Non-Finite Verbs

A non-finite verb is a verb that does not show tense. This means that you don’t know if the action is in the past, present or future. They function as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs or combine with a finite verb for verb tense.

A non-finite verb is never the main verb in a sentence.

There are three types of non-finite verb:

  1. Gerunds
    • baking, singing, running
    • Jane likes watching football.
      (finite/likes – non-finite/watching)
  2. Infinitives
    • to bake, to sing, to run
    • He wants to play the piano.
      (finite/wants – non-finite/to play)
  3. Participles
    1. Present Participles
      • baking, singing, running
        (These look the same as gerunds.)
      • He was playing the piano.
        (finite/was – non-finite/playing)
    2. Past Participles
      • baked, sung, run
      • He has played the piano.
        (finite/has – non-finite/played)