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An infinitive is the most basic form of a verb. It is “unmarked” (which means that it is not conjugated for tense or person), and it is preceded by the particle to.
Infinitives are known as non-finite verbs, meaning they do not express actions being performed by the subjects of clauses. Instead, infinitives function as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs to describe actions as ideas.
Infinitives are distinct from a similar construction known as bare infinitives or the base forms of verbs, which are simply infinitives without the particle to.
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see moodmood
or mode,
in verb inflection, the forms of a verb that indicate its manner of doing or being. In English the forms are called indicative (for direct statement or question or to express an uncertain condition, e.g.
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; tensetense
[O.Fr., from Lat.,=time], in the grammar of many languages, a category of time distinctions expressed by any conjugated form of a verb. In Latin inflection the tense of a verb is indicated by a suffix that also indicates the verb's voice, mood, person, and number.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an indefinite form of the verb that can function syntactically as the substantive to provide the general name for an action or process, in many languages without reference to person, number, tense, or mood. It can have aspect, voice, and sometimes tense. A number of languages have various forms of the infinitive.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Some verbs introduce the expectation of an infinitive verb form with the infinitival marker te, but they allow the marker to be absent in some configurations.
The example in (51b) deviates from the general scheme: the infinitive verb form verrassen is expected by the auxiliary zult, but it precedes the auxiliary.
In both cases an inflectional morpheme for mood, a `to', precedes the infinitive verb. E.g.
It is deduced that the opening keywords and phrases in suggestives are followed by infinitive verbs. Thus, constructions are should + infinitive, let us + infinitive, shall I + infinitive, do you want to + infinitive, why do not we/you + infinitive, we could/you could + infinitive, and ought to + infinitive.
This condensed, stripped-down poetry, utilizing strings of nouns with only a few adjectives and infinitive verbs, eliminated narrative and description to get at the essence of feeling.