from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A verb form that functions as a substantive while retaining certain verbal characteristics, such as modification by adverbs, and that in English may be preceded by to, as in To go willingly is to show strength or We want him to work harder, or may also occur without to, as in She had them read the letter or We may finish today. See Usage Note at split infinitive.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The uninflected form of a verb. In English, this is usually formed with the verb stem preceded by 'to'. e.g. 'to sit'
- n. A verbal noun formed from the infinitive of a verb
- adj. Formed with the infinitive
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adv. In the manner of an infinitive mood.
- n. Unlimited; not bounded or restricted; undefined.
- n. An infinitive form of the verb; a verb in the infinitive mood; the infinitive mood.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- In grammar, unlimited; indefinite: noting a certain verb-form sometimes called the infinitive mode. See II.
- n. In grammar, a certain verb-form expressing the general sense of the verb without restriction in regard to person or number, as English give, German geben, French donner, Latin dare, Greek
- n. An endless quantity or number; an infinity.
- n. a name conveniently used to designate briefly the infinitive phrase consisting of the infinitive proper (for example, ‘designate,’ below) and the so-called ‘sign,’ the preposition ‘to,’ when separated by a qualifying adverb or phrase, as in ‘to briefly designate,’ ‘to readily understand,’ ‘to suddenly and completely change one's attitude.’ This use is in high disfavor with literary critics and purists who write upon the subject, but it occurs abundantly in English literature from the seventeenth century down. Nearly every ‘standard author’ is ‘guilty’ of it, as Fitzedward Hall and others have shown, and it is thoroughly established in popular speech. It is often dictated by a sense of rhythm, the placing of the adverb after the verb and before the week adjunct or object which follows the verb resulting often in disharmony of rhythm and stress. The idiom is a perfectly natural development of the conditions given—a verb to be qualified, a stress qualifier, and an unstressed syllable (to) of no definite meaning. This syllable to is instinctively treated as a or the is treated in a similarly stressed sequence of adjective and noun (‘a brief designation,’ ‘the proper order,’ etc.)
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the uninflected form of the verb
They also note that “when these verbs are used with would or should only the infinitive is used, not the - ing form.” (ibid.)
In English, the infinitive is two words, easily split, and often to great effect (eg “To boldly go …” sounds superior to “To go boldly …”)
In so doing, they completely ignore the fact that sometimes the split infinitive is the only right way of doing it.
I know the split infinitive is no longer considered strictly verboten; but “to — unlike Barry — cite” is in every way inferior to “to cite — unlike Barry — ...” andrew Says:
And (3d), (3e), and (3f) are just plain awkward, so if someone thinks a split infinitive is poor style, surely they’d think these ones still worse.
To be, the infinitive, is ‘l’hayoth’ as is known to anyone familiar with classical Hebrew grammar. niqnaq says:
According to Heidegger the infinitive is the last form in the linguistic development of the verb.
As happens frequently when I speak Spanish, the genders of articles bear little resemblance to what they properly should be, and in German I have only a few basic verb tenses -- both the compound past and the future are formed similarly, using the infinitive, which is convenient.
+Infinitive+ (the), and assumed subject after _for_ definition of double nature of old dative of use of present perfect after past indicative why called infinitive
This mood is called the infinitive, because its verb is not confined or limited to a nominative.