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An infinitive is the preposition to followed by a verb. Or put another way, one of the forms of a verb preceded by to. Infinitives can function as nouns, adjectives or adverbs:

As Nouns To err is human, to forgive, divine. - I don't understand how infinitives function as nouns at all?

He admitted that to go there made him ill.

Merely to be watched made the bird fly away.

As Adjectives Her desire to confess was welcomed. (modifies desire) - is desire a noun?

It's time to go. (modifies time) - Is time a noun? As adjectives modify nouns and pronouns?



As adverbs He wrote the article to attract attention to the scandal. (tells why he wrote the article)

More players are using japanese pianos to achieve a more rounded tone. (tells how they are using pianos) - Do they function as adverbs simply because they add information?



Basicly I'm having trouble understanding how infinitives or/and verbs can function as nouns, adjectives and adverbs. If anyone could help me try to understand it would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.



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Hi,

An infinitive is the preposition to followed by a verb. Or put another way, one of the forms of a verb preceded by to.

The term 'infinitive' is also used to refer to the base verb without 'to'. Some people call this 'the bare infinitive'.

Infinitives can function as nouns, adjectives or adverbs:

noun To cook is difficult. (it's the subject)

adjective He knows the best method to cook chicken. (describes 'method')

He bought a cook book (describes 'book')

adverb He turned on the stove to cook. (tells us why he turned on the stove)

Clive
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Thanks, I think I understand now. All the noun examples Iv'e listed function as nouns becasue the subjects are nouns? The adverbs add information and say how or why.

Im a little stuck on the adjective examples though:

As Adjectives Her desire to confess was welcomed. (modifies desire) - is desire a noun?

It's time to go. (modifies time) - Is time a noun? As adjectives modify nouns and pronouns?



Thanks again.
Hi,

Your dictionary should tell you if these words are nouns. Do you have a dictionary?

If not, there are lots online.

eg /

_______________________________________________

All the noun examples Iv'e listed function as nouns because the subjects are nouns?

When you say this, I'm not sure what part of the thread you are referring to.

Clive
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I still can not understand infinitives used as noun, adjectives and adverb
 fivejedjon's reply was promoted to an answer.