Elsewhere I’ve stated that the conjugated verb shows four things: tense, person, number, and mood. I’ve also stated that verbal phrases like the infinitive phrase do not show tense. Well, that’s true for what’s called the simple infinitive: to ride. We don’t know anything about tense.
But infinitive phrases can appear in ways that reveal a time dimension. (They will still not reveal person and number.) Study the following phrases and note how tense is seemingly revealed. Note also the ability to express the phrase in the passive voice.
Infinitives Showing Tense and Voice
to ride the horse (active)
the horse to be ridden (passive)
to be riding the horse (progressive)
to have ridden the horse (perfect)
the horse to have been ridden (perfect passive)
to have been riding the horse (perfect progressive)
You may download our entire discussion of the Parts of Speech. Simply download the Grammar eBook Understanding the Parts of Speech.
Previous: Verb Function 2 - Infinitive Phrase - To Phrase
Next: Split Infinitives
Have a discussion about this article with the community:
We're doing our best to make sure our content is useful, accurate and safe.
If by any chance you spot an inappropriate comment while navigating through our website please use this form to let us know, and we'll take care of it shortly.
You need to be logged in to favorite.