identifying the bare infinitive exerciseUnderstanding what the bare infinitive is, how we use and when we use it is a very important building block for effective English grammar skills. My article on the bare infinitive (from The English Tenses Practical Grammar Guide) should give a solid understanding of how the bare infinitive works as a grammar word. But how can you practice that understanding? The following is a quick exercise to test if you can see when the bare infinitive is used. Answers are given below.

Exercise – Identify the Bare Infinitive

Read the following sentences and decide if the underlined word is a bare infinitive. If not, what type of word is it?

  1. Did he wash the dishes?
  2. We have gone to the theatre three times this week.
  3. I might buy some dungarees.
  4. Next Tuesday, Margie and I will see a movie together.
  5. Little dogs bark more than big ones.
  6. Playing the piano is my favourite thing to do.
  7. We should go
  8. Does your mother know our priest?
  9. Now we know what happened.
  10. Did they hear what we said?
  11. It is a terrible shame that they never came
  12. She has been here for a very long time.
  13. How is the weather in Idaho?
  14. It might rain
  15. Does the driver have enough fuel?
  16. This woman has had too much fun for one day.
  17. My favourite necklace was stolen from me.
  18. Did that make much sense?
  19. I could drink another cup of tea.
  20. There are some strange people watching



  1. Bare infinitive
  2. Past participle
  3. Bare infinitive
  4. Bare infinitive
  5. Present simple verb
  6. Infinitive
  7. Bare infinitive
  8. Bare infinitive
  9. Present simple verb
  10. Bare infinitive
  11. Past simple verb
  12. Past participle
  13. Present simple verb
  14. Bare infinitive
  15. Bare infinitive
  16. Past participle
  17. Past simple verb
  18. Bare infinitive
  19. Bare infinitive
  20. Present participle

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