Infinitive

Infinitive is a grammatical term used to refer to certain verb forms that exist in many languages. As with many linguistic concepts, there is not a single definition applicable to all languages. In traditional descriptions of English, the infinitive is the basic dictionary form of a verb when used non-finitely, with or without the particle to. Thus to go is an infinitive, as is go in a sentence like I must go there (but not in I go there). The latter is called the bare infinitive, the former the full infinitive or to-infinitive. In many other languages the infinitive is a single word, often with a characteristic inflective ending, such as manger ("(to) eat") in French, portare ("(to) carry") in Latin, lieben ("(to) love") in German, etc.

Some languages do not have any forms identifiable as infinitives. Many Native American languages and some languages in Africa and Australia do not have direct equivalents to infinitives or verbal nouns. In their place they use finite verb forms in ordinary clauses or various special constructions.

Forms identified as infinitives are generally non-finite verbs in most uses. They may function as other lexical categories, such as nouns, within the clauses that contain them, for example by serving as the subject, object or complement of another verb or preposition. As non-finite verbs, they are generally used without a stated subject, and as a rule they are not inflected to agree with any subject; nor do they normally inflect for other categories such as tense, aspect, mood or voice (although such inflection sometimes occurs to a certain degree, for example Latin has distinct active and passive infinitives).

Other non-finite verb forms which often share many of the above properties (but are not classed as infinitives) include participles, gerunds and gerundives.

Read more about Infinitive:  English, Other Germanic Languages, Latin and Romance Languages, Balto-Slavic Languages, Biblical Hebrew, Finnish, Seri, Translation To Languages Without An Infinitive

Other articles related to "infinitive, infinitives":

Somali Grammar - Morphology - Verbs - Infinitive and Verbal Nouns
... The infinitive is created through the suffix -i or -n depending on verb class, e.g ... The infinitive is used in present tense only with the modal verb karid (to be able) ...
Czech Conjugation - Infinitive
... The infinitive is formed by the ending -t, formerly also -ti on some words -ct (-ci) být - to be, jít - to go, péct - to bake Somewhat archaically býti - to be, jíti - to go, péci - to bake ...
Translation To Languages Without An Infinitive
... In languages without an infinitive, the infinitive is translated either as a that-clause or as a verbal noun ... Even in languages that have infinitives, similar constructions are sometimes necessary where English would allow the infinitive ... However, "I want to come" is simply Je veux venir, using the infinitive, just as in English ...
Middle High German Verbs - Verb Forms - Gerund
... Also called the inflected infinitive, the gerund is a verbal noun ... The former is created by adding "-(n)e" to the infinitive, the latter by adding "-(n)es" to the infinitive "gëben(n)e/gëben(n)es", "sëhen(n)e/sëhen(n)es", and "tuon(n)e/ tuon(n)es" ... the nominative case is identical to the infinitive form ...
Middle High German Verbs - Verb Forms - Infinitive
... In Middle High German the infinitive usually ends in "-en" or simply "-n" ... The stem of the infinitive is the basic form from which all other verb forms are derived ... The stem can be derived by simply taking the "-(e)n" ending off of the infinitive ...