verb it modifies

Here are some examples of infinitives that function as adverbs:

In the second example, the infinitive "to receive" is explaining why the man crashed his car

The same is true in the third sentence: "to show" modifies the verb "came

An infinitive phrase is a phrase that includes an infinitive, along with any other complements or modifiers

Be careful not to confuse an infinitive phrase with an adverbial phrase

When you insert a word or words between the "to" and the infinitive form of a verb,

Split infinitives are always a hotly debated topic in grammar

In prescriptive grammar, most consider the split infinitive to be grammatically incorrect

One of the most famous examples of a split infinitive comes from Star Trek

To be grammatically correct according to prescriptive grammar rules, the quote should be, "to go boldly where

If you split an infinitive, ProWritingAid can help point it out to you so you can decide

Otherwise, try to rearrange the infinitive phrase to remove the split infinitive

If it sounds incorrect or loses emphasis, leave the split infinitive

In this case, leaving the split infinitive "to more than double" is the better option

But if you are writing something very formal or technical, it’s probably best to remove the

Infinitives are one of those grammar elements that we use all the time but may not be