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Bare infinitive

From Teflpedia

A bare infinitive (/ˈbeər ɪnˈfɪnətɪv/) or zero infinitive is an English infinitive; its form simply consists of the base form of a verb; unlike a to-infinitive it lacks the particle “to.”

Form[edit | edit source]

The bare infinitive is used:

Pedagogy[edit | edit source]

In English, the bare infinitive is the exception rather than the default; the to-infinitive is the default. Consequently, the exceptions listed above have to be acquired (or learnt) as exceptions. EFL learners will often make errors by substituting the to-infinitive, particularly after let and make.

Unfortunately, in pedagogical grammar, verbs are sometimes referred to as “bare infinitives" despite their being finite verbs (i.e. possessing a subject), and therefore categorically NOT infinitives. For example, in “I eat pizza", "eat" has a subject (“I") and is finite and not an infinitive.