Infinitives Times Infinity

We had just recently been talking about infinitives in class and I honestly was just sitting there with a blank stare. It was one of those days.

Nonetheless, I Purdue Owl-ed it. You know, that website that you still go to in order to make sure you are doing MLA in-text citations correctly in your research papers. No? Just me. Okay.

Anyways, the Purdue Owl site is incredible, and if you haven’t checked it out be sure to.



They had a whole section on infinitives, which is what I needed. Thus, thanks to Purdue, infinitives can be classified as the following;

An infinitive is a verbal consisting of the word to plus a verb (in its simplest “stem” form) and functioning as a noun, adjective, or adverb. The term verbal indicates that an infinitive, like the other two kinds of verbals, is based on a verb and therefore expresses action or a state of being. However, the infinitive may function as a subject, direct object, subject complement, adjective, or adverb in a sentence. Although an infinitive is easy to locate because of the to + verb form, deciding what function it has in a sentence can sometimes be confusing.

Plus they included examples.

To wait seemed foolish when decisive action was required. (subject)

-Everyone wanted to go. (direct object)

-His ambition is to fly. (subject complement)

-He lacked the strength to resist. (adjective)

-He must study to learn. (adverb)

However, as the site states, be sure not to confuse infinitives with a prepositional phrase beginning with to. There’s always a catch. The rule is as follows:

Infinitives: to fly, to draw, to become, to enter, to stand, to catch, to belong.

Prepositional Phrases: to him, to the committee, to my house, to the mountains, to us, to this address.


Catch more on this with Infinitive Phrases soon!




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