AN INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH GRAMMAR & LANGUAGE
(c) He spoke the truth. He spoke haughtily.
(d) The ant fought the wasps. Some ants are very
fierce. There are different forms of infinitive according as it
is used in the active or passive voice in relation to present
(e) The shot sank the ship. The ship sank
or past time :
From Active Voice Passive
(f) The dirver stopped The bus stopped
Present Indefinite To love To be loved
the bus. suddenly.
Present Continuous To be loving
(g) Ring the bell. The bell rang loudly.
Past Perfect To have loved To have been
2. Most transitive verbs take a single object. But such
transitive verbs as give, offer, ask, promise, tell etc. loved
Take two objects after them — an Indirect object. Present Perfect To have been
Which denotes the person to whom something is Continuous loving
given or for whom something is done, and a Direct Let us take a few examples :
object which is usually the name of some thing. (a) To err is human.
For example, (b) Birds love to sing.
His mother gave him (Indirect) a chocolate (Direct). (c) To respect our parents is our duty.
She told me (Indirect) a story (Direct). (d) He refused to obey the orders.
3. But sentences where the subject and the object both (e) Many men desire to make money quickly.
refer to the same person, the Verb is said to be In the first sentence, the infinitive, like a Noun, is the
used reflexively. subject of the Verb is.
For example, In the second sentence, the infinitive like a Noun, is
The man killed himself. the object of the Verb love.
The boy did himself. They love themselves. In the third sentence, the infinitive like a Noun, is the
4. Sometimes, though the Verb is used reflexively, the subject of the Verb is.
object is not expressed. In the fourth sentence, the infinitive like a Noun, is
the object of the Verb refused.
In the fifth sentence, the infinitive like a Noun, is the
The bubble burst (itself).
object of the Verb desire.
The guests made (themselves) enjoy.
Again, the word to is frequently used with the infini-
Please keep (yourselves) quiet. tive, but is not an essential part or sign of it.
With these words she turned (himself) Thus, after certain verbs like : bid, let, make, need,
The Indians feed (themselves) chiefly on rice. dare, see, hear, etc. we use the infinitive without to.
5. There are certain verbs which can be used reflexively For example,
are also as ordinary transitive verbs. Bid him go there. I bade him go.
For example, Let him sit there. I will not let you go.
Do not forget her name. Make him stand. I made him run.
I forget her name. We need not go today. You need not do it.
Acquit yourself as man. You dare not do it. I saw him do it.
The magistrate acquitted him of the charge against I heard him cry.
him. The infinitve without to is also used after the verbs
I enjoy myself sitting along. shall, will, do, did, should, would, may, might, must, can
He enjoys good health. and could.
His talk does not interest me.
You shall do it [You shall be compelled to do it].
He interested himself in his friend"s welfare.
I will play. [I am determined to play].
Finite And Infinite Verbs He may go. [He is at liberty to go.
Look at the sentences : He is permitted to go.]
(i) They always find fault with me. You must go. [You are commanded to go.]
(ii) They always try to find fault with me. I can swim. [I am able to swim.]
In the first sentence, the Verb find has they for the The infinitive without to is also used after had better,
subject. The Verb find is limited by person and number. had rather, would rather, sooner than, rather than etc.
We, therefore, call it a Finite Verb. For example,
In the second sentence, to find names the action de- You had better ask permission.
noted by the Verb find and is used without mentioning the I had rather play than work.
subject. It is therefore not limited by person and number I would rather die than suffer so.
as a Verb that has a subject and is therefore, called Non- Uses of the Infinitive
finite Verb or only infinitive. 1. Infinitive may be used like a Noun as a subject of a