Friday, December 17, 2010

Infinitives - Notes on Usage


Adapted from English Grammar Online 4U.

There are certain words in English that are usually followed by an infinitive or gerund. If you are not sure whether to use the infinitive or gerund, check out our lists or look the words up in a dictionary.


Certain words are followed by an infinite verb with or without to.

- As the subject of a clause.
  • Followed by the verbs be, seem or appear.
  • To know you is to love you.
- After certain expressions (without to).
  • After had better, would rather, would sooner, why not, why should I/you/... not.
  • "Why not go to the cinema?" "I think I would rather stay home tonight."
- After certain verbs (without to).
  • can, do, let, may, must, should, will, help.
  • I can swim.
- After certain verbs (with to).
  • With verbs such as afford, agree, aim, appear, arrange, attempt, be determined, beg, care, choose, claim, condescend, consent, decide, demand, deserve, determine, expect, fail, guarantee, happen, have, help, hope, manage, need, offer, plan, pretend, promise, refuse, seem, stop, want, would hate, would like.
  • She wants to see you before you leave the office.
- After certain verbs with interrogatives (infinitive constructions).
  • After the verbs ask, advise (+ Object), consider, decide, explain, find out, forget, know, learn, remember, see, show, teach, tell (+ object), understand wonder.
  • They don't know how to swim.
 - After certain verbs with objects (without to).
  • After make and let.
  • He made her finish the lesson before she could leave.
- After certain verbs with objects (with to),
  • After the verbs advise, allow, ask, beg, cause, enable, encourage, expect, forbid, force, get, help, invite, mean, order, permit, persuade, recommend, remind, teach, tell, want, warn, would hate, would like, would love, would prefer.
  • They wanted us to stay, but it was already too late.
 - After certain adjectives and their comparison.
  • After these adjectives: amazed, amazing, angry, astonished, astonishing, awkward, brave, careless, clever, cowardly, crazy, , delighted, difficult, disappointed, disgusted, easy, extraordinary, funny, generous, glad, happy, hard, honest, horrified, impossible, kind, nice, odd, pointless, relieved, ridiculous, rude, sad, selfish, silly, sorry, strange, stupid, surprised, wicked, wise.
  • It was impossible to go back.
 - After nouns deriving from the verbs mentioned above.
  • After the nouns effort, agreement, aim, appearance, arrangement, attempt, choice, claim, decision, determination, expectation, failure, guarantee, hesitation, hope, longing, need, neglect, offer, plan, preparation, procedure, promise, refusal, resolution, tendency, threat, trouble, try
  •  We couldn't turn down the offer to stay at his beach house that weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment