American English

Definition of infinitive noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  • the basic form of a verb, such as be or run. In English, an infinitive is used by itself, for example swim in She can swim (this use is sometimes called thebare infinitive), or with to (the to-infinitive) as in She likes to swim.
  • Idioms
    split an infinitive
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    to place an adverb between “to” and the infinitive of a verb, for example, to say “to strongly deny a rumor.” Some people consider this to be bad English style.
    See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: infinitive

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