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Infinitive Mode

1. I am glad to see you.

2. The boys have gone to play ball.

3. The men have gone to work in the mill.

4. It is best to speak ill of no one.

5. Arthur was ready to go at once.

The groups of words in the sentences above, (to) see, (to) play, (to) work, (to) speak, and (to) go are called simple infinitives.

The preposition to is generally placed before the infinitive; but it is not really a part of the verb, and is generally omitted after the verbs bid, dare, feel, hear, let, make, need, see, and some others.

The infinitive mode is that use or form of the verb by which an action or state is merely named.

1. To study is to learn.

2. He desires to improve.

3. He seems to love his mother.

4. Food to eat was scarce.

5. He studied to learn his lesson.

6. I am glad to see you.

7. He knows when to speak.

A study of these sentences shows that the infinitive may be used as,

1. The subject of a verb.

2. The object of a verb.

3. The complement of an intransitive verb.

4. The.modifier of a noun.

5. The modifier of a verb.

6. The modifier of an adjective.

7. The modifier of an adverb.

It thus appears that an infinitive may be used as a noun, either in the nominative or objective case, as an adjective, or as an adverb.

Tell the mode of each of the verbs in the following sentences. Give the reason in each case.

1. And what is the shore where I stood to see My boat sail down to the west?

2. We lay down to sleep.

3. What would you do, were you to find the cabin empty?

4. Preserve my soul, for I have trod

Thy ways, and love the just, Save thy servant, O my God, Who still in thee doth trust.

5. To bear, to nurse, to rear,

To watch, and then to lose: This have I done when God drew near Among his own to choose.

6. If he is faithless to his trust, and has been praised amiss, his sorrow will be the harder to endure.


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