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What Is an Infinitive? What Is a Gerund?

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To split or not to split?
Homework: March
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It is not impossible for an infinitive to appear at the beginning of a sentence as the subject as in Ib , but it is more common for an infinitive to appear as a Subject Complement: The gerund can also play this role: Her favorite fantasy is playing basketball for UConn. Both of these verbal forms can further identify a noun when they play the role of Noun Complement and Appositive: The infinitive is often a complement used to help define an abstract noun. Here is a very partial list of abstract nouns, enough to suggest their nature.

Try following these adjectives with an infinitive phrase their desire to play in the championship game, a motivation to pass all their courses, her permission to stay up late, a gentle reminder to do your work to see how the phrase modifies and focuses the noun.

Infinitive phrases often follow certain adjectives. When this happens, the infinitive is said to play the role of Adjective Complement. This is not a noun function, but we will include it here nonetheless.

Although we do not find many infinitives in this next category, it is not uncommon to find gerunds taking on the role of Object of a Preposition: And, finally, both gerunds and infinitives can act as a Direct Object: Here, however, all kinds of decisions have to be made, and some of these decisions will seem quite arbitrary. The next section is about making the choice between gerund and infinitive forms as direct object. Verbs that take other verb forms as objects are called catenatives from a word that means to link , as in a chain.

Catenatives can be found at the head of a series of linked constructions, as in "We agreed to try to decide to stop eating between meals.

Although it is seldom a serious problem for native English speakers, deciding whether to use a gerund or an infinitive after a verb can be perplexing among students for whom English is a second language. Why do we decide to run , but we would never decide running? On the other hand, we might avoid running , but we would not avoid to run. And finally, we might like running and would also like to run. It is clear that some verbs take gerunds, some verbs take infinitives, and some verbs take either.

The following tables of verbs should help you understand the various options that regulate our choice of infinitive or gerund. The verbs in the table below will be followed by an infinitive. We decided to leave. He manages, somehow, to win.

It is threatening to rain. Notice that many, but not all, of these verbs suggest a potential event. Some of the verbs in the following table may be followed by a gerund if they are describing an "actual, vivid or fulfilled action" Frodesen.

They began farming the land. These are described, also, below. The verbs in the next table will often be followed by an infinitive, but they will also be accompanied by a second object. We asked the intruders to leave quietly.

They taught the children to swim. The teacher convinced his students to try harder. The verbs in blue, with an asterisk, can also follow the same pattern as the verbs in the table above i.

We all wanted to go. They promised to be home early. Gerunds accompany a form of the verb to go in many idiomatic expressions: We went jogging yesterday. She goes bowling every Friday night. The following verbs will be followed by a gerund. Did I mention reading that novel last summer? I recommend leaving while we can. I have quit smoking These verbs tend to describe actual events. The verbs in the following table can be followed by either an infinitive or a gerund, and there will be virtually no difference in the meaning of the two sentences.

I like to play basketball in the park. I like playing basketball in the park. The verbs in this next, very small table can be followed by either an infinitive or a gerund, but there will be a difference in meaning. I stopped smoking means something quite different, for instance, from I stopped to smoke. The infinitive form will usually describe a potential action. Finally, the verbs below will be followed by either a gerund or a simple verb and a second subject will be required.

I saw the team losing its composure. I overheard my landlord discussing a rent increase. These verbs involve the senses. Do we say "I can't stand him singing in the shower," or do we say "I can't stand his singing in the shower"? They can be used as adjectives to modify a noun, as adverbs to modify verbs or adjectives or other adverbs , or as nouns. They have other uses that are not so easy to classify this way.

Sentences 8 and 9 contain two "to" phrases, but only one of them is an infinitive. The other one is a prepositional phrase. Hi Mrs Jessica , i know that u wrote this question 4 years ago, sure u have passed ur exams but i'm still a student in and i will have an English exam after few days i have the same problem with infinitive phrase , it's certain that u forgot it completely hhhhhhhhhhh ,really it is the same question i suffered alot to find an answer 4 it , before i was afraid from question if it came in the exam but now no so , thank u Hi, thank you very much for the help with my Social Studies help.

We haven't been taught it. And like you said, it is confusing. Also, you are just like me What state do you live in? Anyways, i will try to answer them to the best of my abilities. I will do the even ones. I wouldn't count on it though. To get good food at that place is impossible. I didn't know whre else to post it. I live in North Carolina.

Recognize an infinitive when you see one.

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Apr 14,  · Identifying Infinitive Phrases Homework Help (plz ASAP!)? I'm getting very frustrated because I don't understand how to Identify Infinitive Phrases. I would go in to my English teacher in the morning but I have to take two tests before school tomorrow and this homework is due tomorrow Resolved. Grammar is making a comeback. State-by-state assessments of students in English/Language Arts are causing the teaching of grammar to return to the classroom.