Infinitive (Noun) Recognition Practice
 

Review: An infinitive is a verb form that is used as a noun, an adjective, or an adverb.  An infinitive starts with the WORD "to" (not the preposition) and the base of the verb.  Examples: to run, to jump, to find, etc.

DO NOT confuse infinitives with a prepositional phrase.  A prepositional phrase will have a noun or pronoun (object of the preposition) following it, not a verb.

Example:
Sara wants to learn Spanish.  "To learn" is an infinitive.
Sara will go to the store.  "To the store" is a prepositional phrase.

This exercise will help you find an infinitive used as a noun, used as the subject, direct object, predicate noun, or object of the preposition.


Examples:
To depart would be impolite.  "To depart" is the infinitive and is used as the subject in this sentence.

I want to depart from this place.  "To depart" is the infinitive and is used as the direct object in this sentence.

My decision is to depart.  "To depart" is the infinitive and is used as the predicate noun in this sentence.

I want nothing else except to depart.  "To depart" is the infinitive and is used as the object of the preposition, "except."


Another reminder: sometimes the WORD "to" is omitted even though the infinitive is used.  Example:

We say: Martha helped me to wash the dishes.
We also say: Martha helped me wash the dishes.

The infinitive is harder to find in the second sentence, even though it is there - (to) wash.


Exercise Directions: Write down the infinitive in each sentence.  Beside it, write its use in the sentence, as either subject, direct object, predicate noun, or object of the preposition.
 

1. Do you want to read the book?
(Hint: change it to a statement..."You do want to read the book."  You do want what? - to read the book.  What position in a sentence answers the question, "what," after an action verb.)

2. To summarize a report is helpful to some people.

3. One study aid is to memorize.

4. Jeff needs to study harder and to get to school on time.  (CAREFUL!)

5. To persist is a valuable virtue in life.

6. His goal was to jump the hurdles.

7. The explorer's aim was to find a new land.

8. The boat was about to leave the pier.

9. The principal would like to see you in his office.

10. His hobby is to collect stamps.

11. The class is about to finish the unit of work.

12. To hear the orchestra was a wonderful experience.

13. Steve tried to write a poem.

14. The children were asked to contribute to the heart fund.

15. John did nothing in class except to gaze out the window.
 

 

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