These are the rules....

verb + object + to-infinitive




The teacher told us to do the homework.




After certain words in English, you use an object + to-infinitive. This resembles the German "zu" (Ich bitte dich, das ZU TUN).















form: see above ;)


signal words:

There are actually a lot of words after which such a construction can be used. See below a list of such words (but there are more...)

Question word + to-infinitive




I wonder how to get to the station.




A lot of times, the to-infinitive is used after question words. It then is used like a relative clause with can, could, might,...
















form: again - see above


signal words:

Question words+ to-infinitive constructions are often used in combination with verbs like ask, explain, find out, know, wonder, tell,...

to-infinitive instead of relative clause



I wasn't the first to be caught by the police (--> I wasn't the first who was caught by the police)


To-infinitve can be used instead of a relative clause if


1. it follows the first, the last, the next, the only


2. it follows a superlative (the biggest,...)


3. there is a modal verb in the relative clause (There was a bed that we could sleep in --> There was a bed to sleep in)


4. any form of "any" or "some" is used (somebody, anybody, somewhere,....)



see above....


signal words:

as stated in the rule.


list of verbs that can be followed by a to-infintive structure

Verbs of thinking and feeling:

  • choose
  • decide
  • expect
  • forget
  • hate
  • hope
  • intend
  • learn
  • like
  • love
  • mean
  • plan
  • prefer

Verbs of saying:

  • agree
  • promise
  • refuse

Other common verbs are:

  • arrange
  • attempt
  • fail
  • help
  • manage
  • tend
  • try
  • want
  • remember
  • would like
  • would love