Grammar Guide: Infinitives

Camping is a favorite summer activity, especially for residents in Utah. Utah has some of the finest camping grounds nestled in the beautiful mountain valleys. Camping is especially popular in Utah because although the weather during the day is hot, the night brings cool, refreshing temperatures. Nomen Global students are lucky enough to experience camping in Utah--tonight! They will set up near the majestic Bridal Veil Falls to enjoy hiking, playing games, singing by the campfire, and exploring nature.

We have already discussed gerunds and participles; today we will focus on infinitives. Similar to gerunds (verbs that act as nouns) and participles (verbs that act as adjectives), infinitives are verbs that act as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. Infinitives are formed with the word to + simple form of the verb. The word to can be used as a preposition, so be careful that you use a verb form after it.

Infinitives used as nouns can act as the subject, the direct object, or a predicate nominative.
  • To start a fire at sunset seemed like a good idea.
  • Everyone wanted to go hiking in the morning.
  • The best part of camping is to be with friends.
Infinitives used as adjectives describe other nouns.
  • Sarah did not have the strength to hike up to Bridal Veil Falls.
  • Jamie did not bring any flashlight to use at night.
Infinitive used as adverbs usually express purpose.
  • To set up a tent properly, you should read the instructions.
  • Jake brought lots of food to the campsite to avoid being too hungry.
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