Infinitives in English Grammar: C.S. Lewis's observation contains two infinitive phrases--one <a href="http://grammar.about.com/od/pq/g/Passive-Infinitive.htm"><i>passive</i></a> ("to be understood") and the other <i>active</i> ("to understand")
Ya, I've been reading & hearing English actually does have backwards grammar structure when compared with the majority of the world's other languages, FYI. I.e. Check out "Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, The untold story of English" book by John McWhorter.
A survey of the quirks and quandaries of the English language, focusing on our strange and wonderful grammar. Why do we say "I am reading a catalog" instead of "I read a catalog"? Why do we say "do" at all? Is the way we speak a reflection of our cultural values? Delving into these provocative topics and more, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue distills hundreds of years of fascinating lore into one lively history.
5 Books That Explain the Evolution of the English Language