Eat, read, write, go, get, speak, walk, smile, cry and laugh are few of the verbs in the "infinitive" forms.

When the preposition “to” is placed before such a verb, that verb is called “full infinitive”.

To eat, to read, to write, to go, to get, to speak, to walk, to smile, to cry and to laugh are few of the "full-infinitive" forms.

This type of the noun is called verbal-noun.

This verbal-noun is called “Infinitive” which has the features of both a verb and a noun.

There is another type of verbal-noun. That type is called “Gerund” which we have seen in another section.

An “infinitive” can be used differently.

1. It can be used as the subject of the verb.


To swim is good for health.

To eat too much makes one fat.

To go for walk early in the morning is advised by the doctors.

To read means to grow.

2.It can be used as the object of the verb.


I forget to tell you an important matter.

All of you begin to work.

The doctor has come to check you up for blood-pressure.

3. The following verbs take only the infinitive as the object.

Afford, appear, arrange, care, chance, come, dare, decide, fail, determine, happen, hurry, manage, mean, offer, pretend, promise, prove, refuse, seem, trouble, undertake, wish etc…


I can not afford to pay so much.

The man pretended to be innocent.

The thief managed to escape.

We have undertaken to do the job.

How dare you do it?

They refused to pay the bill.

She offered to go alone.

We are determined to complete the project.

4. The following verbs take only an infinitive as an object,
but also are used in the ways as given below.

Ask, like, choose, want, intent, mean, hate, beg, love, expect, wish etc…

a. Subject + verb + infinitive


My sister loves to sing.

I like to view few television shows.

They hate to borrow money form the bank.

Mr. Ramah expected us to help him when he was in London.

She chose to stay away from the program.

Our Professor asked us to come back after 6pm today.

b. Subject + verb + object + infinitive


My sister likes my mother to sing.

They begged me to help him.

The committee chose me to sing in the function.

My father wished me to succeed in the competition.

5. The following verbs take only the verb + object + infinitive construction.

Allow, advice, cause, compel, encourage, force, instruct, invite, oblige, order, permit, persuade, press, request, teach, tell, tempt, warn etc…


Do not allow him to interfere with his work.

The circumstances forced him to tell a lie.

I warned him not to take up that job.

They permitted me to take the exam without my hall-ticket.

My teacher taught us how to calculate the profit.

Our father forced us to continue our studies.

He was tempted to take sweets every day.

6. The infinitive without “to” is used after the verbs “make” and “let”.


Let him go.

Make them do the job very well.

7. The full infinitive is used with the “be” verb to indicate commands or agreements or plans.


Everybody is to wear a full suit.

Nobody is to touch these things without permission.

They are to be married next week.

The committee is to meet next month to discuss this matter.

8.It is used in the following construction.

For + object + infinitive


It is not for me to advice you.

Is the road safe enough for the driver to take the bus on it?

9.It is used in the place of clauses.


Tell him what to do?

She does not know who to approach?

Can you tell me how to stop the bleeding?

So in these ways the infinitives can be used as nouns in the sentences.


The word ‘to’ is frequently used with an infinitive. But ‘to’ is not the essential part or sign of an infinitive verb.

After few verbs (let, need, make, see, bid, hear, dare), we use the infinitive without ‘to’.


• You need not come to the function.

• The Doctor can make him walk in a month of time.

• How dare you open the door!

• I did not see him do that.

• They will not let you go out.

• She bade me go.

• I have not heard a bird sing.


The word ‘to’ need not be added after 'had better', 'had rather', 'would rather', 'sooner than' and 'rather than'.


• You had better leave now.

• I had rather walk than take rest.

• They would rather leave the show than see the dull-movie.

• They will come late rather than stay at home.

Go to the section on 'Participle' to continue.

Go to the Grammar Index Page