THE INFINITIVE

INFINITIVE AFTER QUESTION WORDS

These verbs: ask, decide, explain, forget, know, show, tell, understand, can be followed by a question word such as where, how, what, who, when or 'whether' + the 'to-infinitive'.

Examples

  • She asked me how to use the washing machine.
  • Do you understand what to do?
  • Tell me when to press the button.
  • I've forgotten where to put this little screw.
  • I can't decide whether to wear the red dress or the black one.

The question word Why is followed by the zero infinitive in suggestions:

Examples

  • Why wait until tomorrow?
  • Why not ask him now?
  • Why walk when we can go in the car?
  • Why not buy a new bed for your bedroom?
  • Why leave before the end of the game?
  • Why not spend a week in Beirut and a week in Baghdad?