An infinitive is a verb form. It usually comes with “to” (full infinitive) or without “to” (bare infinitive). In today’s lesson, we will be learning about words and phrases followed by infinitive.
When do we use the full infinitive (infinitive with “to”)?
- We use the full infinitive to express purpose:
They went to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower.
She gave me a call to invite me to a party.
- After certain adjectives such as glad, happy, nice, hard…
I’m glad to see you.
It’s hard to be a boss because of too many responsibilities.
- After certain verbs such as want, decide, appear, seem, love, hate, refuse, accept, promise...
Tim decided to study chemistry.
My grandmother’s health appeared to be better after the treatment.
- After the phrases would like/love/prefer:
I’d like a glass of water, please.
I’d prefer to go for a walk than to stay here and watch TV.
- After question words (who, what, how…)
I’m calling you because I don’t know how to turn on the heater.
Peter wasn’t sure where to submit his documents.
- After too and enough:
Aren’t you too young to drive?
I’m sure Sara is clever enough to find her way to the house.
- After nouns:
It’s a pleasure to fly with your company.
When do we use the bare infinitive (infinitive without “to”)?
- After modal verbs:
She could swim when she was four.
You should go to the dentist if you have a toothache.
- After the phrases ‘had better‘ and ‘would rather:
Pam would rather study in Oxford than in Cambridge.
You’d better fasten your seat belt.
- After make, let, see, hear + object:
They saw Tom cross the street.
My parents never let me stay out after midnight.
Words and Phrases Followed by Infinitive
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