Unit 1.2

Infinitive

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Introduction

The infinitive [infinitivo] is one of the non-personal forms of the verb, which has neither gender nor number. It is also the base form [forma base] of the verb.

Form

The infinitive is the base form of the verb and has three conjugations based on different endings: -AR (hablar); ER (comer); -IR (vivir). This is what you can find in dictionaries.

The infinitive has two functions, verbal and nominal:

Verbal function of the infinitive

In the verbal function, the infinitive has the following characteristics:

    • it takes a direct object;
    • it functions as a subject or a direct complement in noun subordinate clauses or as an answer to a question without a preposition.

Nominal function of the infinitive

In nominal function, as a noun, the infinitive has the following characteristics:

Example

Verbal function:

  • El profesor tiene que enseñar;
  • Laura va a convertirse en policía;
  • ¿Qué haces? → Escribir una carta.

Nominal function:

  • Los bomberos se dedican a apagar el fuego;
  • Estudiar es la tarea de los estudiantes;
  • Creer en tu cliente es importante para ser un buen abogado.

Use

The infinitive is used to talk about actions, processes, states and changes of state.

Summary

The infinitive is the base form of the verb. It is an impersonal form of the verb and therefore has neither gender nor number.

The infinitive has three conjugations: -ar, -er, -ir.

For example:
— «Voy a correr el parque.» = After ir + a goes the infinitive verb;
— «Correr en el parque es algo que me encanta.» = Here the infinitive verb correr functions as a noun.

Check the contents of the {Form} section. Then move on to the {Example} section, which shows you the usage in context.

Exercises


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