Bare Infinitive (Zero Infinitive): Usage and Examples

Bare Infinitive! What is the zero infinitive? Learn how to use the zeroinfinitive(bare infinitive) in English with useful grammar rules, video, example sentences and ESL picture.

Bare Infinitive

What is the Bare Infinitive?

The zero (bare) infinitive is a type of complement with aninfinitiveverbform that’s not preceded by the particleto. Also known as thebare infinitive.

Uses of the Bare Infinitive

After Modal Auxiliary Verbs

Will, shall, would, could, can(but notbe able to),may, might, must(but nothave to),should(but notought to), andneedn’t, (but notneed to, which behaves like a normal verb).


My sistercould playthe piano when she was five.

Youmust getup earlier in the morning.

I wonder if Imight havesome more soup.

After the Object after Certain Verbs, such as hear, see, make, let


Hesaw her fallfrom thecliff.

Shemade her kids tidytheir beds.

Marylet me useher new laptop.

After Verbal Idioms would rather and had better


I’d rather stayat home than go out tonight.

It’s cold. The childrenhad better weartheir coats.

Used with Why

The question wordwhyis followed by the zero infinitive when making suggestions.

Bare infinitive examples:

Why waituntil tomorrow?

Why leavebefore the end of the match?

Why not buya new car?

The Zero Infinitive | Images

The Zero Infinitive | Grammar Rules and Examples Pin

The Zero Infinitive | Grammar Rules and Examples Pin

Last Updated on July 17, 2019

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