Infinitive Summary


A helpful friend

Quiz 1: beginning – intermediate

Quiz 2: intermediate – advanced 

Infinitive as Subject



To be or not to be. That is the question.

TO LAUGH: to express mirth, pleasure or amusement   (dictionary entry)


Infinitives as Object (verb complement)

Art image - man screaming - Edvard Munch

Edward needs to get help. (infinitive clause)
Ed needs [that Ed get some help].   (subclause)

He helped [to] get the work done.

Ed doesn't want us to help.
Ed wants us not to help.

He intends to try to persuade us to help him  to change doctors.  


Brummer Man sitting

Ed needs to get some help.
Ed needs me to get some help.

Ed intended Frida to do the portrait.
Ed persuaded Fridato do the portrait.

Ed made Frida do the portrait.
Ed helped Frida (to) do the portrait.



The judge ordered John to leave.  

The judge ordered that John leave.  (Verb uses base form, no -s.)

Infinitive Expressions


hour glass

It takes ten minutes to get ready in the morning. (anyone)

It takes Jill ten minutes to get ready in the morning.

It takes ten minutes for her to get ready in the morning.


Babe sitting on the hood of a car

She is too young to drive.

She is old enough to drive.


Dog with flowers

We were happy to hear the good news.


lab technician

It's a good idea to put on your lab.

It's hard to know when a rat will get loose.


Doctor operating on a patient/victim

The doctor operated in order to save his patient's life.

The doctor operated so that they could save his patient's life..


I want to explore.

I just want to do my best.

Jack remembered leaving the door unlocked.

Jack remembered having left the door unlocked.

He remembered being distracted.

Jack remembered having been distracted.





I will faithfully execute the office of president...
I will execute faithfully the office of president...