The Infinitive Form

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The INFINITIVE form of a verb is the form which follows to 
to ask 
to believe 
to cry 
to go
to protect 
to sing 
to talk 
to wish

This form is indistinguishable from the base form. Indeed, many people cite this form when they identify a verb, as in "This is the verb to be", although to is not part of the verb.  

Infinitives with to are referred to specifically as TO-INFINITIVES, in order to distinguish them from BARE INFINITIVES, in which to is absent:

Bare infinitive
Help me to open the gate Help me open the gate

More Verb Forms: -ing and -ed

So far we have looked at three verb forms: the present form, the past form, and the infinitive/base form. Verbs have two further forms which we will look at now.  
      [1] The old lady is writing a play 
      [2] The film was produced in Hollywood 
The verb form writing in [1] is known as the -ing form, or the -ING PARTICIPLE form. In [2], the verb form produced is called the -ed form, or -ED PARTICIPLE form.  

Many so-called -ed participle forms do not end in -ed at all:  

      The film was written by John Brown 
      The film was bought by a British company 
      The film was made in Hollywood 
All of these forms are called -ed participle forms, despite their various endings. The term "-ed participle form" is simply a cover term for all of these forms.  

The -ed participle form should not be confused with the -ed inflection which is used to indicate the past tense of many verbs.  

We have now looked at all five verb forms. By way of summary, let us bring them together and see how they look for different verbs. For convenience, we will illustrate only the third person singular forms (the forms which agree with he/she/it) of each verb. Notice that some verbs have irregular past forms and -ed forms.  

Base/Infinitive Form
Present Tense Form
Past Tense Form
-ing Form
-ed Form
cook he cooks he cooked he is cooking he has cooked
walk he walks he walked he is walking he has walked
take he takes he took he is taking he has taken
bring he brings he brought he is bringing he has brought
be he is he was he is being he has been

A verb has been highlighted in each of the following sentences. Indicate the form of the verb by selecting one of the choices given.
1. He plays the piano in a jazz club Present    
2. David is singing in the shower again Present    
3. He was told not to laugh at policemen Present    
4. His arm swelled up after the accident Present    
5. The population has increased by 6% since 1970   Present    

More on Verbs...


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