NON-FINITES are used as nouns, adverbs and adjectives. They are also used to form non-finite clauses which are simply dependent clauses that use non-finite verbs.
Types of Non-Finites
The Infinitive (Present and Perfect)
The Participle (Present and Past)
The Gerund (Verbal Noun)
The Infinitive is the first principal part of the Verb. It is usually introduced by ‘to’, as - to sell, to buy, to speak, to write. The ‘sign’ of the Infinitive may be omitted after ‘may, can, shall, will, must’ and ‘dare, hear, feel, see, make, bid’.
The Infinitive is a verbal noun. It is primarily used
As the subject of a finite verb:
To find fault is easy.
As the object of a verb:
She likes to sing.
As a subject of the verb:
To debate is my passion.
As the object of preposition:
She is about to read.
As the complement of a verb:
He seems to be happy.
To qualify a verb like an adverb:
I came to meet you.
To qualify an adjective like an adverb:
This cloth is nice to touch.
A participle is a form of verb that modifies a noun or a noun phrase and thus plays a role identical to that of an adjective and at times, an adverb.
The participle is based on verbs and therefore expresses action or state of being.
KINDS OF PARTICIPLE
Present Participle ---- A Present Participle is always active. It denotes an incomplete action or state, and it always ends in ‘–ing.’
Past Participle ------ A Past Participle denotes an action which is completed, and hence is no longer in progress. It is used adjectively as passive if the verb from which it comes is transitive. It ends in –ed, -en,-d, -t, or –n.
The Participle that is formed from the verb after adding ‘–ing’ at the end is called Present Participle. It represents an action as going on or an incomplete action or state.
A present participle is used as an Adjective placed before the Noun it qualifies
Barking dogs seldom bite.
A present participle, functioning as an adverbial, may be used to qualify a verb and generally to indicate an earlier action.
Seeing the gatekeeper, the children ran away.
As a Subject Complement placed after verbs like be, seem, appear, etc.
The movie is interesting.
As an Object Complement placed after the object:
It is beautiful to see stars twinkling in the sky.
As an Adjective Phrase generally put after the Noun it qualifies:
The girl wearing the red frock won the award.
As an Absolute Phrase:
It being a rainy day, they decided to stay indoors.
As an Adjective placed before the Noun it qualifies:
Cultured people never indulge in gossiping.
A gerund is a non- finite verb which ends in –ing and does the work of both a noun and a verb.
Dancing is an art.
As the object of a verb:
Smith loves reading.
As the complement of a verb
One of my recreations is painting.
As the object of a preposition
I am tired of waiting.