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  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #11

    Re: Using to infinitive as the subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sujing View Post
    I would like to know, How do I make the opposite of the sentence which beginS with To+ V1?
    Somebody will perhaps be able to answer that question, but it won't be me.

  2. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #12

    Re: Using to infinitive as the subject.

    What do you mean by "the opposite of the sentence which begins with To + V1"?
    If you are asking how to make the toーinfinitive negative, then "not to ..." is correct.

    (Please read GoesStation's post #4 again.)


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    #13

    Re: Using to infinitive as the subject.

    To begin the sentence with "not to" is odd to me.
    You could say: To abstain from drinking...
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  4. Sujing's Avatar
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    #14

    Re: Using to infinitive as the subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    What do you mean by "the opposite of the sentence which begins with To + V1"?
    If you are asking how to make the toーinfinitive negative, then "not to ..." is correct.

    (Please read GoesStation's post #4 again.)

    Yes, I mean like that.

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    #15

    Re: Using to infinitive as the subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sujing View Post
    Yes, I mean like that.
    Sujing, "V1" is not a term most of us know.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. Skrej's Avatar
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    #16

    Re: Using to infinitive as the subject.

    As Goes mentioned in post #4, you can add 'not' to an infinitive used as subject.

    However, as has also been mentioned, it's rare to use an infinitive as a subject. It's more common and natural sounding to use a gerund as the subject.

    Using an infinitive as a subject sounds oddly formal or abstract.

    As an example, consider this beginning excerpt from Hamlet's soliloquy in Act III Scene 1. It not only begins with an infinitive and negated infinitive, but makes extensive (or should I say existential? ) use of the infinitive throughout it to create a more abstract sense.

    To be, or not to be: that is the question:
    Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
    No more; and by a sleep to say we end...
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

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    #17

    Re: Using to infinitive as the subject.

    I'd be interested to get some opinions on two slightly different constructions with the same basic meaning:

    1. not to ____

    2. to not ____

    By my interpretation, the use of infinitives implies agency- a purposeful will to do something. Not to do something simply means a thing did not happen (cause does not enter into it), while to not do something seems more as if the person actively chose to not do.

    By that understanding, Shakespeare should have written it as: To be, or to not be: that is the question: Hamlet is deciding what he will choose to do.

    Of course, that construction is not so poetic!

    To drink is very harmful.
    To not drink in the evening is a healthier choice.
    Last edited by J&K Tutoring; 23-Dec-2016 at 01:00.

  8. Sujing's Avatar
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    #18

    Re: Using to infinitive as the subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by J&K Tutoring View Post

    By that understanding, Shakespeare should have written it as: To be, or to not be: that is the question: Hamlet is deciding what he will choose to do.

    Of course, that construction is not so poetic!

    To drink is very harmful.
    To not drink in the evening is a healthier choice.
    How about these:

    Telling the truth...- Not telling the truth...

    To tell the truth...- To not tell the truth and Not to tell the truth...

    all of not, mean telling the inaccuracy.

  9. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #19

    Re: Using to infinitive as the subject.

    Try:

    Telling the truth is a habit of mine.

    And:

    Not telling the truth can get you in trouble.

    Hm.

  10. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #20

    Re: Using to infinitive as the subject.

    I still find "to + infinitive" and "not to + infinitive" somewhat less likely. Like Tarheel, I'd use the gerund.

    Not drinking [alcohol] is a good way to help you lose weight.
    Eating three cakes a day isn't good for you.
    Telling the truth is usually a good idea.
    Lying isn't a great idea.
    Not telling the truth is a bad habit.
    Reading to your children every night can help them fall asleep.
    Photographing birds in flight is really difficult if you don't know what you're doing.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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