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In English, when we talk about the infinitive, we usually refer to the present infinitive, which is the most common. However, there are four other forms:

the continuous infinitive, the passive infinitive, the perfect infinitive, the perfect continuous infinitive.

The one we are going to have a look at today is:


Form: TO + BE + PAST PARTICIPLE (the 3rd form of verbs)

Examples: This case is yet to be decided. She wants to be seen.

Passive infinitives are easy to identify as they are used after:

1) INFINITIVE VERBS (want, hope, expect, like etc.) – verbs which are followed by to infinitive of a verb

If you do not know infinitive verbs, you can download a list of them from the following link under Verb Patterns in Czech or English version:

Examples of infinitive verbs followed by passive infinitives:

Want: My boss doesn’t want to be asked any unnecessary questions.

Expect: Some employees expect to be fired due to the financial crisis.

Need: The report needs to be completed by the end of this month.

Hope: Marc is hoping to be elected a president.

Inspire: This mayor inspired to

BE TO – We can often see forms such as is to / are to/ was to / were to. They are used:

- When giving formal instructions or orders; in notices; discussing official arrangements

A payment is to be received on 14th each month.

The Prime Minister is to be invited to Devon.

These pills are to be taken three times a day before meals.

No liquids are to be carried beyond this point.

- With some phrases:

There is nothing to be done.

He was nowhere to be found.

There was nothing to be seen in the dark.

- When expressing value judgements with verbs like congratulate, encourage, avoid

You are to be congratulated.

This road is to be avoided.


These problems are easy to be identified.

My grandparents are too old to be relocated.

The chicken is ready to be eaten. (If you compare it with this variant:

The chicken is ready to eat.’ You can see that using the infinitives correctly can prevent ambiguity.)


Some phrases can contain two passive forms where the second one is a passive infinitive.

For example:

New employees are needed to be hired to do the seasonal work.


1) Rewrite each sentence using a passive infinitive. Sometime double passive needs to be used:

1 Jannie needs to wash windows.

2 Tesco plans to change packaging policy.

3 The city council plans to remove some old benches.

4 We want to take care of Robert.

5 Our best friends expect someone to pick them up at the train station.

6 You need to wash these sheets.

7 She needs to fill in this form online.

8 You have to finish all the cleaning till 8 am.

9 They prefer online teaching.

10 He expects rewards.

2) Complete each sentence with the verb from brackets in the to infinitive form.

1 Our dog likes _____ (scratch).

2 Prisoners are _____ of. (take care)

3 I hope _____ soon. (promote)

4 Our internet bill needs _____ this week. (pay)

5 The plans for the reconstruction of the local hospital are ready ____ . (realize)

6 Lenka wants her results _________. (see)

7 Vladimir is hoped ______ by more colleagues. (join)

8 Newly bought clothes need ______ before wearing. (wash)

9 Thousands of products are waiting _____ . (transport)

10 Our Prime Minister is ______ for embezzling state’s money. (sue)

For the key, email me or ask during the lesson.

More practice:

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