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1.- Introduction 2.- The infinitive 2.1.- Characteristics 2.2.- Use of the bare infinitive 2.3.- Use of the full infinitive 3.- The ing form 3.1.- The gerund 3.2.- The present participle 4.- The gerund and the infinitive after certain verbs and verbal phrases 1.-. INTRODUCTION . The non-finite forms of the English verb are the infinitive, the gerund and the present and past participle. They are called non-finite forms because they do not express personal or temporal relations on their own.

2.- THE INFINITIVE 2.1 In English, the infinitive is not a clearly defined form at all. In pre-historical times it was a fully inflected verbal substantive and in Old English it had the ending an with only one inflected form, the dative enne which under the influence of an became anne. Due to the erosion of inflections throughout the Middle English period, the infinitive became identical in form with the present indicative, the present subjunctive and the imperative. When the infinitive function as a noun, it may be subject, object or predicative. For example: Subject: To err is human, to forgive divine. Object. Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark. Predicative: Talking is not always to converse. The infinitive has two forms: present and past. Both can be habitual or continuous, and passive or active. The present infinitive does not in itself indicate time. The temporal aspect of it is determined by the element governing the infinitive, or by the context. Thus the present infinitive can refer to the: Present: It does you good to live in the country.

Past: It was very nice of you to come Future: I wish I had money to buy a new car. The perfect infinitive may only refer to the past or future time: Past: Im happy to have finished soon. Future: I hope to have seen my family by seven oclock. Hypothetical past: I thought it wrong to have helped you. The passive infinitive may express action or state (as the passive of perfective verbs in general): Action: This letter is to be sent by air mail. State: Do you expect the Post Office to be closed. Finally the progressive infinitive expresses an action which is developing in a certain period of time: We shall be arriving in two days. The form have been being + participle is hardly used. The infinitive may occur either with or without to. If it is used with to it is called full infinitive . If it is used without it, then it is called plain, bare or flat infinitive . In the next two points we will talk about them.

2.2.- Use of the bare infinitive The bare infinitive is used either by itself or in combination with another verb. The bare infinitive is used as follows: a) With modal verbs (can/could, may/might, must, shall/should, will/would): He can go to the cinema. Will you open the window? b) With dare in interrogative and negative sentences in past and present: How dare you come? He felt he darednt venture upon the subject. c) With need in negative and interrogative sentences in the present: You neednt do it. Need you be so cruel? d) With do used as an auxiliary of emphasis or periphrases: Do tell us what happened!.

They didnt like the film. e) With the expressions had better, had best, had rather, had sooner and less frequently would rather/sooner: You had better study harder. She had best stay in bed. f) In a number of more or less stereotyped phrases: i. let + object + hang: let things go hang!

ii. Go fetch! iii. To make believe, to make do: she was made believe that she is poor. iv. To hear say, to hear tell,: hes heard tell of his family. v. Let combined with drop, fall, fly, go, pass, slip: she let fall a hint g) In the construction so called accusative with infinitive with the following verbs: i. verbs of physical perception: hear, see, feel, watch, notice, I saw him take it. ii. let and make meaning cause: He made me repeat the whole act. iii. have meaning: to permit: I wont have them do it. to order: Have him cut the grass. to want: He would have the Cabinet control everything. to experience: I had an extraordinary thing happen to me. iv. find and know in the sense of experience: I have never found/known him neglect his work. h) In sentences denoting some action with reference to another after rather than: He refused the job rather than accept such conditions. i) In elliptical constructions: (Do you) want some coffee? (I) hope he is there.

j) When there are two co-ordinated infinitives, the second does not take to if the first does not: She couldnt do better than resign. But if the first takes it, there is vacillation in the case of the second: I have nothing better to do but (to) keep quiet. k) In questions beginning with why: Why spend such a lot of money? 2.3.- Use of the full infinitive The full infinitive has two functions: nominal and verbal. When it is a noun functioning as the subject of a sentence with the verb be it is usually replaced by introductory it and placed at the end of the sentence: It was difficult to overcome the crisis. The full infinitive is used in the following cases: a) With the auxiliaries be, have, ought and used: She is to come soon. b) As an adjunct or object of the preceding verb: He intended to arrive earlier. c) As an adjunct to a preceding noun: He expressed his intention to leave the country. d) As an adjunct to an adjective: She is anxious to see her boyfriend again. e) As a qualifier of a verb, noun or complete sentence expressing purpose: She decided to discover the truth. f) After expressions as in order to or so as: She got up early in order not to miss the train. g) After an interrogative pronoun or adverb, conjunction or relative pronoun: I do not know what to do. h) After the verbs know, forget, learn and teach followed by how to express manner: He has taught him how to swim . i) With the verbs blame and let to mean blameworthy and for hire respectively:

Your brother is to blame (= its his fault) House to let (= for hire) j) A nominative construction with verbs such as : hear, feel, see, make(= cause): The ship was seen to sink . k) In an accusative construction with verbs that express: an act of will when it concerns other people besides the subject such as: want, wish, like, dislike, love, hate, prefer, He wanted me to stay. verbs of volition: allow, ask, command, force, advise, challenge, compel, dare, encourage, permit, persuade, request, recommend, entreat, get, implore, instruct, cant bear, Allow me to congratulate you. They asked not to touch the picture. verbs expressing an opinion or a perception: believe, declare, deny, imagine, perceive, suppose, understand, think, consider, prove, report, guess, judge, : I believed it to be true. an accusative with infinitive construction sometimes occurs with FOR as in: Its bad for you to stay in bed. l) Split infinitive: this is a construction where an adverb is inserted between to and the infinitive. To almost succeed is not enough. I dont expect to ever see him again. m) The full infinitive may also express: circumstances or condition: To speak frankly, I dont like it. result: He came to see that he was mistaken. temporal co-ordination: He awoke to find the house on fire. cause or reason: They must be crazy to believe such nonsense. supposition: If he were to hear this, he could not believe it. possibility: The porter was nowhere to be found. surprise or indignation: To think that all her efforts to help him had gone for nothing!

3.- THE ING FORM In this point we will pay attention to the ing form of the verb which can act as a gerund or as a present participle. 3.1.- The gerund The gerund may exhibit all the syntactic properties of a noun and a verb. The syntactic properties of a noun are the following ones: a) It may have a plural with s: The judge used to watch the hangings. b) It may have a genitive s or a possessive pronoun: We are walking for walkings sake; It was his own doing. c) It may take articles: His mother gave him a warning. d) It may combine with words in the attributive-adjectival functions: There was much coming and going. e) It may form part of compounds: walking-stick; boxing-gloves. f) It may have the object of the implied verb attached to it by OF: The writing of the book took him two years. g) It may be co-ordinated with substantives: Transportation or hanging thats what he deserves. h) It may be subject, object, predicative complement and the complement of a preposition: Her feelings have been hurt. She has given up smoking. As a verb, the syntactic properties are: a) It can be combined with adverbs: He began reading slowly. b) It can have an object or predicative complement: After reading the letter, she left the room. c) It can have a subject: She got a sense of it being her duty to do. d) It can be inflected in the perfect and the passive: There is a possibility of his having arrived by now. This saved him from being hurt. The gerund shares many syntactic characteristics with the infinitive. Therefore it will be necessary to define their respective territories. The gerund is used in the following cases:

a) As part of a prepositional adjunct: He insisted on seeing her. b) After the following verbs: admit, appreciate, avoid, consider, defend, burst out, delay, deny, detest, enjoy, escape, excuse, fancy, finish, forbid, forgive, give up, give over, go on, keep (on), leave off, mention, mind, miss, pardon, postpone, practise, put off, recollect, resent, stop, suggest, understand, She enjoyed hearing him talk. We cannot postpone answering the letter any longer. c) After the phrases: there is no, its no good, cant help, cant resist and cant stand: Its no use crying spilt milk. d) After worth and like: It doesnt look like lasting. e) After prepositions: at, before, besides, between, from, in, He ate a sandwich before leaving home. f) After to go and to come (verbs denoting physical activity) and the verb to shop: They are going skating. I wanted him to come riding. 3.2.- The present participle The present participle may exhibit all the syntactic properties of an adjective: a) It may be used attributively: He has a captivating manner. b) It may be used predicatively: His mind is wandering. c) It may be nominalised: The dying were being heaped on to of the road. d) It may be used as an adverb: A strikingly handsome man. It may also exhibit the syntactic characteristics of a verb: a) It may be qualified by an adverbial: Languages are perpetually changing. b) It may govern an object: He sent circular letters offering his services. c) It may govern a predicative complement: Being comrades, they helped each other. d) It may have a subject of his own: It being cold, he put on his coat. The uses of the present participle are the following ones: a. To form the progressive tenses: What are you doing?


It is used predicatively with intransitive verbs denoting motion or state: come, go, lie, sit, stand: They sat waiting on a chair.


It may be used i n an accusative with present participle construction after: hear, feel, watch, smell, look at, notice, observe: I saw the milkman coming along the street.


An accusative with present participle after the verbs: catch, find, get, imagine, keep, leave, send, set, start: I found him crying.


Want and like may be followed by an accusative with present participle: They dont like me drinking.


A present participle may be preceded by AS when it is a predicative adjunct to the object: We always regarded the document as belonging to her brother.

g. h. i.

In an adjectival clause: There is a man knocking at the door. As an adverbial clause: Arriving at the station, he found his train gone. Sometimes they are equivalent to adverbials: Generally speaking,. Considering the circumstances


Some present participles function as prepositions or conjunctions: Barring accidents he should reach San Francisco tomorrow.


In the construction called absolute participle: There being nothing to do, we went home.

4.- THE GERUND AND THE INFINITIVE AFTER CERTAIN VERBS AND VERBAL PHRASES The most common verbs followed by either gerund or infinitive are the following ones: advise, agree, allow, attempt, begin, cease, commence, continue, dread, endure, forget, hate, intend, leave, like, love, m ean, neglect, permit, prefer, propose, purpose, recollect, recommend, regret, remember, start, study, try. In some of those verbs the meaning may be different. a) After remember and forget, the infinitive refer to the future and the gerund to the past: I must remember to ask him about the problem. problem. b) Try takes a gerund when it means to make an experiment and an infinitive when it means to make an attempt: You should try to answer all the questions. To make a living he had tried writing, but he failed.

I remember asking him about the

c) Mean takes a gerund when it means entail, signify, and an infinitive when it means intend: I mean to work harder next year. This meant having to begin work again.

d) After verbs of likes and preferences and their opposites (love, hate, like, ) the full infinitive is preferred for particular occasions, especially when the verb is used with would and should, and the gerund is used for general statements: I like swimming. I dont like to swim in that river. I shouldnt like to swim in that cold water.

e) After stop, we use the infinitive when it means a break or pause in order to do something: We stopped to take photographs. With the gerund, it means a complete stop of the action: He stopped smoking.

f) After permit, allow, advise and recommend the infinitive is used if the person concerned is mentioned. If the person is not mentioned the gerund is used: I dont allow my pupils to smoke. I dont allow smoking