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Thread: infinitive

  1. #1
    whl626 is offline Member
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    Default infinitive

    Just because people pin point ' infinitive ' in a sentence differently that makes me wonder if I understand ' infinitive ' properly.

    eg. I am going to make some more posts.

    The so-called ' infinitive ' in this sentence is " to make " or only " make " ???

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by whl626
    Just because people pin point ' infinitive ' in a sentence differently that makes me wonder if I understand ' infinitive ' properly.

    eg. I am going to make some more posts.

    The so-called ' infinitive ' in this sentence is " to make " or only " make " ???
    That is not an easy question to answer. The good news is that it doesn't matter much. The construction "going + to + base verb" is a bit idiomatic in English. As you know, it is used as a substitute for the future tense.

    Some would say that "going to" is a phrasal verb and "make" is a bare infinitive (without its own "to"). Others would say that "going" is part of the progressive form of "go" and "to make" is its infinitive complement. I prefer the second explanation, but both are defendable.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I agrre with Mike- it is a matter of personal preference and I share his.

  4. #4
    whl626 is offline Member
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    Ok don't use ' am going to ' :)

    How about the simple one like ' I want to buy a book ' ?

    the infinitive is ' buy ' or ' to buy ' then ?

  5. #5
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    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    There is nothing wrong with am going to. People use it all the time to express determination. Example:
    • I am going to buy a copy of that book tomorrow.
    I am going to expresses greater certainty than I plan to.


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    Default Re: infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by whl626
    Just because people pin point ' infinitive ' in a sentence differently that makes me wonder if I understand ' infinitive ' properly.

    eg. I am going to make some more posts.

    The so-called ' infinitive ' in this sentence is " to make " or only " make " ???
    That's a really good question.

    The word infinitive is a term used to refer to an uninflected verb form. There are two kinds of infinitives: 1) 'to' infinitives and 2) zero, or bare infinitives.

    1) She asked them to read the article. ('to' infinitive)
    2) She had them read the article. (zero/bare infinitive)

    "I am going to write some more posts." ('to' infinitive)
    "I am going to write some more posts. " (zero/bare infinitive)

    "To go is what I have to do." ('to' infinitive)

    :D

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    whl626 is offline Member
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    Hmm, for the first infinitive that's the ' to ' infinitive. Can I say the ' to ' is the preposition since it is already a preposition by itself ? But if we do label ' to ' as preposition then the ' verb ' must be in ing form that is equivalent to ' gerund '.

    In the infinitive we don't do that, so the infinitive is supposed to involve ' to ' that is to say ' I am going to write some more posts. '

    ... to write .... is the infinitive. Am I right to reason it this way ???

    Eagerly waiting for your feedback :P:P:P

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    Quote Originally Posted by whl626
    Hmm, for the first infinitive that's the ' to ' infinitive. Can I say the ' to ' is the preposition since it is already a preposition by itself ? But if we do label ' to ' as preposition then the ' verb ' must be in ing form that is equivalent to ' gerund '.

    In the infinitive we don't do that, so the infinitive is supposed to involve ' to ' that is to say ' I am going to write some more posts. '

    ... to write .... is the infinitive. Am I right to reason it this way ???

    Eagerly waiting for your feedback :P:P:P
    There are two "to"s in English. One is a preposition; it comes before a noun (e.g. Give the book to Sam), and it means, 'to(wards) the direction of a thing or a person'. The other is an infinitive verb marker; it comes before a verb (e.g. to go), never a noun, and it has no meaning at all. It's semantically empty.

    to arose with infinitives in Middle English from Old English dative to , "for the purpose of", though in Middle English to is a mere sign, without meaning. In Old English no verb required to before the infinitive. Old English infinitive verbs were marked by the suffix -an, and as that suffix was undergoing change in Middle English, the word to was introduced:

    To break
    Old English: breoken
    Middle English: to breoke
    Modern English: to break

    In short, in Modern English, an infinitive is formed with to plus the verb base form, and 'to' has no meaning and is not a preposition, and sometimes it's used without 'to' (bare-infinitive = only verb base form).

    Because it is formed with a verb (half verb), it may have an object and modifiers. The infinitive and its object and/or modifiers form an infinitive phrase.

    Because the infinitive is formed from a verb, it may have tense - present ( to see ), or perfect ( to have seen).

    The infinitive phrase or infinitive is used
    [ 1 ] as an adjective phrase: half adjective, to modify a noun or pronoun, and half verb;

    Example:

    The sign says that this hotel has rooms to rent to transients as well as to permanent guests. ( modifying a noun 'rooms' )

    [ 2 ] as an adverb phrase: half adverb, to modify a verb, adjective, or another adverb, and half verb;

    Examples:

    The children hurried to see the parade. (modifying verb 'hurried' )
    The grass in the hayfield is ready to mow. (modifying adjective 'ready')
    The room is not light enough to serve as a studio. (modifying adverb 'enough')

    [ 3 ] as a noun phrase: half noun, in any of the ways that a noun may be used, and half verb.

    Example:
    subject : To spend money carelessly is foolish.
    direct object : Children like to visit their grandparents.
    predicate nominative : My hope is to see you in Germany.
    object of preposition : We ask nothing except to be at peace.
    appositive : The most difficult task, to spade the garden, we left to the hired hand.

    SOURCE
    http://www.kwonsreading.com/grammar/...infinitive.htm

    :D

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    Quote Originally Posted by whl626
    ...the infinitive is supposed to involve ' to ' that is to say 'I am going to write some more posts. ' ... to write .... is the infinitive. Am I right to reason it this way?
    Prepositional Phrase
    I am going to school. (PP headed by a 'to' preposition)

    Verb Phrase
    I am going to write. (VP headed by a 'to' infinitive)

    I am going + object => to write. (verb)
    I am going + object => to school. (noun)

    to write and to school are syntactic objects of the verb 'am going'.

    Compare:

    Gerund
    I am going skiing. (object of 'am going')

    'to' Infinitive
    I am going to ski that hill. (object of 'am going')

    Prepositional Phrase
    I am going to ski school. (object of 'am going')

    :D

  10. #10
    whl626 is offline Member
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    :) Thanks, much clearer now :)

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