What Is an Infinitive Phrase? (via Examples)

An infinitive phrase is the infinitive form of a verb plus any type of complements and also modifiers.

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The enhance of an infinitive verb will certainly regularly be its direct object, and the modifier will frequently be an adverb. For example:He likes to knead the dough gradually.(The infinitive verb is "to knead." The match is its direct object ("the dough"). The modifier is the adverb ("slowly"). They all consist of the infinitive expression (the shaded text).)

Instances of Infinitive Phrases

Here are some examples of infinitive phrases (shaded):He assisted to build the roof.The officer went back to assist the examiners.Let me show you the best means to fit a door conveniently.She tells you to dance like no one is watching.

A Video Summary

Here is a brief video summarizing this lesboy on infinitive phrases.

The Function of Infinitive Phrases

An infinitive expression deserve to play the role of a noun, an adjective, or an adverb.
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Infinitive Phrases Used As Nouns

Here are some infinitive phrases supplied as nouns.Like all nouns, an infinitive phrase can function as a topic, a things, or a match within a sentence.Here are two examples of infinitive phrases as subjects
: To have actually a large dream requires the exact same effort as having actually a little dream. Dream big! (Brazilian-Swiss businessguy Jorge Paulo Lemann)(The infinitive phrase is the subject of "requires.")To develop an airplane is nopoint. To develop one is somepoint, but to fly is everything. (Aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal)(This quotation has 3 infinitive phrases functioning as nouns. They are all the subjects of "is.") Here are 2 examples of infinitive phrases as objects: He aided to build the roof.(The infinitive expression is the straight object of "aided.")Nobody wants to hear long speeches. (Guitarist Rick Nielsen)(The infinitive phrase is the straight object of "wants.")Here are 2 examples of infinitive phrases as complements: The just solution was to reduced the requirements.(The infinitive phrase is a subject match. It completes the linking verb "was.") Our aim is to assist the clients assist themselves, not to tell them what to think. (Businessguy Peter Hargreaves)(The infinitive expression is a subject enhance. It completes the linking verb "is.")

Infinitive Phrases Used As Adjectives

Here are some infinitive phrases supplied as adjectives.When an infinitive phrase functions an adjective, it defines a noun or a pronoun.Let him present you the best means to paint the door.(The infinitive expression defines the noun "way.")I love crime publications. I need one to check out on holiday.(The infinitive expression describes the pronoun "one.")The initially action in forgiveness is the willingness to foroffer those that have wronged us. (Author Marianne Williamson)(The infinitive phrase defines the noun "willingness.")

Infinitive Phrases Used As Adverbs

Here are some infinitive phrases supplied as adverbs.Most infinitive phrases that function as adverbs tell us why the activity emerged. Most infinitive phrases that attribute as adverbs might start via "in order to" (as opposed to just "to.") The officer returned to assist the inspectors(The infinitive expression modifies the verb "went back." It tells us why.)He opened package to reveal a huge bullfrog.(The infinitive expression modifies the verb "opened." It tells us why.)God loves to aid him who strives to assist himself. (Greek tragedian Aeschylus)(It have the right to acquire facility. The infinitive phrase "to assist him who strives to assist himself" is functioning as a noun (i.e., it is the direct object of "loves"). That infinitive expression consists of the infinitive expression "to assist himself," which is functioning as an adverb editing and enhancing "strives.")

Infinitive Phrases via Bare Infinitives (When Not Preyielded by "To")

Most infinitives are preyielded by "to," but after specific verbs, the "to" is dropped. This happens when an infinitive follows "can," "can," "might," "could," "should," "shall," "must," "will," or "would" (i.e., a modal auxiliary verb).In these examples, the infinitive phrases have a bare infinitive (in bold):He have to go
residence instantly.They can finish the task by Wednesday.Bare infinitives also follow other verbs. The major ones are "feel," "hear," "assist," "let," "make," "check out," and "watch." This time, tbelow is a direct object connected. For example:Dawn assisted her friend bake his mother a cake.(The "special" verb is "assisted." The straight object is "her friend." In the infinitive expression, the bare infinitive is "bake." Its direct object is "a cake." This time tright here is an instraight object ("his mother") in the infinitive phrase as well.)I watched them sweep the road as quick as they might.(The "special" verb is "watched." The straight object is "them." In the infinitive expression, the bare infinitive is "move." Its direct object is "the road." The expression "as fast as they could" is an adverbial clausage.)

Why Should I Care about Infinitive Phrases?

Native English speakers can use infinitive phrases without as well many snags. For those finding out or teaching English though, life is a little trickier bereason deliberate consideration need to be given to just how infinitive phrases feature (i.e., as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs) before they deserve to be used or taught. The various other problem for language learners or teachers is understanding when to drop the "to" of an infinitive verb (i.e., once to usage a "bare infinitive"). This is covered in even more information on the infinitive verbs page.

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Here are two remarkable points pertained to infinitive phrases for native English speakers.

(Point 1) You have the right to generally conserve 2 words by deleting "in order" in a phrase that starts "in order to."

If you should minimize your word count, you deserve to typically relocation "in order to" via simply "to" without any type of loss of interpretation. For example: You require a stubborn idea in an principle in order to check out it realised. (Inventor James Dyson)In order To be a diplomat, one should stop a variety of languperiods, including doubletalk. (Author Carey Williams)Bear in mind though that using "in order to" has an advantage: it provides it clear that the text that follows is the reason for performing the activity. (It"s like making use of "so regarding.")Read more around deleting "in order" on the "infinitives" page (check out Reason 3).

(Point 2) Split infinitives are okay.

It is not inexplicable for an infinitive phrase to function a split infinitive. (A split infinitive occurs once a writer splits the complete infinitive through an adverb, e.g., "to really recognize," "to much better understand also," "to covertly watch".)Using a break-up infinitive is frequently the the majority of succinct and natural-sounding means to write. However, there"s an issue with the separation infinitive: some people regard it as non-typical English or also a grammar mistake. Let"s be clear. Split infinitives are perfectly acceptable.That"s not the end of the worry though. Can you take the risk that some of your readers can take into consideration you sloppy for making use of a break-up infinitive? Here"s some advice: Have a quick go at rewording your sentence to stop the split infinitive, yet if your brand-new sentence doesn"t read too (and also it most likely won"t), simply go via the break-up infinitive.In these examples, the break-up infinitives are in bold and the infinitive phrases are shaded:I must accurately present
the data.I need to current the information accurately.(Both of these are okay, however the second variation (the reworded version) is safer. It does not feature a break-up infinitive that might annoy some of your readers, and also it sounds okay.) I need to more than triple my revenue.I need even more than to triple my earnings.
(sounds awkward)(The optimal one sounds fine, however the second one does not. Avoiding the break-up infinitive is also difficult through this instance. Go via the peak one.)