Identifying infinitive phrases

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identifying infinitive phrases

Here are some examples:. To lick the grease from his shiny fingers despite the disapproving glances of his girlfriend Gloria.

Infinitive phrases can function as nounsadjectivesor adverbs. Look at these examples:. To finish her shift without spilling another pizza into a customer's lap is Michelle's only goal tonight. To finish her shift without spilling another pizza into a customer's lap functions as a noun because it is the subject of the sentence. Lakesha hopes to win the approval of her mother by switching her major from fine arts to pre-med. To win the approval of her mother functions as a noun because it is the direct object for the verb hopes.

The best way to survive Dr. Peterson's boring history lectures is a sharp pencil to stab in your thigh if you catch yourself drifting off. To survive Dr. Peterson's boring history lectures functions as an adjective because it modifies way. Kelvin, an aspiring comic book artist, is taking Anatomy and Physiology this semester to understand the interplay of muscle and bone in the human body. To understand the interplay of muscle and bone in the human body functions as an adverb because it explains why Kelvin is taking the class.

When an infinitive phrase introduces a main clauseseparate the two sentence components with a comma. The pattern looks like this:. To avoid burning another bag of popcorn, Brendan pressed his nose against the microwave door, sniffing suspiciously. When an infinitive phrase breaks the flow of a main clause, use a comma both before and after the interrupter.

identifying infinitive phrases

Those basketball shoesto be perfectly honest, do not complement the suit you are planning to wear to the interview. When an infinitive phrase concludes a main clause, you need no punctuation to connect the two sentence parts.Infinitives - Exercise 3 Directions: Locate the infinitive phrase in each sentence.

Identify each as adverbial, adjectival, or nominal. Type the entire infinitive phrase and its function into the box below the sentence. When you are finished, click the "Check My Work" button at the bottom of the page to check your answers. Example: Bill opened the door to let me into the room.

Answer: to let me into the room, adverbial 1. The best plumber to call is Mr. Henry brought Jeri a ring to show his love. Each year Merriweather tried to find more deductions for his tax return. To patch the hole in the tire, the mechanic inserted a plug.

She learned to read and write English in Kenya. Eric's desire to do everything perfectly will eventually frustrate him.

To pay that much money for a television is foolish. Yesterday Smith exercised all day to lose some weight before the wedding.

His only ambition was to succeed at his job. To attempt an explanation for this phenomenon would do little good. Online Writing Support. Directions: Locate the infinitive phrase in each sentence. Answer: to let me into the room, adverbial. For further information on these resources, contact Margaret L. Benner benner towson. All rights reserved.Infinitives appear in sentences as root-form verbs introduced by the word "to.

It is often confusing to identify the function of infinitives because they are considered verbals, but they never function as verbs. Infinitives function as nouns, adjectives or adverbs in sentences. Additionally, because infinitives begin with the word "to," they are occasionally misidentified as prepositional phrases. A few tests will help you learn how to properly identify infinitives and what their function is in a particular sentence.

Make sure you are looking at an infinitive and not a prepositional phrase by viewing the word or words that appear after the word "to" in the sentence. If "to" is followed by a pronoun, noun or noun phrase, it is a prepositional phrase, not an infinitive.

Preposition Phrase Examples: John gave the book to her. If the word "to" in the sentence is followed by a root-form verb, it is always an infinitive. Infinitive Examples: 1. To meditate is very relaxing. To win, the team must practice. The library must fund-raise to re-open. Bob must pass his oral exam to graduate. Lisa loves to bake.

Jack has the persistence to succeed. If the infinitive begins a sentence and is followed by a verb, it functions as a noun. Example: To meditate is very relaxing. If the infinitive begins a sentence, is followed by a comma and a noun or noun phrase, it functions as an adverb.

Example: To win, the team must practice. Whether following a verb or noun, if the infinitive ends a sentence and could be moved to the beginning of that sentence by adding a comma, it functions as an adverb. Example with infinitive following a verb: The library must fund-raise to re-open.

To re-open, the library must fund-raise. Example with infinitive following a noun phrase: Bob must pass his oral exam to graduate. To graduate, Bob must pass his oral exam. If the infinitive ends a sentence but can not be moved to the beginning of that sentence without adding additional words, it is functioning as either a noun or an adjective. The infinitive functions as a noun when it is preceded by a verb.

Example: Lisa loves to bake. The infinitive functions as an adjective when it is preceded by a noun or noun phrase. Example: Jack has the persistence to succeed. Infinitives can also be phrases that function as nouns or adjectives and follow the same rules for function identification. Examples: The dog wanted to eat steak from the table. Sentences may contain more than one infinitive or infinitive phrase.

Example: The instructor's goal was to teach people how to study. In identifying infinitives, do not let sentences with prepositional phrases and infinitives confuse you. Example: The cat goes to the kitchen to eat his breakfast. Laura Payne has been freelance writing for several online publications in her free time since Payne teaches linguistics classes at both universities on an adjunct basis.

How to Identify the Function of an Infinitive in a Sentence.A participle is a verb form that can be used as an adjective to modify nouns and pronouns, as in this example:. Crying is a present participle, formed by adding -ing to the present form of the verb cry.

The Difference Between Gerunds, Participles, and Infinitives

Exhausted is a past participle, formed by adding -ed to the present form of the verb exhaust. Both participles modify the subject, children. All present participles end in -ing. The past participles of all regular verbs end in -ed. A participial phrase is made up of a participle and its modifiers.

A participle may be followed by an object, an adverb, a prepositional phrase, an adverb clause, or any combination of these. For example, in the following sentence the participial phrase consists of a present participle holdingan object the torchand an adverb steadily :.

In the next sentence, the participial phrase consists of a present participle makingan object a great ringand a prepositional phrase of white light :.

A gerund is a verb form ending in -ing that functions in a sentence as a noun. Although both the present participle and the gerund are formed by adding -ing to a verb, the participle does the job of an adjective while the gerund does the job of a noun. Compare the verbals in these two sentences:. Whereas the participle crying modifies the subject in the first sentence, the gerund crying is the subject of the second sentence.

In the first sentence, the gerund crying serves as the direct object. In the second sentence, the infinitive to cry performs the same function.

For each of the following sentences, decide if the word or phrase in italics is a participle, a gerund, or an infinitive. Share Flipboard Email. Richard Nordquist. English and Rhetoric Professor. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. The children, crying and exhaustedwere guided out of the collapsed house.

Holding the torch steadilyJenny approached the monster. Jenny waved the torch over her head, making a great ring of white light. Crying will not get you anywhere.

What Is an Infinitive Phrase? (with Examples)

I don't like crying in public unless I'm getting paid for it. I don't like to cry in public unless I'm getting paid for it. The children's singing and laughing woke me up. Jenny likes to dance in the rain. There are many ways of breaking a heart. A broken heart will mend over time. I want to achieve it through not dying. Others must fail.An infinitive is a verbal a word that expresses action ; so, an infinitive phrase has the same role of expressing action in a sentence.

Here are some examples off infinitive phrasesboth on their own and as part of full sentences:. The main, most essential part of an infinitive phrase is an infinitive. An object is the word a noun or a pronoun affected by the verb in a sentence. Here are some examples of objects in infinitive phrases:. A modifier is an adjective or adverb that alters other words in a sentence, making it more descriptive. Infinitive phrases often include modifiers ; here are some examples:.

Here are some examples:.

How to Identify the Function of an Infinitive in a Sentence

When an infinitive phrase acts like an adjective in a sentence, it describes a noun or a pronoun. So, that means it will describe a subject or an object. When an infinitive phrase works like an adverb, it modifies the verb in a sentence. To help avoid mistakes, you need to know these things:. It is just a part of a sentence, and needs an independent clause to be complete. Look at the prepositional phrases underlined here:. So, these are prepositional phrases, not infinitive phrases.

Rongyu October 15,pm. A person October 18,am. Anonymous November 13,pm. Anonymous November 26,pm. Anonymous December 1,am. Anonymous December 5,am. Zubair Wahag December 21,am. Anonymous January 5,pm. Anonymous January 9,am. Hany khan January 27,pm. Anonymous January 29,pm. Anonymous February 3,pm.

Infinitive Phrase

Anonymous February 22,pm. Stephen February 23,am. Hassan March 7,am. Mgtz March 8,am. English April 28,pm. Anonymous May 5,pm. Dolapo' June 24,pm. Anonymous June 28,pm. Infinitive Phrase 1. What is an Infinitive Phrase?Grammar Notes show-hide arrow. Practice 2 — in context. To be or not to be.

That is the question. Double "-ing" or "to" Forms in Sequence. Practice 1 — multiple choice. Practice 2 — multiple choice. Edward needs to get help. Ed needs [ Ed get some help ]. Ed doesn't want us to help. Bare Infinitives omit "to".

Common Mistakes show-hide arrow. Practice — complete sentence MC. Ed needs [for Ed] to get some help.

Gerund & Infinitive │ English Grammar Lesson

Ed needs [ for me to get some help. Ed intended [Frida to do the portrait]. Ed persuaded Frida [ to do the portrait]. Ed made Frida do the portrait. Ed helped Frida to do the portrait. Practice — multiple choice. The judge ordered that John leave. Verb uses base form, no -s. Today, I get to go to a birthday party next door.

identifying infinitive phrases

It takes ten minutes to get ready in the morning. It takes Jill ten minutes to get ready in the morning. It takes ten minutes for her to get ready in the morning. She is too young to drive. Practice 1 — complete sentence MC. Practice 2 — complete sentence MC. We were happy to hear the good news.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service. It only takes a minute to sign up. Infinitives may function as nouns, adjectives or adverbs.

Since infinitives are derived from verbs, they do express actions or states of being. However, there is some difficulty in identifying the particular role of the infinitive in a sentence.

Is there a generic test available to determine whether each infinitive is serving as a noun, adjective, or adverb? It is necessary to identify the role of Infinitives in order to get answers right for questions related to Parallelism and Verb Tense. Example: "Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save. I am somewhat weak in this subject also; however, I have developed a test that might work for your purposes also.

It is to replace the infinite with a noun, an adjective, and an adverb, and see which one sounds best. For example:. Noun: "Half our life is spent trying to find something hamburger with the time we have rushed through life trying to save. Adverb: "Half our life is spent trying to find something slowly with the time we have rushed through life trying to save. Adjective: "Half our life is spent trying to find something larger with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.

Sign up to join this community. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. How can I identify the role of an infinitive in a sentence? Ask Question. Asked 6 years, 9 months ago.

Active 6 years, 8 months ago. Viewed 4k times. There are very few "generic tests" that apply to sentences. There are a number of characteristics that contribute to uses, but the most important one, since infinitives and gerunds are always subordinate constructions, is the main predicate in the clause they modify, which may be a verb, a noun, or an adjective or adverb, for that matter.

The commanding predicate determines whether there can be any subordinate clause at all; whether it can be an infinitive, or a gerund, or any other kind of subordinate clause; and which specific senses each such clause can have. I'm not sure I get this. Isn't the pattern 'to verb ' enough? How about with modals like 'I can see', the 'see', is that considered an infinitive?

That was my initial thought - then I re-read the question! It asks about "identifying the particular role of the infinitive in a sentence".


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