Infinite infinitives infinite infinitives

Verbs that assert action about a subject are called finite verbs. Finite means limited, and a finite verb is one that is so limited that it cannot be used unless it has a subject.
Verbs not finite are not limited in their use,
that is, they express action in a general way, without a subject, and therefore without the limitations of person or number.
Such verbs without limits are called

(in = not + finite)

Infinite Infinitives

From A Practical English Grammar, by Judson Perry Welsh

I. A verb may have two infinitive forms, both of which are usually (not always) introduced by the preposition to. 

a. Present infinitive

The present infinitive is the simple form of the verb:
(to) run, (to) see, (to) have, (to) hold

b. Perfect infinitive

The perfect infinitive is the past participle of the verb preceded by the word have.
(to) have run, (to) have seen, (to) have had, (to) have held


II. Uses of the infinitive

Because infinitives are verbs not limited by a subject, they can be used in many ways.

a. The infinitive phrase used as a subject

To teach idle pupils is a difficult task.
To read good books promotes knowledge.

b. The infinitive phrase used as an object complement

He tries to learn.
Alexander wanted to conquer more worlds.

c. The infinitive phrase used as a subject complement

He appeared to be very studious.
To hesitate in a crisis is to fail.

d. The infinitive phrase used as an objective complement

A fool always finds a greater fool to admire him.
They compelled Galileo to recant.
(partial diagram)

e. The infinitive phrase used as an adjective modifier

There is a time to laugh and a time to cry.
A desire to read good books is an evidence of noble character.
(partial diagram)

f. The infinitive phrase used as an adverb modifier

The farmer fertilizes his field to ensure a bountiful harvest.
Some people are always ready to find fault.

g. The infinitive phrase used in a prepositional phrase

There was nothing to do but to acquiesce.
John Hartman is about to sell his farm.
(partial diagram)

h. The infinitive used with an assumed subject after the preposition for

For an American citizen to stay away from the polls on election day is irresponsible.
For him to consent to such a bargain is disgraceful.
(partial diagram)

i. The infinitive phrase used in apposition

It is impossible to please everybody.
This privilege, to vote for the officers of government, belongs to every American citizen.
All expressions in apposition with the pronoun it used as a subject stand at the end of the sentence instead of immediately after the word it; but in the diagram, they are placed, like all appositives, next to the word explained.
(partial diagram)

j. The infinitive phrase used independently

To make a long story short, Rip Van Winkle slept twenty years.
To tell the truth, I began to grow weary.

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