Infinitives in English

The infinitive with to: 

  • We use the infinitive + to:
  1. To express a reason; 

e.g. I am saving money to buy a flat.

2. After adjectives; 

e.g. It’s very  easy to find my city.

3. After some verbs: (Would like, want, seem, try, remember, refuse, promise, pretend, plan, offer, need, learn, hope, help, forget, expect, decide, agree, (can’t) aford). 

e.g. I would like to go to the cinema.

She needs to help her mum today.

We wanted to travel abroad.

  • The negative infinitive = not to + verb 

e.g Try not to make a noise in the library.

*These commom verbs can take either the infinitive or gerund with no difference in meaning: start, begin and continue.

e.g. I’ve started to watch a movie or I’ve started watching a movie.

The infinitive without to:

  • We use the infinitive without to: 
  1. After most modal and auxiliary verbs; 

e.g. I must go home now.

2. After make & let.

e.g. I let you go.

e.g. We make everything in this house.

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