Infinitive of purpose

( Free Online English Grammar Lessons )

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Form : ( To + infinitive (Verb 1) )

In English we often use an infinitive with to to talk about a person’s purpose.

  • He rose to speak. (Why did he rise? To speak.)
  • She came to the city to look for work. (Why did she come to the city? To look for work.)
  • He sat down to rest. (Why did he sit down? To rest.)

We can also use 'in order to' or 'so as to'.

  • She came to the city so as to look for work.

'So as to' and 'in order to' are more common before verbs like be, have, know etc.

  • He raised his voice so as to be heard.
  • He got up early in order to have enough time to pack.

Before a negative infinitive, we normally use 'so as' or 'in order'.

  • I am leaving now so as not to be late. (NOT I am leaving now not to be late.)

Notes for use of infinitive of purpose :

We say I came here to study English NOT I came here for studying English OR I came here for to study English.

We can use for + noun to say why we do something.

  • I went to the shop for a newspaper.
Infinitive of purpose example sentences
It requires two people to do it...
It helped me a lot to save some time.
To avoid making my payment!
I brought him to see if he gets on well with Bear.
So I turned the stove up higher to cook faster.
I took a half day off work to bring Pogo to the vet.
To guarantee our safety.
I just came to take Mike with me.
I'm just calling you to check if you are ready.
I wonder how many times you brought her here to watch the sunset.
She called me last night to let me know about the clogged toilet...
I think she went upstairs to get some sleep.
No, it's only for people to have fun at an amusement park.
Because I need the chicken stock to cook the rice in.
Are you here to talk about this issue, Nick?
What? Excuse me! Are you just calling to tell me this now?
Excuse me!? I just played with the kids to keep them entertained.
I already did it a couple of months ago to find this one.
I'm here with a plumber to fix the clogged toilet.
Mike just went to get us some drinks.

Be going to
Be going to passive
Be used to / Get used to
Defining relative clause
Echo tag
First conditional
Future continuous
Future perfect continuous
Future perfect passive
Future perfect simple
Future simple passive
Have/Get something done
Implied conditional
Indirect question
Infinitive of purpose
Mixed conditional
Modal passive
Non-defining relative clause
Past continuous
Past continuous passive
Past perfect continuous
Past perfect passive
Past perfect simple
Past simple
Past simple passive
Polite request / offer / suggestion
Present continuous
Present continuous passive
Present perfect continuous
Present perfect passive
Present perfect simple
Present simple
Present simple passive
Question tag
Reduced relative clause
Reported speech imperative
Reported speech question
Reported speech request
Reported speech statement
Second conditional
Short answer
Third conditional
Used to / would (past habit)
Was/were going to
Was/were supposed to
Would rather
Zero conditional