From Hull AWE
| This article is part of the grammar course.
You may choose to follow it in a structured way, or read each item separately.
- The bare infinitive is the base form, by itself. This is the one from which the other forms are adapted. (Regular verbs in English have up to five forms, or inflections: the base form; the 3rd person singular in the present tense, formed by adding -s to the base form, e.g. 'he talks'; the past tense; and the two participles. Some verbs have fewer forms, usually because the past tense and the past participle are identical. One verb has eight forms - the verb 'to be'. It is a useful exercise to list - and label - them.)
- The bare infinitive is the form by which a verb is put into alphabetical order in dictionaries.
- The other infinitive consists of 'to' + the base form. This is called - obviously enough - the to-infinitive. This is the form, 'to think', which is meant when teachers and others say "You should not split the infinitive", by which they mean putting a word between 'to' and the verb.