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The Infinitive

infinitives home school homework help

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To split or not to split?

Recognize an infinitive when you see one.
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No matter how fascinating the biology dissection is, Emanuel turns his head and refuses to look. To look functions as a noun because it is the direct object for the verb refuses. Wherever Melissa goes, she always brings a book to read in case conversation lags or she has a long wait. To read functions as an adjective because it modifies book. Richard braved the icy rain to throw the smelly squid eyeball stew into the apartment dumpster.

To throw functions as an adverb because it explains why Richard braved the inclement weather. An infinitive will almost always begin with to. Exceptions do occur, however. An infinitive will lose its to when it follows certain verbs.

These verbs are feel , hear , help , let , make , see , and watch. As soon as Theodore felt the rain splatter on his hot, dusty skin, he knew that he had a good excuse to return the lawn mower to the garage. When Danny heard the alarm clock buzz , he slapped the snooze button and burrowed under the covers for ten more minutes of sleep.

Ribley spent an extra class period helping us understand logarithms, we still bombed the test. Because Freddie had never touched a snake, I removed the cover of the cage and let him pet Squeeze, my seven-foot python. I said a prayer when I saw my friends mount the Kumba, a frightening roller coaster that twists and rolls like a giant sea serpent.

Hoping to lose her fear of flying, Rachel went to the airport to watch passenger planes take off and land , but even this exercise did not convince her that jets were safe. The general rule is that no word should separate the to of an infinitive from the simple form of the verb that follows.

If a word does come between these two components, a split infinitive results. Look at the example that follows:. Some English teachers believe that thou shall not split infinitives was written on the stone tablets that Moses carried down from the mountain. Other folks, however, consider the split infinitive a construction , not an error.

Gender Number and Plurality Nouns Quiz: Present Progressive Infinitives Quiz: Sentence Structure Conjunctions Quiz: Determining Which Verb to Use Quiz: Adjective Types Adjectives from Verbs Quiz: Adjectives from Verbs Adjective Use Quiz: Adverbs from Adjectives Quiz: Double Object Sentences Quiz: Imperfect Indicators Narration in the Past Quiz: Simple Prepositions Para and Por Quiz: Para and Por Quiz: Reflexivity Prepositional Pronouns Quiz: Prepositional Pronouns Demonstrative Pronouns Quiz: Demonstrative Pronouns Reflexivity Commands Quiz: Consonants Vowels Articles Quiz:


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