Level: beginner

Verbs with to-infinitives

We use the to-infinitive after certain verbs (verbs followed by to-infinitive), particularly verbs of thinking and feeling:

choose
decide
expect
forget
hate
hope
intend
learn
like
love
mean
plan
prefer
remember
want
would like/love

They decided to start a business together.
Remember to turn the lights off.

and verbs of saying:

agree promise refuse threaten

We agreed to meet at the cinema.
Promise to call me every day.

Some verbs are followed by a direct object and then the to-infinitive:

advise
ask
encourage
expect
intend
invite
order
persuade
remind
tell
want
warn
would like/love
would prefer


 

He encouraged his friends to vote for him.
Remind me to give Julia a call.

Verbs with to-infinitive 1

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Verbs with to-infinitive 2

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Infinitive of purpose

We also use the to-infinitive to express purpose (to answer why?):

He bought some flowers to give to his wife.
He locked the door to keep everyone out.

We can also express purpose with in order to and in order not to:

We started our journey early in order to avoid the traffic.
They spoke quietly in order not to wake the children.

or so as to and so as not to:

We started our journey early so as to avoid the traffic.
They spoke quietly so as not to wake the children.

Infinitive of purpose 1

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Infinitive of purpose 2

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Level: intermediate

Adjectives with to-infinitives

We use the to-infinitive after certain adjectives:

able
unable
anxious
due
eager
keen
likely
unlikely
ready
prepared
willing
unwilling

Unfortunately, I was unable to work for over a week.
I'm really tired. I'm ready to go to bed.

Sometimes the to-infinitive gives a reason for the adjective:

amazed
delighted
disappointed
glad
happy
pleased
proud
relieved
sad
sorry
surprised
unhappy

We were happy to come to the end of our journey.
(= We were happy because we had come to the end of our journey.)
John was surprised to see me.
(= He was surprised because he saw me.)

We often use it + be followed by an adjective to give opinions:

clever
difficult
easy
foolish
hard
kind
nice
possible
impossible
right
wrong
silly

It's easy to play the piano, but it's very difficult to play well.
He spoke so quickly that it was impossible to understand him.

We use the to-infinitive with these adjectives to give opinions about people:

clever
foolish
kind
nice
right
wrong
silly
 

She was right to complain about that hotel.
You were clever to find the answer so quickly.

We use the preposition for to show who these adjectives refer to:

difficult easy hard possible impossible

It was difficult for us to hear what she was saying.
It is easy for you to criticise other people.

With the other adjectives, we use the preposition of:

It's kind of you to help.
It would be silly of him to spend all his money.

Adjectives with to-infinitive 1

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Adjectives with to-infinitive 2

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Level: advanced

Nouns with to-infinitives

We use the to-infinitive as a postmodifier (see noun phrases) after abstract nouns like:

ability
attempt
chance
desire
failure
need
opportunity
refusal
wish

They gave him an opportunity to escape.
He was annoyed by her refusal to answer.
I have no desire to be rich.
There is no need to shout.

We often use the to-infinitive as a postmodifier after indefinite pronouns:

When I am travelling I always take something to read.
I was all alone. I had no one to talk to.
There is hardly anything to do in most of these small towns.

Nouns with to-infinitive 1

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Nouns with to-infinitive 2

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Comments

are these sentences ' I am made to do' or you will make me to learn' correct

Hello paparna1986,

The first sentence may be correct but appears incomplete: something should probably follow 'do', depending on the context. 'I am made to do this', for example, or 'I am made to do this task, even though I do not want to.'

The second sentence is incorrect.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

is 'going' or any verb+ing a infinitive verb

Hello paparna1986,

The -ing form of the verb is a participle - the present participle. It is a different form to the infinitive. You can read about -ing forms on this page.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hello
lets suppose we have a sentence like 'I am going to school'
in that is the word 'going' a finite or infinitive verb or o which category does that word fall.
regards,
a

Hello paparna1986,

The progressive form is comprised of the verb 'be' and a present participle; the participle itself is a non-finite verb form.

Please note that the LearnEnglish site is aimed at helping language learners, not at providing linguistic analysis of this sort. We use metalanguage where it is helpful, but we do not teach metalanguage as such.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

why is 1st sentence infinitive i.e 'to make' incorrect and second one 'to hold' correct/

1.Because she knew many of the leaders of colonial America and the American Revolution personally, Mercy Otis Warren was continually at or near the center of political events from 1765 to 1789, a vantage point combining with her talent for writing to make her one of the most valuable historians of the era

2.Geologists have found that streams in the Karoo basin of South Africa changed suddenly at the end of the
Permian period 250 million years ago, from the meandering shape typically found in well-vegetated zones
to the braided pattern found in areas without deep-rooted vegetation to hold the soil together.

Hello sagacious25,

I'm afraid we don't comment on examples from other sites. These are examples which other sites have used for their own teaching purposes and if you have questions about them then you should ask the authors. Sometimes a teacher might use a given example to establish a point, and we do not know the context in which it is used or the purpose. We are responsible for the material which we put on our own site, and we're happy to comment on that or to provide explanations of the language more generally, but we don't get involved in discussion based on what other sites might state or claim.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there,

Could you please help me with this question:

Is it right to put "to" in these sentences?

1. Allow him come in
2. The money enabled her enter the city

Thanks

Hi rinnah,

Yes, 'to' is necessary in those sentences. The constructions are:

allow SB to [verb]

enable SB to [verb]

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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