- The English infinitive has two forms: the "to-"infinitive and the zero infinitive.
|To express intention or purpose.||
She went to ask your uncle for money.
The maid is here to clean the house.
|As the subject of the sentence (only the to-infinitive).||
To be or not to be, that is the question.
To learn — that is the goal of education.
|To describe how something will be used (only the to-infinitive).||
Do you want something to eat?
They have instruments to play.
|After ‘make’, ‘let’, and ‘had better’ (only the zero infinitive).||
They had better find a new home.
Let me make you dinner.
Make Jay apologize to you!
Have him walk Julie home, it’s late.
|In sentences with ‘too much’ and ‘enough’ (only the zero infinitive).||
There is too much snow to drive.
I don’t have enough money to buy it.
|In a question that asks why to offer a suggestion (only the zero infinitive).||
Why turn around now?
Why wait until tomorrow?
|As a judgment (only the to-infinitive).||
That was a weird thing to say.
This is a great place to eat!
|After "get" (only the "to-"infinitive).||We need to get a contractor to patch the wall.|
- Rules for making the infinitive:
- The to-infinitive: to + verb base
- The zero-infinitive: only the verb base
|Jim should play guitar more often; it was lovely!|
|Mom made me go to my room.|
|I want a large glass to drink milk.|
|Why not stay here this weekend?|
|What a nice thing to say!|
|I went to the store to buy food.|
- A negative infinitive requires ‘not’ before the infinitive.
|I decided not to attend the concert.|
|She would rather not cook tonight.|