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The infinitive
The infinitive is the basic form of a verb. We use two forms of the infinitive
• the infinitive with ‘to’
I want to play a game.
• the infinitive without ‘to’
You’d better take a map with you.
We use the infinitive with ‘to’
• after these verbs:
advise expect plan
agree force prefer
 allow   forget   promise
 appear   hate 
She refuses to speak to him.
 arrange   help   seem

They asked me to play the piano at the school


 I hope to see you soon.

 begin   learn  stop 
 choose   like   want
 continue  manage 
  would like
We would like to have lunch now, please.
 decide   offer   would love
• with the expression too + adjective / adverb + infinitive
She’s too tired to go out tonight.
• The word ‘too’ before an adjective / adverb gives a negative meaning to the sentence.
It means ‘more than it should be’ or ‘more than is necessary*.
He is too young to drive. (= he isn’t allowed to drive because of his age)
• with the expression (not) adjective / adverb + enough + infinitive
It’s warm enough to play outside.
I am not tall enough to reach the shelf.
• The word ‘enough’ gives a positive meaning to the sentence. It means ‘just as much as it should be’ or ‘just as much as is necessary’.
He’s good enough to be a professional musician. (= he can be a professional musician if he wants to)
• with the expression it + to be + adjective + infinitive
It’s nice to go on a short holiday when you can.
It was interesting to learn that the temple dated back to the 4th century BC.
• with the expression subject + to be + adjective + infinitive
They were happy to offer me the job.
I’m sorry to hear you are not well.
She’s glad to be in the play.
Infinitive without ‘to’
We use the infinitive without ‘to’
• after the verbs let and make
I’ll let you use my computer if you are careful.
My music teacher made me play the same piece three times.
• with the expression would rather
I’d rather do this on my own if you don’t mind.
He’d rather stay in a hotel.
• with the expression had better
You’d better book the tickets as soon as possible.
She’d better not sing. She has an awful voice.
• after some modal verbs, such as could, may, might, must should
He must call his parents right now.
You shouldn’t wear my T-shirt without my permission.
• The verb help can be followed by both the infinitive with ‘to’ and the infinitive without ‘to’ It makes no difference in meaning.
Will you help me carry these bogs?
Will you help me to carry these bags?

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