REVIEW: You have learned that VERBALS are forms of verbs that function as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. Although verbals can function as other parts of speech, they retain some of the properties of verbs. When a modifier or complement is used with a verbal, a VERBAL PHRASE is formed. Now you will learn the third kind of verbals.
An INFINITIVE is a verbal that is usually preceded by the word to. An infinitive may function as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. The infinitive has some of the characteristics of verbs. It expresses action or condition, and it may be followed by a complement.
Acting as a Noun:
- To see is to believe.
- I want to go.
Acting as an Adjective:
- The news to read is about the unexplained phenomenon.
- The man to see is Justin.
Acting as an Adverb:
- It is hard to condemn somebody.
- I watched the circus to satisfy my curiosity.
Sometimes, the infinitive is used without the word to.
- Do you dare climb the mountain alone?
- Shall we just sit and watch the parade go by?
*Do not confuse infinitives with prepositional phrases. Remember that "to" plus a noun or pronoun is a prepositional phrase while "to" plus a verb is an infinitive phrase.
- I plan to enroll this summer.
- I whistled to inform the group that I'm coming.
- She referred her proposal to the manager.
- He gave the gift to me.
~end of lesson~