What Does Infinitive Mean?


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An infinitive is a noun, the abbreviation of which is inf. or infin. It is a verb form which takes on the function of a substantive at the same time retaining particular verbal characteristics, modification by adverbs for instance. An infinitive in the English language may be preceded by the word to; for example 'to move along'. As an adjective on the other hand, it is used to mean 'formed with the infinitive'.

The term infinitive comes from the Middle English word infinitif, meaning of an infinitive; from the Late Latin term infinitivus, meaning unlimited, infinitive, indefinite; from the Latin word infinitus, meaning infinite. The adverb form of the word infinitive is infinitively.

A related term is a split infinitive which is the term given to an infinitive which has a modifier positioned between 'to' and the verbal.

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