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Chapter 5. Clause and Effect > Verbal Phrases - Pg. 51

Clause and Effect 51 Word Watch An infinitive is a form of a verb that comes after the word to and functions as a noun, adjective, or adverb. In this sentence, the infinitive "to apologize"functions as the subject of the sentence. · Afraid to move, he stared straight ahead. In this sentence, the infinitive "to move" functions as the direct object. Unlike gerunds, infinitives can also act as adjectives and adverbs. The following sentence shows an infinitive phrase serving as an adjective: The head of the committee is the person to notify . The infinitive phrase "to notify" modifies the noun "person." As an adverb: Afraid to speak, she stared at her hands. The infinitive phrase "to speak" modifies the verb "afraid." The Grammar Police on Patrol Some verbs must be followed by a gerund used as a direct object, as in the following examples: · We considered asking (not to ask ) for the check.