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English definition of “infinitive”


noun [C]     /ɪnˈfɪn.ɪ.tɪv/ US  /-ə.t̬ɪv/ specialized
B1 the basic form of a verb that usually follows "to": In the sentences "I had to go" and "I must go", "go" is an infinitive. "Go" is the infinitive form.Verb forms, tenses and types of verbs Grammar:Infinitive: active or passive?Most verbs have an active infinitive form (with or without to): (to) catch, (to) do, (to) help, (to) leave, (to) wash.See moreGrammar:Infinitives with and without toSee moreGrammar:FormThe infinitive of a verb has two forms: the to-infinitive and the infinitive without to. The to-form consists of to plus the base form of the verb:See moreGrammar:To-infinitiveWe use the to-infinitive after a number of common main verbs. These include:See moreGrammar:Infinitive without toWe use the infinitive without to after modal verbs can, could, may, might, will, shall, would, should, must:See moreGrammar:Perfect infinitive with to (to have worked)We form the perfect infinitive with to have + the -ed form of a verb. We use the perfect infinitive after verbs such as claim, expect, hate, hope, like, love, prefer, pretend:See moreGrammar:Verb patterns: verb + infinitive or verb + -ing?See moreGrammar:Verbs followed by a to-infinitiveSome verbs can be followed immediately by a to-infinitive:See moreGrammar:Verbs followed by -ingSee moreGrammar:Verbs followed by a to-infinitive or -ingSee moreGrammar:Verbs followed by an infinitive without toSee moreGrammar:Verbs followed by -ing or an infinitive without toA group of verbs connected with feeling, hearing and seeing can be used with -ing or with an infinitive without to:See moreGrammar:Verbs followed by a direct object and a to-infinitiveSome verbs are used with a direct object (underlined) followed by a to-infinitive. These verbs include:See more
(Definition of infinitive noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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