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Infinitive Form - Glossary of Terms

Infinitive Form

The infinitive form of a verb is usually preceded by "to" (e.g., to run, to dance, to think).  The word "to" is not a preposition in this case; it is often called the "sign of the infinitive".  An infinitive can be used as a noun, an adjective or an adverb.


To dance was his ambition.  (as a noun)
His ambition was to dance.   (as a noun)
They need water to drink.   (as an adjective)
The officer returned to help(as an adverb)

After certain verbs the "to" is dropped.


I helped her tidy the balcony.  ("to" dropped from "to tidy")
They made him wait for a day.   ("to" dropped from "to wait")

Interactive example:

I am leaving at 5 o'clock to raise the lobster pots before the storm. [show me the infinitive form]
Associated pages:
Basic form
To (infinitive verb) and too
Glossary of grammatical terms

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