Posted by: helpforyourenglish | March 3, 2011

Infinitive of purpose

In English, we can tell people why we are doing something or why we are going somewhere in different ways. One easy way is to use the infinitive of a verb – to buy, to meet, to see.  In English grammar, we describe this as ‘infinitive of purpose’.

Here are some examples:

I’m going to the Mall to buy a new computer.

Mary is going to China to learn Chinese.

I’m going to Tom’s house to help him with his homework

I want to see the manager to tell him about a problem.

I sat down to rest and to think about my life.

I’m going downtown to get my hair cut.


We can also give short replies with an infinitive. Here are three examples:

1.Where are you going?’

“The Post Office.”


To buy some stamps.


2.I’m going to the Mall.”


To buy a new computer.”

3. ‘Why is Uyen going to Melbourne?”

To study economics.”



  1. I want to meet the president to deliver a packet personally.

  2. Perfect, Bambang. 🙂

  3. wow, are you an English teacher? I get a bit nervous now~hope you don’t find too many grammatical errors in my writing.

  4. 🙂 A part-time English teacher- a full time dreamer that I’ll become a millionaire buying and selling gold. 🙂

  5. Why did you write the letter until late at night ? To express my deepen feeling about her so he knows how far I love her.

  6. Thank you for coming my blog and your nice comment 🙂 It is very important to learn English and I have a lot of things to do. So I have to go to school to master English 🙂

  7. Very good, Anik.

    (I have edited out the typos in the text below and changed one word – far / much).

    To express my deep feeling about her so she knows how much I love her.

  8. Hi Sakityusu,
    Thank you for your comment, too. 🙂

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