"I start to eat the pasta."
Translation:Je commence à manger les pâtes.
Just wondering...can you say "je commence manger..."? Or does the "à" come naturally after "commencer" when you are talking about beginning something?
"Commencer" + infinitive verb needs preposition "à" - you're right.
les pâtes = the pasta
la pâte = the dough.
le pâte = the paste, blob, blot
Singular and plural mean different things in this case.
When translating something like "to [verb]" (e.g. I start to eat), do you always need the preposition "à" before the infinitive verb?
A number of verbs are constructed with preposition "à" + infinitive: aider à, apprendre à, réussir à...
Others with preposition de + infinitive: finir de, accepter de, avoir peur de...
Great. Just what I need to make my day. Dozens, maybe hundreds, of rule bound exceptions.
Good link otherwise!
This is starting to get interesting! Merci for the explanation w/link.
I'm confused whether I should use à or de when connecting the infinitive verbs. Should there be a rule or pattern to this?
There are dozens of rules that cover this. Counting exceptions and the need to memorize a long list of verbs that take their own form, it probably runs to hundreds.
You can approach this simply by learning the patterns of speech through repetition. Or you can take an analytical approach and try to learn the more common rules.
If your learning style is to use French, especially by speaking it with other people, then repetition is probably best for you. Otherwise, About.com is a source of seemingly endless rules, lists and variations.
If you choose About.com then try to limit yourself to those rules that are relevant to Duo's guided approach. Otherwise it's overwhelming.