Definition and Examples of Infinitive Verbs

In English grammar, an infinitive is the support form of a verb that can act as a noun, adjective, or adverb. “Infinitive” hails from the Latin word infinitus, meaning endless. The infinitive is a verbal word derived from a verb that does not act as a verb that is almost always preceded by the particle “to.”

Examples of Infinitive Verbs

Common Infinitive Verbs

  • to be (I want to be an astronaut.)
  • to dream (James dares to dream about getting the job.)
  • to have (We’re going to have a baby.)
  • to hold (Do you want to hold the puppy?)
  • to look (I’m afraid to look at the messy room.)
  • to read (The first graders are learning to read this year.)
  • to write (I’m planning to write a letter to the company.)
  • to sleep (It’s time to sleep.)
  • to throw (If Gina doesn’t get her way, she’s going to throw a tantrum.)
  • to want (It’s natural to want your team to win.)

Infinitive Verbs as Nouns

  • We decided to go out.
  • want to swim in the pool.
  • Mom loves to give gifts.
  • Do you swear to tell the truth?
  • I’d prefer to see an action movie.
  • He reminded her to go downtown.
  • To dance is my little girl’s dream.
  • would like to thank you for coming out tonight.
  • He does not like to drink soda from a can.
  • forgot to take my vitamins today.

Infinitive Verbs as Adjectives

  • Do you have any laundry to wash?
  • My favorite meal to make is macaroni and cheese.
  • The best method to use is the hands-on method.
  • The Superbowl is the game to watch.
  • Peter is a difficult guy to understand.
  • He certainly gave me something to think about.
  • That watch is a valuable heirloom to pass down.
  • This is the most important thing to know.
  • You’ll always have a sister to confide in.
  • History is my least favorite subject to study.

Infinitive Verbs as Adverbs

  • Billie is finally ready to go.
  • climbed the mountain to see the view.
  • Read the manual to understand more about repairing the stereo.
  • Cameron travels to see the world.
  • bought a patch to stop smoking.
  • My dad will be so happy to meet you!
  • You are so easy to talk to.
  • Kelly went to the store to buy apples.
  • Let’s buy snow gear to go skiing.
  • went to college to become an engineer.

Examples of Bare Infinitives

  • can wait for the results. (NOT “I can to wait for the results”)
  • Should we call our parents? (NOT “Should we to call our parents?”)
  • Henry might lend us his truck. (NOT “Henry might to lend us his truck.”)
  • Our family will be okay. (NOT “Our family will to be okay.
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