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THE INFINITIVE

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1.1. FORMS. TENSE / VOICE DISTINCTIONS

In modern English the Infinitive has the following forms:

  Active Passive
Indefinite Continuous Perfect Perfect Continuous to write to be writing to have written to have been writing be written – to have been written –

 


Negative form: not + Infinitive

She asked me not to forget to post the letter.

Like the tense distinctions of all verbals those of the infinitive are also relative. It means that the Indefinite and Continuous Infinitive express an action simultaneous with the action expressed by the finite verb. The Continuous Infinitive shows an action in progress:

I am glad to meet you. – Рад познакомиться с вами.

I was glad to see Mr Paul. – Я был рад видеть мистера Пола.

Mr. Forsyte will be glad to see you. – Мистер Форсайт будет рад видеть вас.

Не pretended to be sleeping. – Он притворился, что спит.

I'm glad to have met him. – Я рад, что встретил его.

The Perfect Infinitive denotes an action prior to that of the finite verb. It is often used after some expressions (to be + adjective): to be glad, to be happy, to be sorry, to be surprised, it is clever/kind/silly of you, etc.

I was sorry to have said it. Я сожалел, что сказал это

(раньше).

Не must have forgotten about it. Он, должно быть, забыл об этом.

NB! Only two forms of the Infinitive (the Indefinite Active and Passive to ask/to be asked) have corresponding forms in Russian. There are no corresponding forms for the Continuous, Perfect and Perfect Continuous Infinitive, hence they can be translated only in a sentence. The Infinitive of transitive verbs has special forms for the Active and Passive Voice.

It is wonderful to love and to be loved. Прекрасно любить и быть люби-

Мым.

 

1.2. THE USE OF THE INFINITIVE WITHOUT THE PARTICLE «TO»

(The Bare Infinitive)

In modern English the Infinitive is chiefly used with the particle to – the formal sign of the Infinitive. Still there are cases when the bare infinitive is used.

1. After auxiliary verbs:

I don't know her.

We shallgo there at once.

2. After modal verbs:

You can't do it.

You must consult the doctor.



3. After the verbs of sense perception (to see, to hear, to feel, to watch, to notice, etc.) in the Infinitive Constructions:

I've never seen you look so well.

She heard him enter the room.

I felt my heart jump.

NB! After these verbs in the Passive the to-infinitive is used:

He was heard to mention your name.

The child was made to obey.

She was seen to leave the house early in the morning.


4. After the verb to let:

Let's be friends.

If he calls, let me know.

5. After the verbs to make (= to force – заставлять), need (нужно) and dare, (сметь, осмелиться) (in the modal meaning):

Need I do the washing up?

How dare you call me a liar?

What makes you think so?

6. After the expressions had better (... лучше бы), would rather/sooner (... бы, пожалуй), cannot but (не могу не ...), etc.:

He said he would rather stay at home.

You had better go there at once.

I can't but think about it.

7. In the sentences beginning with why (not) (почему бы вам ...).

Why not come and talk to her yourself?

Why pay more at other shops?

8. After formal words than, rather than, but, except:

I'll do anything but work with children.



Rather than walk for half an hour, I'll take a taxi.

 


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