Infinitive in English Learning

Minggu, 23 November 2008

1) After some verbs, we can use: OBJECT+INFINITIVE
e.g. – Mother didn’t want me to go last night.
(Not: Mother didn’t want that I go…)
- I won’t ask you to pay for the meal.
- The girl invited John to come and see her.
- That lady teaches us to speak English.
Some common verbs that are used in this structure are:
advice hate prefer
allow help remind
ask invite teach
cause like tell
encourage mean want
expect need warn
get order wish
2) Infinitives are used after some adjectives.
e.g. - I’m very pleased to meet you.
- Santos was surprised to get your letter
- Her writing is easy to understand.
- Anis and Arif are very nice to talk to.
- The gentleman feels very sad to know the matter.
3) We can also use infinitives after some nouns.
e.g. – She has no courage to go.
- I told my wife about my decision to leave.
- Mother found no one to go with.
- Jojo has no idea to tell.
The infinitive often explains the purpose of something: what it will do, or what somebody will do with it.
e.g. – Have you got a key to open this door?
- I need some more work to do.
- Anis didn’t have any good news to tell.
4) Infinitives after “who, what. How, etc.
Especially in reported speech, we can use an infinitive after the question-words: who, what, where, etc. (but not ‘why’) to talk about questions and answers to questions.
e.g. – I really wonder who to invite.
- Please show me what to do.
- Can you tell me how to get to the airport?
- I don’t know where to put my hat here.
- Tell me when to return the book.
- I can decide whether to sell it or not.
5) Infinitive of Purpose
We often use an infinitive to talk about a person’s purpose-why he or she does something.
e.g. – I came there to meet your young sister.
- He went abroad to study.
- I’m going to Japan to learn Japanese.
- Mother wrote the letter to inform her of the victory.
In a more formal style, we often use’ in order to’, or ‘so as to’.
e.g. – She got up early in order to have enough time to pack
- Santos moved to a new house so as to be near his work.
- Anis came much earlier in order to open the black box.
In negative constructions, we nearly always use the structure with ‘so as not to’ or ‘in order not to’.
e.g. – I’m leaving now, so as not to be late.
- Arif got married sooner, so as not to make Hadi angry.
- Aunt Jane moved to the new house, so as not to interfere us.
6) Infinitive without ‘to’
We use the infinitive without ‘to’ after the following cases:
A) After the modal auxiliary verbs: will, shall, can, may, must, etc.
e.g. – I must arrive home before sun set tomorrow.
- Will you help me lift the box?
- Nobody can tell you anything about it.
- Shall we go to dance tonight?
B) After some linking verbs (hear, smell, see, feel, etc.) we use an object and infinitive without ‘to’.
e.g. – We let the girl do what she wants.
- I made them give me the money back.
- I heard her say that she was very tired.
- I didn’t see the man enter the room.
C) We can use an infinitive without ‘to’ after ‘why’ (not). This usually means that it is unnecessary or stupid to do something.
e.g. – Why pay more at the other shops? Our prices are the lowest.
- Why not ask Anis to help you arrange the party tonight?
- Why not listen to our father if we have problem with him?
D) We can join two infinitive with ‘and’, or, except’, ‘but’ or ‘than’. These second infinitives are usually without ‘to’.
e.g. – I’d like to lie down and take a nap for a minute.
- Do you want to eat now or wait till dawn?
- I’ll do anything for a living but work on a farm.
- It’s easer to do it yourself than explain to someone else how to do it.

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