Definition of to infinitive marker from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



     infinitive marker
    infinitive marker
    BrE BrE////
    ; NAmE NAmE////
    ; BrE before vowels BrE//tu//
    ; NAmE before vowels NAmE//tu//
    ; BrE strong form BrE//tuː//
    ; NAmE strong form NAmE//tuː//
    To is often used before the base form of a verb to show that the verb is in the infinitive. The infinitive is used after many verbs and also after many nouns and adjectives.
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  1. 1  used to show purpose or intention I set out to buy food. I am going to tell you a story. She was determined to do well. His aim was to become president. To be honest with you, I don't remember what he said.
  2. 2  used to show the result of something She managed to escape. It was too hot to go out. He couldn't get close enough to see.
  3. 3  used to show the cause of something I'm sorry to hear that.
  4. 4  used to show an action that you want or are advised to do I'd love to go to France this summer. The leaflet explains how to apply for a place. I don't know what to say. To can also be used without a following verb when the missing verb is easy to understandHe asked her to come but she said she didn't want to.
  5. 5  used to show something that is known or reported about a particular person or thing The house was said to be haunted.
  6. 6  used to show that one action immediately follows another I reached the station only to find that my train had already left.
  7. 7am, is, are, was, were to used to show that you must or should do something You are not to talk during the exam. She was to be here at 8.30 but she didn't arrive.
  8. Word OriginOld English (adverb and preposition), of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch toe and German zu.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: to