[General] the verb ‘to be’

Status
Not open for further replies.

kadioguy

Key Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Taiwan
Current Location
Taiwan
In the Macmillan English Dictionary, it says:

it pronoun
used with the verb ‘to be’ for emphasizing that you are referring to a particular person, thing, time, or place
-----------
Why not just say the verb ‘be’?

What does 'to' here mean?

If I say just the verb ‘be’, is it correct?
 

bubbha

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2016
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
Taiwan
Traditionally, when we discuss the grammar or usage of a verb, we refer to it by its full infinitive form (preceded by "to"), rather than the bare infinitive form. It's not incorrect to refer to the verb by its bare infinitive form, however.

"to" in this context doesn't have any meaning; instead, it has a grammatical function. It is the infinitive marker.
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
When I was teaching in Spain, I noticed that my students who were also attending formal classes (at school or otherwise), were being given verb lists without "to". I taught (and still teach) the infinitive form as "to + verb". If I refer to "the infinitive", that's what I mean. If I want the student to omit "to", I refer to it as the "bare infinitive".
 

kadioguy

Key Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Chinese
Home Country
Taiwan
Current Location
Taiwan
When I was teaching in Spain, I noticed that my students who were also attending formal classes (at school or otherwise), were being given verb lists without "to".
Like this:)
2017-09-19_203001.jpg
I taught (and still teach) the infinitive form as "to + verb".

Like this
2017-09-19_203055.jpg
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Exactly like that.

Slightly off-topic but I also noticed that my 8-year-old student's text book gave only "have got" as the main verb of possession with no mention of "have". (There was no mention of "to" in his verb lists either.)
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
They use just be, but it is so common to talk of an infinitive as to + verb that many dictionary users expect it.
 

SoothingDave

VIP Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2009
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
"To be" or not "to be?" That is the question.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top