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NON-FINITE VERB, also nonfinite verb. A form of the VERB that does not display a distinction in tense, in contrast with FINITE VERB (where there is a distinction between present tense and past tense: hopes, hoped). A non-finite verb is either an INFINITIVE or a participle. There are two infinitives: the to-infinitive (‘Estelle wants to dance with Matthew’); the bare infinitive (‘Philip will come with Matthew’). There are two participles: the -ing participle or the present participle (‘James is playing cards’) and the -ed participle or (according to its function) the past participle or passive participle (‘James has visited me recently’; ‘Jane was helped by Jeremy’).