GECGMCGIF.gif
CONTACT US
APPLY NOW
CONTACT US   APPLY NOW
IMG_3469

Latest News

Select course guide

GEC_BROCHURE_2019_ICON

English Courses

DOWNLOAD GUIDE
GMC_BROCHURE_MINIATURE_800X815

Management Courses

Download Guide

THE CONTENT YOU CRAVE

Check out the latest articles from Greenwich English College and Greenwich Management College, as well as awesome tips, education and lifestyle news.

Photo of Brian Halligan

The use of the to-infinitive

January 11, 2016 by Mamta Bhatt

We use the to-infinitive to express purpose.
For example, I am going to the supermarket to buy some food.

He bought flowers to give to his mother.
Many students have difficulty with the use of infinitives, and many of their mistakes are the result of their translations from their mother tongue. A common mistake that students make is:

“I am going to the supermarket for buy some food.”
“He bought flowers for give to his mother.”
To as in “to give” or “to buy” is a particle, not a preposition, and it is part of the infinitive. When using the infinitive to express purpose, it answers the question “Why...?”

learning-resources

I am going to the supermarket – why? – to buy some food.
He bought flowers – why? – to give to his mother.
We could also use in order to or so as to without changing the meaning of the above sentences:
I am going to the supermarket in order to buy some food.
He bought flowers so as to give them to his mother.

Another very common mistake is the use of the infinitive after prepositions.
“I am looking for buy a car.”
“I am looking for to buy a car.”
The correct sentence is I am looking for a car to buy.
One thing to remember is that in English after prepositions we cannot use the infinitive. We can only use
1. A gerund (verb-ing) I am fond of playing tennis.
2. A noun I am fond of tennis.
3. A pronoun I often play tennis because I am fond of it.

advisor-CTA

Back to top

Most
popular
posts

Related Articles

Download your free guide

THUMBNAIL_Advanced_English_Speaker.png


Download your FREE guide on How to Become an Advanced English Speaker: Tips from an ESL teacher

Download Your Guide

 

Ask us a question