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Related to Infinitives: split infinitives


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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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.

References in periodicals archive ?
When my Dictionary of Modern American Usage was published in late 1998, there was a widely printed AP wire story: "To Split or Not to Split: Oxford Abandons Rule Governing Infinitives.
However, all of the children in this study, regardless of the dialect spoken, used simple infinitives with same subjects, gerunds and participles, and the conjunctions and and because, and none of them used tag questions or the conjunction since.
The Catalan version omits most articles, has Conjugated verbs occurring with infinitives, and uses the subordinating conjunction que.
I didn't know what a split infinitive was until my editor pointed it out to me deep into the last century when I was still wearing skinny ties.
Their topics include restructuring at the syntax-semantics interface, the Romanian infinitive selected by perception and cognitive verbs, early modern Romanian infinitives: origin and replacement, semantic factors for the status of control infinitives in the history of German, and the emergence of expressions for purpose relations in older Indo-European languages.
Researchers have suggested teachers no longer have to advise pupils against splitting infinitives because they are now in common parlance.
The present note argues that the verbal root [square root of (term)]prns 'to distribute, supply' derives from Greek [pi][rho]ovo[eta][sigma][alpha]i, the aorist infinitive of [pi][rho]ovo[epsilon][omega] 'to perceive, foresee; to provide, take care of.
The verb dare, as well as most Present-Day English modal verbs (other than will), is considered a special verb because of its preterite-present morphology, the defective paradigm, the selection of bare infinitive (henceforth, BI) complementation, the lack of a third person singular--p ending and of participles.
In some particular cases, however, o is observed to disseminate along with to with the same matrix verbs, the list including not only items like see, hear, let or make, which were already in use in Middle English, but also new items like help or wish, and, by the time of Shakespeare and Dryden, "the dominance of bare infinitives had largely been established" (Iyeiri 2012, 61; also Fanego 1994, 196-197).
Just as we can compare two apples, we can compare two infinitives (to serve, to keep), or two gerunds (serving, keeping):
From a syntactic point of view, the accusative pronoun hine (Christ), which is obviously the subject of each of the embedded infinitives claensian, gelacnian, drifan, aweccan, bebeodan, gan, and wyrcean, seems to stand in exactly the same relationship to the participle onlyhtende as to the infinitives.
Those upon whom the fear of infinitive-splitting sits heavy should remember that to give conclusive evidence, by distortions, of misconceiving the nature of the split infinitives is far more damaging to their literary pretensions than an actual lapse could be; for it exhibits them as deaf to the normal rhythm of English sentences.