Samacheer Kalvi 9th English Grammar Non-finite verbs (Gerund, Infinitives, Participles)

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Tamilnadu Samacheer Kalvi 9th English Grammar Non-finite verbs (Gerund, Infinitives, Participles)

A non-finite verb (also known as a verbal) is the term used to describe a verb that does not indicate tense. The non-finite verbs are called gerunds, infinitives, and participles.

  • Finite verb : A verb that indicates tense and changes according to the subject
  • Non-Finite verb : A verb that does not indicate tense and does not change according to the subject

Finite verb
Finite verbs change tense and number according to the subject.

  • Arun invited Suresh to his daughter’s birthday.
  • Her friends presented the girl with a toy.
  • His friend presented a watch.

Non-finite verbs
Non-finite verbs have no subject and do not change according to the tense or number.

Non-finite verbs are broadly classified as follows:
i. Gerunds 1. Viking Is a healthy habit (Present participle used as a noun)
ii. Infinitive 2. I like to walk early in the morning. (lo infinitive)
iii. Present participle 3. These are my walking shoes. (Present participle used as an adjective)
iv. Past participle 4. Having walked a long distance I felt tired

Infinitives and Gerunds
The infinitive is often called as ‘to verb’. It functions as a subject or object.
SUBJECT : (e.g.) To swim is a good exercise. – Subject
OBJECT : (e.g.) I like to swim – Object

Infinitives may be used without to and we call such infinitives plain infinitives or bare infinitives.
(e.g.) She made me do my project.
We use plain/bare infinitives with these models.

shall will do did would make need
may might could must let dare see

The infinitive may function as a subject, direct object, subject complement, adjective, or adverb in a sentence. Although an infinitive is easy to locate because of the to+verb form, deciding what function it has in a sentence depends on the meaning.

(e.g.) To wait seemed foolish when decisive action was required, (subject)
(e.g.) Everyone wanted to go (direct object)
(e.g.) His ambition is to fly, (subject complement)
(e.g.) He lacked the strength to resist, (adjective)
(e.g.) We must study to learn, (adverb)


A gerund is an action word that ends in – ing but functions as a noun

(i) Identify the finite and non-finite verbs in the following sentences.
1. I like (finite) to play (non-finite) with my puppy.
2. She works (finite) hard to pass (non-finite) the test.
3. Smoking (non-finite) is prohibited (finite) in the kitchen.
4. He went (finite) to the city to find (non-finite) work.
5. The boy saved (finite) the cat from the dogs.
6. The teacher asked (finite) the students to submit (non-finite) their assignments before they go (finite) home.

(ii) Identify the finite and non-finite verbs in the following sentences and state whether they are infinitives, participles or gerunds.
1. Singing (non-finite – gerund) is (finite verb) his pastime.
2. I like (finite verb) to read (non-finite).
3. It is (finite verb) easy to find (non-finite – infinitive) faults with others.
4. He went (finite verb) to work (non-finite – infinitive) in London.
5. She doesn’t like (finite verb) to do (non-finite – infinitive) anything.
6. I enjoy (finite verb) reading.