The Infinitive

The Infinitive :

Infinitive is the form of a verb that is usually used with TO and can follow a noun, adjective or other verb.

(i) I have a desire to go.
(ii) It is important to go.
(iii) I want to go.

TO GO is the Infinitive Verb.

(i) desire – noun - TO GO follows desire.
(ii) important - adjective - To Go follows important.
(iii) want - Verb - TO GO follows want.

1. I go.
2. We go.
3. You go.
4. He goes.

The verb GO is limited by the subject. The verb GO has to change according to the person and number of the subject.

1. I want to go.
2. We want to go.
3. You want to go.
4. He wants to go.

But not the verb TO GO…..The verb TO GO is not limited by the subject. Its action is not finite. It is infinite. So, TO GO is called the Infinitive Verb.

1. I go.
2. I want to go.

In the sentence (I want to go.), 'to go' merely names the action denoted by the verb GO and is used without mentioning any subject. It is, therefore, not limited by person and number as a verb that has a subject and is, therefore, called the verb infinite or simply the Infinitive.

Read the following sentences.

Subject ….Predicate…..Object

(i) To err is human.
(ii) I love to sing.
(iii) To respect our national flag is our duty.
(iv) The officer wanted to issue orders.
(v) Many people desire to amass wealth quickly.

Analysis of the above sentences :

1. To err is human.
(human - complement)

2. I love to sing.

3. To respect our national flag is our duty
object of to respect - our national flag
complement - our duty

4. The officer wanted to issue orders.
object of wanted - to issue
object of TO ISSUE – orders

5. Many people desire to amass wealth.
object of desire - to amass
object of TO AMASS – wealth

Sentence – 1

TO ERR is the subject of IS.

Sentence – 2

TO SING is the object of LOVE.

Sentence – 3

TO RESPECT is the subject of IS.

Sentence – 4

TO ISSUE is the object of WANTED.
ORDERS is the object of TO ISSUE.

Sentence – 5

TO AMASS is the object of DESIRE.
WEALTH is the object of TO AMASS
QUICKLY adverb modifies TO AMASS.


  1. The Infinitive
  2. The Infinitive as The Noun
  3. The Infinitive as The Verb
  4. The Infinitive as The Subject
  5. The Infinitive as The Object
  6. The Infinitive as The Complement
  7. The Infinitive as The Object of A Preposition
  8. The Infinitive without TO
  9. Infinitive without TO
  10. Improve English Grammar
  11. Free English Classes Online
  12. English Language
  13. Modal Verb Forms
  14. Active Infinitive
  15. Passive Infinitive
  16. Boost Your English

The Infinitive

The Infinitive To HOME PAGE

The Grammar Index