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Related to infinitive: bare infinitive, split infinitive


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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Those who presumably do know what split infinitives are, and condemn them, are not so easily identified, since they include all who neither commit the sin nor flounder about in saving themselves from it, all who combine with acceptance of conventional rules a reasonable dexterity.
We conclude that the--a (traditionally known as the first) infinitive is the most neutral verb form.
The Spanish infinitive and English gerund have two important points in common.
The infinitive in (6), (7), and (8) seems to function as a reason for the state represented by the matrix predicates.
(2) The 'let' type:: V, (Infinitive) + V2 - light verb combines with a main verb that is in the oblique inflectional form of the infinitive but with no case marker', says Butt and Ramchand (2003).
(See the above section on the Intensifying Infinitive Absolute for the complete quoted verse.) The sons' rhetorical question serves as the sons' self-exoneration from any blame for requiring the brothers to take Benjamin to Egypt.
"The rise of the split infinitive is just one example of language phenomena which some commentators might not like, but which are becoming a normal part of everyday speech," said Dr Claire Dembry, principal research manager at Cambridge University Press.
Tomaszewska (2014: 69) cites the clause in (4), which appears to have the infinitive to swerian following the plural form durran:
A different Greek etymology is proposed here: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII], the aorist infinitive of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 'to perceive, foresee; to provide, take care of' (LSJ 1490-91).
Examples (23) and (24) suggest that durst no longer conveys past and needs the support of the perfect infinitive in the subordinate clause.
Although the current research contains several cases of such analysis, the Livonian language posesses a more or less grammaticalized means of future reference (the copula lido in the construction with the infinitive or the active or passive participle) rather directly indicates some cross-linguistic parallels with the Latvian verb system.