What is an Infinitive in Spanish?

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In Spanish, an infinitive is the base form of a verb, which means it has not been conjugated to show tense, person, or number. Infinitives in Spanish always end in -ar, -er, or -ir.

Some examples of infinitives in Spanish are:

  • Hablar (to speak)
  • Comer (to eat)
  • Vivir (to live)
  • Bailar (to dance)
  • Escribir (to write)

Infinitives in Spanish can function as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. They can be used as the subject or object of a sentence, or as a complement to another verb.

It is also common to see Spanish infinitives used after certain verbs such as “querer” (to want), “necesitar” (to need), “poder” (to be able to), and “deber” (to should). For example, “Quiero hablar español” (I want to speak Spanish) or “Debemos comer más verduras” (We should eat more vegetables).

What are 3 types of verbs ending in Spanish?

The three types of Spanish verb endings are:

  1. -ar verbs: These verbs end in -ar and are the most common type of Spanish verb. Examples include “hablar” (to speak), “trabajar” (to work), and “estudiar” (to study).
  1. -er verbs: These verbs end in -er and are the second most common type of Spanish verb. Examples include “comer” (to eat), “beber” (to drink), and “leer” (to read).
  1. -ir verbs: These verbs end in -ir and are the least common type of Spanish verb. Examples include “vivir” (to live), “abrir” (to open), and “escribir” (to write).

All Spanish verbs have different forms depending on the subject, tense, and mood of the sentence. Therefore, it is important to learn the conjugation rules for each type of verb ending in order to use them correctly in a sentence.

How to know when to use infinitives in Spanish?

In Spanish, infinitives are used in a variety of situations. Here are some of the most common:

  1. As the subject of a sentence: When the verb is the subject of the sentence, it is often used in the infinitive form.

 For example

  • Nadar es divertido” (To swim is fun).
  1. After certain verbs: After certain verbs such as “querer” (to want), “necesitar” (to need), “poder” (to be able to), and “deber” (to should), the infinitive is used to express what someone wants, needs, can, or should do.

 For example

  • Quiero comer” (I want to eat) or “Debes estudiar” (You should study).
  1. After prepositions: After certain prepositions such as “para” (for), “sin” (without), and “antes de” (before), the infinitive is used to express the purpose or intention of an action. 

For example

  • Voy a la tienda para comprar comida” (I’m going to the store to buy food) 
  • Prefiero salir sin comer” (I prefer to go out without eating).
  1. After certain adjectives: After certain adjectives such as “difícil” (difficult), “fácil” (easy), and “importante” (important), the infinitive is used to describe the action or activity that the adjective refers to. 

For example

  • Es difícil aprender un nuevo idioma” (It’s difficult to learn a new language) 
  • Es importante hacer ejercicio regularmente” (It’s important to exercise regularly).

Overall, the use of infinitives in Spanish depends on the context and the function of the verb in the sentence.

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