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Chapter 11. Phrases: Prime-Time Players > Verbal Phrases: Talk Soup - Pg. 113

Phrases: Prime-Time Players 113 Infinitive Phrases: The Final Frontier Last but not least we have the infinitive , a form of the verb that comes after the word to and acts as a noun, adjective, or adverb. Versatile little babies, infinitives can fill as many roles as gerunds, with the addition of adjectives and adverbs. Here are some examples: · To succeed takes courage, foresight, and luck. The infinitive is "to succeed," and it functions as the subject. · Alone in her cubicle, all she wanted was to survive. The infinitive is "to survive," and it functions as the direct object. · Afraid to move, she froze in terror. The infinitive is "to move," and it modifies the adverb "afraid." You Could Look It Up The infinitive is a verb form that comes after the word to and functions as a noun, adjective, or adverb. An infinitive can be used as a phrase. An infinitive phrase, as with the other verbal phrases, contains modifiers that together act as a single part of speech. Following are some examples: · His goal, to break into Fort Knox, was never achieved. The infinitive phrase is "to break into Fort Knox" and modifies the noun "goal." · The pilgrim's hope was to reach the shrine before sundown. The infinitive phrase "to reach the shrine before sundown" describes "hope." Danger, Will Robinson Don't confuse infinitives with prepositional phrases that begin with to. Remember that a prepositional phrase always ends with a noun or a pronoun; an infinitive always ends with a verb. The Least You Need to Know · A phrase is a group of words, without a subject or a verb, that functions as a single part of speech. Phrases cannot stand alone as independent units. · Prepositional phrases begin with a preposition and end with a noun or pronoun; they can function as adjectival phrases and adverbial phrases. · Appositives rename another noun or pronoun; appositive phrases include modifiers. · Verbals are verb forms used as another part of speech. Participles function as adjectives, gerunds function as nouns, infinitives function as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. · This sounds a lot more difficult than it is.