grammatical form
Infinitive ( abbreviated INF ) is a linguistics term for certain verb forms existing in many languages, most frequently used as infinite verb. As with many linguistic concepts, there is not a single definition applicable to all languages. The password is derived from former Latin [modus] infinitivus, a derivative of infinitus meaning “ inexhaustible ”. In traditional descriptions of English, the infinitive is the basic dictionary form of a verb when used non-finitely, with or without the atom to. Thus to go is an infinitive, as is go in a conviction like “ I must go there ” ( but not in “ I go there ”, where it is a finite verb ). The form without to is called the bare infinitive, and the form with to is called the full infinitive or to-infinitive. In many early languages the infinitive is a clear-cut individual news, often with a characteristic inflective ending, like morir ( “ [ to ] die ” ) in spanish, manger ( “ [ to ] corrode ” ) in French, portare ( “ [ to ] have a bun in the oven ” ) in Latin, lieben ( “ [ to ] love ” ) in german, читать ( chitat’, “ [ to ] read ” ) in russian, etc. however, some languages have no infinitive forms. many native american languages, Arabic, asian languages such as japanese, and some languages in Africa and Australia do not have calculate equivalents to infinitives or verbal nouns. rather, they use finite verb forms in ordinary clauses or diverse special constructions.

Being a verb, an infinitive may take objects and other complements and modifiers to form a verb give voice ( called an infinitive phrase ). Like early infinite verb forms ( like participles, converbs, gerunds and gerundives ), infinitives do not broadly have an expressed discipline ; thus an infinitive verb phrase besides constitutes a complete infinite clause, called an infinitive (infinitival) clause. such phrases or clauses may play a kind of roles within sentences, frequently being nouns ( for exercise being the topic of a conviction or being a complement of another verb ), and sometimes being adverb or early types of modifier. many verb forms known as infinitives differ from gerunds ( verbal noun ) in that they do not inflect for case or happen in adpositional phrases. alternatively, infinitives often originate in earlier inflectional forms of verbal nouns. [ 1 ] Unlike finite verb, infinitives are not normally inflected for tense, person, etc. either, although some degree of prosody sometimes occurs ; for case Latin has distinct active and passive infinitives .

Phrases and clauses [edit ]

An infinitive phrase is a verb give voice constructed with the verb in infinitive form. This consists of the verb together with its objects and other complements and modifiers. Some examples of infinitive phrases in English are given below – these may be based on either the full infinitive ( introduced by the particle to ) or the bare infinitive ( without the atom to ) .

  • (to) sleep
  • (to) write ten letters
  • (to) go to the store for a pound of sugar

infinitive phrases much have an imply grammatical submit making them effectively clauses quite than phrases. such infinitive clauses or infinitival clauses, are one of several kinds of infinite clause. They can play diverse grammatical roles like a constituent of a larger article or sentence ; for model it may form a noun phrase or adverb. infinitival clauses may be embedded within each other in complex ways, like in the conviction :

  • I want to tell you that John Welborn is going to get married to Blair.

hera the infinitival article to get married is contained within the finite dependant article that John Welborn is going to get married to Blair ; this in turn is contained within another infinitival clause, which is contained in the finite freelancer article ( the hale sentence ). The grammatical structure of an infinitival article may differ from that of a correspond finite article. For example, in german, the infinitive form of the verb normally goes to the end of its clause, whereas a finite verb ( in an freelancer clause ) typically comes in second position .

Clauses with implicit subject in the objective case [edit ]

Following certain verbs or prepositions, infinitives normally do have an implicit subject, for example ,

  • I want them to eat their dinner.
  • For him to fail now would be a disappointment.

As these examples illustrate, the implicit discipline of the infinitive occur in the objective case ( them, him ) in contrast to the nominative case that occurs with a finite verb, for example, “ They ate their dinner. ” such objective and infinitive constructions are present in Latin and Ancient Greek, american samoa well as many mod languages. The atypical case regarding the implicit subject of an infinitive is an case of exceptional case-marking. As shown in the above examples, the aim of the transitive verb verb “ want ” and the preposition “ for ” allude to their respective pronouns ‘ immanent character within the clauses .

Marking for tense, aspect and spokesperson

[edit ]

In some languages, infinitives may be marked for grammatical categories like voice, aspect, and to some extent tense. This may be done by prosody, as with the Latin perfective and passive voice infinitives, or by circumlocution ( with the use of accessory verb ), as with the Latin future infinitives or the english perfective and progressive infinitives. Latin has portray, perfect and future infinitives, with active and passive forms of each. For details see latin conjugation § Infinitives. English has infinitive constructions that are marked ( periphrastically ) for view : arrant, progressive ( continuous ), or a combination of the two ( perfect progressive ). These can besides be marked for passive voice voice ( as can the plain infinitive ) :

  • (to) eat (plain infinitive, active)
  • (to) be eaten (passive)
  • (to) have eaten (perfect active)
  • (to) have been eaten (perfect passive)
  • (to) be eating (progressive active)
  • (to) be being eaten (progressive passive)
  • (to) have been eating (perfect progressive active)
  • (to) have been being eaten (perfect progressive passive, not often used)

far constructions can be made with other auxiliary-like expressions, like (to) be going to eat or (to) be about to eat, which have future meaning. For more examples of the above types of construction, see Uses of English verb forms § Perfect and liberal infinite constructions. perfect infinitives are besides found in other european languages that have perfect forms with auxiliaries similarly to English. For exercise, avoir mangé means “ ( to ) have eaten ” in French .

english [edit ]

Regarding English, the term “ infinitive ” is traditionally applied to the overlooked shape of the verb ( the “ plain form ” ) when it forms a infinite verb, whether or not introduced by the atom to. Hence sit and to sit, as used in the pursuit sentences, would each be considered an infinitive :

  • I can sit here all day.
  • I want to sit on the other chair.

The shape without to is called the bare infinitive ; the class introduced by to is called the full infinitive or to-infinitive. The early infinite verb forms in English are the gerund or give participle ( the -ing form ), and the past participle – these are not considered infinitives. furthermore, the unmarked form of the verb is not considered an infinitive when it forms a finite verb : like a present indicative mood ( “ I sit every day ” ), subjunctive mood ( “ I suggest that he sit “ ), or imperative ( “ Sit down ! ” ). ( For some guerrilla verbs the phase of the infinitive coincides additionally with that of the by strain and/or past participle, like in the sheath of put. ) Certain accessory verbs are defective in that they do not have infinitives ( or any other infinite forms ). This applies to the modal verb ( can, must, etc. ), deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as sealed refer auxiliaries like the had of had better and the used of used to. ( Periphrases can be employed rather in some cases, like (to) be able to for can, and (to) have to for must. ) It besides applies to the accessory do, like used in questions, negatives and emphasis like described under do -support. ( Infinitives are negated by simply preceding them with not. Of course the verb do when forming a main verb can appear in the infinitive. ) however, the auxiliary verb have ( used to form the perfect ) and be ( used to form the passive voice and continuous aspect ) both normally appear in the infinitive : “ I should have finished by now ” ; “ It ‘s thought to have been a burial site ” ; “ Let him be released ” ; “ I hope to be work tomorrow. ” Huddleston and Pullum ‘s Cambridge Grammar of the English Language ( 2002 ) does not use the notion of the “ infinitive ” ( “ there is no mannequin in the English verb substitution class called ‘the infinitive ‘ ” ), merely that of the infinitival clause, noting that English uses the same shape of the verb, the plain form, in infinitival clauses that it uses in imperative and present-subjunctive clauses. [ 2 ] A matter of controversy among prescriptive grammarians and expressive style writers has been the appropriateness of separating the two words of the to -infinitive ( as in “ I expect to happily sit here ” ). For details of this, see split infinitive. Opposing linguistic theories typically do not consider the to -infinitive a clear-cut component, rather regarding the oscilloscope of the particle to as an stallion verb phrase ; therefore, to buy a car is parsed like to [buy [a car]], not like [to buy] [a car] .

Uses of the infinitive [edit ]

The plain infinitive and the to -infinitive have a variety of uses in English. The two forms are by and large in complemental distribution – certain context call for one, and certain context for the other ; they are not normally exchangeable, except in periodic instances like after the verb help, where either can be used. The main uses of infinitives ( or infinitive phrases ) are as follows :

  • As complements of other verbs. The bare infinitive form is a complement of the dummy auxiliary do, most modal auxiliary verbs, verbs of perception like see, watch and hear (after a direct object), and the verbs of permission or causation make, bid, let, and have (also after a direct object). The to-infinitive is used after many transitive verbs like want, aim, like, fail, etc., and as an object complement of a direct object regarding verbs like want, convince, aim, etc.
  • In various particular expressions, like had better and would rather (with bare infinitive), in order to, as if to, am to/is to/are to.
  • As a noun phrase, expressing its action or state in an abstract, general way, forming the subject of a clause or a predicative expression: “To err is human”; “To know me is to love me“. The bare infinitive can be used in such sentences like “What you should do is make a list.” A common construction with the to-infinitive involves a dummy pronoun subject (it), with the infinitive phrase placed after the predicate: “It was nice to meet you.”
  • Adverbially, to express purpose, intent or result, as the to-infinitive can have the meaning of in order to, e.g. “I closed the door in order to block out any noise.”
  • As a modifier of a noun or adjective. This may relate to the meaning of the noun or adjective (“a request to see someone”; “keen to get on”), or it may form a type of non-finite relative clause, like in “the man to save us”; “the method to use“; “nice to listen to”.
  • In elliptical questions (direct or indirect): “I don’t know where to go.” After why the bare infinitive is used: “Why reveal it?”

The infinitive is besides the usual dictionary mannequin or citation shape of a verb. The mannequin listed in dictionaries is the bare infinitive, although the to -infinitive is much used in referring to verbs or in defining other verbs : “ The word ‘amble ‘ means ‘to walk lento ‘ ” ; “ How do we conjugate the verb to go ? ” For far detail and examples of the uses of infinitives in English, see Bare infinitive and To -infinitive in the article on uses of English verb forms .

early Germanic languages [edit ]

The original Proto-Germanic ending of the infinitive was -an, with verbs derived from early words ending in -jan or -janan. In german it is -en ( “ sagen ” ), with -eln or -ern endings on a few words based on -l or -r roots ( “ segeln ”, “ ändern ” ). The use of zu with infinitives is similar to English to, but is less frequent than in English. german infinitives can form nouns, often expressing abstractions of the action, in which case they are of neuter sex : das Essen means the eating, but besides the food. In Dutch infinitives besides end in -en ( zeggento say ), sometimes used with te exchangeable to English to, for example, “ Het is niet moeilijk tellurium begrijpen ” → “ It is not unvoiced to understand. ” The few verbs with stems ending in -a have infinitives in -n ( gaanto go, slaanto hit ). Afrikaans has lost the distinction between the infinitive and present forms of verbs, with the exception of the verb “ wees ” ( to be ), which admits the deliver form “ is ”, and the verb “ hê ” ( to have ), whose present form is “ heated ”. In North Germanic languages the final -n was lost from the infinitive a early on as 500–540 AD, reducing the suffix to -a. Later it has been far reduced to -e in Danish and some norwegian dialects ( including the written majority lyric bokmål ). In the majority of Eastern Norwegian dialects and a few border western Swedish dialects the decrease to -e was alone partial derivative, leaving some infinitives in -a and others in -e ( å laga vs. å kaste ). In northerly parts of Norway the infinitive suffix is completely lost ( å imprison ’ vs. å kast ’ ) or entirely the -a is kept ( å laga vs. å kast ’ ). The infinitives of these languages are inflected for passive voice through the addition of -s or -st to the active shape. This suffix appearance in Old Norse was a contraction of mik ( “ me ”, forming -mk ) or sik ( reflexive pronoun, forming -sk ) and was originally expressing reflexive pronoun actions : ( hann ) kallar ( “ [ he ] calls ” ) + -sik ( “ himself ” ) > ( hann ) kallask ( “ [ he ] calls himself ” ). The suffix -mk and -sk later merged to -s, which evolved to -st in the western dialects. The loss or reduction of -a in active part in norwegian did not occur in the passive forms ( -ast, -as ), except for some dialects that have -es. The other North Germanic languages have the lapp vowel in both forms .

Latin and Romance languages [edit ]

The formation of the infinitive in the Romance languages reflects that in their ancestor, Latin, about all verbs had an infinitive ending with -re ( preceded by one of diverse thematic vowels ). For case, in italian infinitives end in -are, -ere, -rre ( rare ), or -ire ( which is even identical to the Latin forms ), and in -arsi, -ersi, -rsi, -irsi for the reflexive forms. In spanish and portuguese, infinitive end in -ar, -er, or -ir ( spanish besides has reflexive pronoun forms in -arse, -erse, -irse ), while similarly in French they typically end in -re, -er, oir, and -ir. In romanian, both short and long-form infinitives exist ; the alleged “ farseeing infinitives ” end in -are, -ere, -ire and in modern manner of speaking are used entirely as verbal nouns, while there are a few verb that can not be converted into the nominal long infinitive. [ 3 ] The “ short-change infinitives ” used in verbal context ( for example, after an aide verb ) have the endings -a, -ea, -e, and -i ( basically removing the ending in “ -re ” ). In romanian, the infinitive is normally replaced by a article containing the junction plus the subjunctive climate. The only verb that is modal in common modern Romanian is the verb a putea, to be able to. however, in democratic language the infinitive after a putea is besides increasingly replaced by the subjunctive mood. In all Romance languages, infinitives can besides form nouns. latin infinitives challenged respective of the generalizations about infinitives. They did inflect for part ( amare, “ to love ”, amari, to be loved ) and for tense ( amare, “ to love ”, amavisse, “ to have loved ” ), and allowed for an overt expression of the subject ( video Socratem currere, “ I see Socrates running ” ). See latin union § Infinitives. love story languages inherited from Latin the possibility of an overt expression of the national ( as in italian vedo Socrate correre ). furthermore, the “ inflected infinitive “ ( or “ personal infinitive ” ) found in Portuguese and Galician inflects for person and number. These, aboard sardinian, [ citation needed ] are the only indo-european languages that allow infinitives to take person and number endings. This helps to make infinitive clauses very common in these languages ; for exercise, the English finite clause in order that you/she/we have… would be translated to Portuguese like para teres/ela ter/termos ( Portuguese is a null-subject speech ). The portuguese personal infinitive has no proper tenses, only aspects ( progressive and perfect ), but tenses can be expressed using circumlocutious structures. For case, “even though you sing/have sung/are going to sing” could be translated to “apesar de cantares/teres cantado/ires cantar”. early Romance languages ( including Spanish, Romanian, Catalan, and some italian dialects ) allow uninflected infinitives to combine with overt nominative subjects. For example, spanish al abrir yo los ojos ( “ when I opened my eyes ” ) or sin yo saberlo ( “ without my knowing about it ” ). [ 4 ] [ 5 ]

Hellenic languages [edit ]

Ancient Greek [edit ]

In Ancient Greek the infinitive has four tenses ( present, future, aorist, perfective ) and three voices ( active, center, passive voice ). salute and perfect have the same infinitive for both middle and passive, while future and aorist have disjoined middle and passive forms .

active middle passive
present

παιδεύειν

παιδεύεσθαι

future

παιδεύσειν

παιδεύσεσθαι

παιδευθήσεσθαι

aorist

παιδεῦσαι

παιδεύσᾰσθαι

παιδευθῆναι

perfect

πεπαιδευκέναι

πεπαιδεῦσθαι

thematic verbs form present active infinitives by adding to the stalk the thematic vowel -ε- and the infinitive ending -εν, and contracts to -ειν, e.g., παιδεύ-ειν. Athematic verb, and perfect actives and aorist passives, add the suffix -ναι alternatively, for example, διδό-ναι. In the middle and passive, the present middle infinitive ending is -σθαι, for example, δίδο-σθαι and most tenses of thematic verbs add an extra -ε- between the ending and the stem turn, for example, παιδεύ-ε-σθαι .

modern Greek [edit ]

The infinitive per se does not exist in Modern Greek. To see this, consider the ancient Greek ἐθέλω γράφειν “ I want to write ”. In modern Greek this becomes θέλω να γράψω “ I want that I write ”. In modern Greek, the infinitive has thus changed imprint and function and is used chiefly in the geological formation of circumlocutious tense forms and not with an article or alone. rather of the Ancient Greek infinitive arrangement γράφειν, γράψειν, γράψαι, γεγραφέναι, Modern Greek uses only the mannequin γράψει, a development of the ancient greek aorist infinitive γράψαι. This phase is besides constant. The modern Greek infinitive has only two forms according to voice : for exemplar, γράψει for the active voice and γραφ(τ)εί for the passive voice voice ( coming from the ancient passive aorist infinitive γραφῆναι ) .

balto-slavic languages [edit ]

The infinitive in Russian normally ends in -t’ ( ть ) preceded by a thematic vowel, or -ti ( ти ), if not preceded by one ; some verbs have a shank ending in a consonant and change the t to č’, like *mogt’ → moč’ ( * могть → мочь ) “ can ”. Some other balto-slavic languages have the infinitive typically ending in, for example, ( sometimes -c ) in polish, -t’ in Slovak, -t ( once -ti ) in Czech and Latvian ( with a handful ending in -s on the latter ), -ty ( -ти ) in ukrainian, -ць ( -ts’ ) in Belarusian. lithuanian infinitives end in – ti, serbo-croat in – ti or – ći, and slovenian in – ti or – či. serbian formally retains infinitives – ti or – ći, but is more compromising than the other slavic languages in breaking the infinitive through a clause. The infinitive however remains the dictionary form. bulgarian and macedonian have lost the infinitive all in all except in a handful of freeze expressions where it is the same as the 3rd person remarkable aorist form. Almost all expressions where an infinitive may be used in Bulgarian are listed here ; neverthess in all cases a subordinate clause is the more usual shape. For that cause, the present first-person singular conjugation is the dictionary form in Bulgarian, while macedonian uses the third gear person remarkable kind of the verb in present tense .

hebrew [edit ]

Hebrew has two infinitives, the infinitive absolute and the infinitive construct. The infinitive concept is used after prepositions and is inflected with pronominal phrase endings to indicate its subjugate or object : bikhtōbh hassōphēr “ when the scriber wrote ”, ahare lekhtō “ after his going ”. When the infinitive construct is preceded by ל‎ ( lə-, li-, lā-, lo- ) “ to ”, it has a alike mean to the English to -infinitive, and this is its most frequent consumption in Modern Hebrew. The infinitive absolute is used for verb concentrate and emphasis, like in מות ימות‎ mōth yāmūth ( literally “ a anxious he will die ” ; figuratively, “ he shall indeed/surely die ” ). [ 6 ] This use is commonplace in the Hebrew Bible. In Modern Hebrew it is restricted to high-register literary works. notice, however, that the to -infinitive of Hebrew is not the dictionary form ; that is the one-third person singular past form .

finnish [edit ]

The finnish grammatical custom includes many infinite forms that are broadly labeled as ( numbered ) infinitives although many of these are functionally converbs. To form the alleged ? first infinitive, the hard form of the rout ( without consonant gradation or epenthetic ‘ e ‘ ) is used, and these changes occur :

  1. the root is suffixed with -ta/-tä according to vowel harmony
  2. consonant elision takes place if applicable, e.g., juoks+tajuosta
  3. assimilation of clusters violating sonority hierarchy if applicable, e.g., nuol+tanuolla, sur+tasurra
  4. ‘t’ weakens to ‘d’ after diphthongs, e.g., juo+tajuoda
  5. ‘t’ elides if intervocalic, e.g., kirjoitta+takirjoittaa

As such, it is inconvenient for dictionary practice, because the imperative would be closer to the ancestor password. Nevertheless, dictionaries use the first infinitive. There are besides four early infinitives, plus a “ long ” kind of the foremost :

  • The long first infinitive is -kse- and must have a personal suffix appended to it. It has the general meaning of “in order to [do something], e.g., kirjoittaakseni “in order for me to write [something]”.
  • The second infinitive is formed by replacing the final -a/-ä of the first infinitive with e. It can take the inessive and instructive cases to create forms like kirjoittaessa “while writing”.
  • The third infinitive is formed by adding -ma to the first infinitive, which alone creates an “agent” form: kirjoita- becomes kirjoittama. The third infinitive is technically a noun (denoting the act of performing some verb), so case suffixes identical to those attached to ordinary Finnish nouns allow for other expressions using the third infinitive, e.g., kirjoittamalla “by writing”.
    • A personal suffix can then be added to this form to indicate the agent participle, such that kirjoittamani kirja = “The book that I wrote.”
  • The fourth infinitive adds -minen to the first to form a noun that has the connotation of “the process of [doing something]”, e.g., kirjoittaminen “[the process of] writing”. It, too, can be inflected like other Finnish nouns that end in -nen.
  • The fifth infinitive adds -maisilla- to the first, and like the long first infinitive, must take a possessive suffix. It has to do with being “about to [do something]” and may also imply that the act was cut off or interrupted, e.g., kirjoittamaisillasi “you were about to write [but something interrupted you]”. This form is more commonly replaced by the third infinitive in adessive case, usually also with a possessive suffix (thus kirjoittamallasi).

note that all of these must change to reflect vowel harmony, so the fifth infinitive ( with a third-person suffix ) of hypätä “ rise ” is hyppäämäisillään “ he was about to jump ”, not *hyppäämaisillaan .

Seri [edit ]

The Seri linguistic process of northwestern Mexico has infinitival forms used in two constructions ( with the verb intend ‘want ‘ and with the verb mean ‘be able ‘ ). The infinitive is formed by adding a prefix to the stem : either iha- [ iʔa- ] ( plus a vowel change of certain vowel-initial stems ) if the complement article is transitive, or ica- [ ika- ] ( and no vowel deepen ) if the complement clause is intransitive verb. The infinitive shows agreement in total with the controlling subject. Examples are : icatax ihmiimzo ‘ I want to go ‘, where icatax is the singular infinitive of the verb ‘go ‘ ( singular settle is -atax ), and icalx hamiimcajc ‘we want to go ‘, where icalx is the plural infinitive. Examples of the transitive verb infinitive : ihaho ‘to see it/him/her/them ‘ ( root -aho ), and ihacta ‘to look at it/him/her/them ‘ ( solution -oocta ) .

transformation to languages without an infinitive [edit ]

In languages without an infinitive, the infinitive is translated either as a that -clause or as a verbal noun. For exemplar, in Literary Arabic the sentence “ I want to write a reserve ” is translated as either urīdu an aktuba kitāban ( fall. “ I want that I write a book ”, with a verb in the subjunctive mood mood ) or urīdu kitābata kitābin ( light. “ I want the publish of a koran ”, with the masdar or verbal noun ), and in Levantine Colloquial Arabic biddi aktub kitāb ( subordinate article with verb in subjunctive mood ). even in languages that have infinitives, similar constructions are sometimes necessary where English would allow the infinitive. For example, in french the sentence “ I want you to come ” translates to Je veux que vous veniez ( unhorse. “ I want that you come ”, come being in the subjunctive mood climate ). however, “ I want to come ” is just Je veux venir, using the infinitive, just as in English. In russian, sentences such as “ I want you to leave ” do not use an infinitive. Rather, they use the junction чтобы “ in order to/so that ” with the past tense shape ( most credibly end of subjunctive mood ) of the verb : Я хочу, чтобы вы ушли ( literally, “ I want indeed that you left ” ) .

See besides [edit ]

Notes [edit ]

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