Verb forms – The infinitive (to be …)

Verb forms – The infinitive (to be …)

Example (1): They’d have to build some roads.
‘… have to build …’
Example (2): Somebody’s got to look after the wind turbines.
‘… got to look after …’
Example (3): They don’t expect it to keep running.
‘… expect … to keep …’
Example (4): I want you to get on with the point.
‘… want … to get on …’

Notes on the infinitive

Use the infinitive (to do)

  • after verbs meaning ‘must’, as in Examples (1) and (2) ‘have’ and ‘got’,
  • after certain verbs such as ‘expect’ or ‘want’ with object (‘it’, ‘you’)
    in between, as in Examples (3) and (4).

More examples (1)

Example (5): Who would like to start?
‘… like to start’
Example (6): I would be able to get to my fields.
‘… able to get …’
Example (7): Wind turbines are likely to cause noise problems.
‘… likely to cause …’


Use the infinitive after words expressing

  • willingness and intention (e.g. ‘want, wish’),
  • pleasure and ability (e.g. ‘pleased, glad; able’),
  • likeliness or probability (e.g. ‘likely, possible’), as in Examples (5) to (7)

More examples (2)

Example (8): We’ve got a lot to sort out.
‘… got a lot to sort out’
Example (9): Let’s have a summary of actions to be taken.
‘… actions to be taken’

Use the infinitive, as in Examples (8) and (9), after ‘have’ + object to shorten a sentence which would otherwise read:

  • ‘… a lot that has to be sorted out’, and
  • ‘… actions which have to be taken’, respectively.