Non-finite parts of a verb are those that do not indicate number, person or tense. The common non-finite forms are:
The non-finite parts of the verb - Easy Learning Grammar
- the base form
- the present participle or -ing form
- the past participle
- the to infinitive
- the continuous to infinitive: to be teaching
- the perfect to infinitive: to have taught
- the passive to infinitive: to be taught
The base formAs well as serving as the verb form on which most of the other parts of the verb are based, the base form is frequently used as a non-finite part of the verb. Because of this it is sometimes called the ‘bare infinitive’ or the ‘infinitive without to’.The base form is used as a non-finite part of the verb in these ways:
- after modal verbs.
- You must stop at the kerb before you cross.
- He should think before he speaks.
- after let’s (suggestion) and let (permission) and make (compulsion).
- Let’s invite Annette round for dinner.
- Let the cat go!
- Make him stop!
- Let him finish what he was saying!
- after feel, hear, see, watch + an object.
- I heard him run downstairs.
- Later we saw them leave the house.
- after a to infinitive to which it is joined by and.
- I want you to sit and listen.
- Just wait and see.
- after would rather and had better.
- I would rather go out, but I think we had better stay home and finish the painting.
- We watched her park the car = we watched the whole event.
- We watched her parking the car = we may only have seen part of the event.
- I heard a cuckoo call = I heard just one call.
- We heard the birds singing = We heard part of the song of the birds.