The infinitive is the simple or base form of a verb (verb-1). It is often combined with the word “to”, and can act as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs.

Noun: To win is exhilarating. The worse option is to do nothing.
Adjective: Everyone is busy; we have a lot of tasks to complete.
Adverb: Sheila studied and trained for many years to become a medical doctor.

Verb + Infinitives

However, infinitives occur most often as parts of predicates, which provide information about the subject of a sentence.

 Subject + main verb + (somebody) + infinitive (to verb-1). 

• I want to go home, take a nice, hot shower…and relax.
• Her coworker often forgets to turn off his car lights.
• The children begged their mother to take them along.

Verbs that Combine with Infinitives

Verb + Infinitive     Verb + Person + Infinitive     Verb + Gerund or Infinitive
agree advise begin
choose allow continue
dare ask hate
decide beg like
expect encourage love
forget expect prefer
help help *remember
hope invite start
learn need *stop
manage order *try
need remind  
offer tell  
promise want  
refuse warn  
seem would like  
would hate    
would like    
would love    
would prefer    

* Has a different meaning depending on if a gerund or infinitive follows it.

• The hikers stopped to drink some water.
• Ryan stopped drinking soft drinks last March; he now drinks green tea.
• Luckily Susan remembered to buy some mosquito repellent.
• I remember seeing a suspicious-looking man outside the bank that Friday.
• Douglas tried lifting weights for a while.
• We tried to lift Richard up—but were unable to do so.

Answer the following questions or respond to the statements. Say why and give examples.

Government, Rulers

1. Does the government allow citizens to say and write whatever they want?

2. What does the government encourage people to do?

3. The local inhabitants invited the outsiders to rule over them. Can this happen? Has it happened in history?

4. Alexander ordered his troops to fight the enemy. Did he take part in battles himself?

5. Is it always bad to refuse to requests for help, pay taxes, or serve in the military?


6. What have you decided to do with your life?

7. Do all of your classmates/friends hope to become rich and famous someday?

8. I’ve managed to finish college, get a good job, marry, buy a house and raise a family. True or false?

9. Do young people promise to look after their parents when they retire?

10. My best friend often forgets to __________.

11. I expect to have a higher living standard than my parents. Yes or no?


12. Where would you love to live or visit? I would love to visit_____.

13. Would your friend prefer to have a different husband or wife?

14. Clifford’s friends and family begged him not to go. Why?

15. What do your classmates or colleagues want to do next summer?

16. What famous person would you like to meet?

17. Is there any sport or activity would you like to try?

School, Education

18. Everyone in our school learned to read, write and do mathematics. True of false?

19. Can students in your country choose to attend university, or technical school of their choice, or to work?

20. Our career counsellor advised the students to __________.

Social, Community

21. I have agreed to help wash the dishes and take out the garbage. True or false?

22. My friends dared me to approach and talk to the most beautiful girl/wealthiest guy in our school. Yes or no?

23. Do people in my neighbourhood always offer to feed and take in (shelter) strangers?

24. Did your great-grandparents’ neighbours help each other to build their homes?

Work, Career, Finance

25. Do you need to wear a suit and tie (formal attire) to work?

26. What jobs would you hate to do? I would hate to _________.

27. What job would you like to do or have?

28. What do people need to do to be financially secure or independent?

29. Max warned his friend not to go into debt. Why? What happened?

30. Most middle-aged workers expect to retire with a nest egg. Yes or no?


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