Bare Infinitive

The bare infinitive is the infinitive without "to" before the verb, e.g.:

  • go
  • take
  • make
  • say

Therefore, none of these verbs is the bare infinitive.

  • leaves, left, leaving
  • makes, made, making

Note: There are a couple of other terms used to refer to the infinitive without "to":

  • base form of the verb
  • root of the verb
  • verb root
  • dictionary form

The bare infinitive has a number of uses. The most common ones are:

 1. The subjunctive mood

  • They demanded that he write it down.

2. The modal auxiliary

  • She might be amazed.
  • I should go now.

4. Verbs of perception

  • For the rest of the day I watched cars go by.