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    • Join Date: Jun 2006
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    #1

    "to" for infinitive

    We know that an ifinitive is the name of an action of a verb. Therefore we can understand it is a noun, and functions as a noun. There usually is a "to" before an infinitive. In many cases an infinitive works without it. Then, what does function "to" before an infinitive? Why an inifinitive sometimes takes "to" and sometimes does not take.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "to" for infinitive

    Quote Originally Posted by Kudret View Post
    We know that an ifinitive is the name of an action of a verb. Therefore we can understand it is a noun, and functions as a noun. There usually is a "to" before an infinitive. In many cases an infinitive works without it. Then, what does function "to" before an infinitive? Why an inifinitive sometimes takes "to" and sometimes does not take.
    This is a big issue for a lot of learners (myself included* - as the other languages I know use a single word for the infinitive - meaning "to <whatever>" - so the question of the status of the little word doesn't arise).

    I've heard the "to" (in this case) referred to as "a particle". I'm not entirely convinced by this word - it seems to me no better than calling an indescribable but useful thing a "doofer" or a "thingammyjig).

    As to your last question, there are some words that take only the infinitive with "to", some that take only a bare infinitive, and some that take either. There was a recent posting about this, probably in this forum, which I can't place at the moment. If the person who posted that isn't awake yet, you could make a start by looking here https://www.usingenglish.com/glossary/infinitive.html . But I'm afraid there's no alternative to simply learning/practising what goes with what.

    b

    * ps
    To set your mind at rest, I'm a learner OK - just not a learner of English (though I'm a learner about English as spoken by other native speakers)
    Last edited by BobK; 13-Oct-2006 at 11:45. Reason: Added ps

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "to" for infinitive

    I think I was over-complicating the issue. Start looking here: https://www.usingenglish.com/glossary/modal-verb.html.

    b

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