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Started this skill; already hit a roadblock :P

I know that when there are two verbs in a sentence, the second one is used in its infinitive form. Am I right at least there?

But what if there are more than two verbs in a sentence? How many will change and how will I know which ones to change to their infinitive forms?

I have also seen sentences with one verb but in its infinitive form, why?!

I've also read that when there is a verb and an infinitive, they should be separated by a preposition. Now which preposition should I use?

Lots of doubts, sorry :P

4 years ago



This is a complicated topic. In general, an infinitive directly follows a conjugated verb. Just because there are two verbs in a sentence does not mean one must be an infinitive. Sometimes there are prepositions involved, and what prepositions are used with what verbs is not a simple thing to explain. I think a look in a grammar book or on a grammar site may be in order. www.studyspanish.com or something like it

4 years ago


Thanks :) Tried searching it online but no success :| Can you tell me what is this topic called in Spanish?!

4 years ago


An infinitive is basically the noun form of the verb. It is used to simply name an action. (What you are going to do. Voy a hablar con el chico. What you can do. Puedo hablar con el chico. What you want to do. Quiero hablar con el chico. And many other possibilities.)

A conjugated verb says what one does/is doing/did/will do, etc. Yo hablo con el chico. Yo hablé con el chico (which is "talked", so past tense). We can use many conjugated verbs in one sentence--Los lunes, yo hablo con mis amigos, voy a la escuela, practico el fútbol y hago mi tarea. As I am telling you that "I talk, I go, I practice, I do", I had to conjugate the verb. The subject is part of the verb (that's why the verbs end in "o").

So, if you simply name the action, use an infinitive. If you are trying to say that the action happens/is happening/happened, etc., conjugate for the person and time. (Likely you are only dealing with present tense at the moment, don't let the "time" aspect confuse you.)

Regarding prepositions-- 1. After prepositions, the infinitive form of the verb is used. Después de hablar con él, voy a clase=After talking to him, I go to class. 2. Some verbs do require a preposition before another verb may be used. Ir, ayudar, empezar and others all need an "a" before stating the infinitive. Tener requires "que" (which I don't believe is a preposition). Acabar requires "de". There are more, but you will learn them as they come.

Buena suerte y diviértase.

4 years ago


Thanks :) That sure does clear a few things up!

4 years ago


NOTE: I am just learning spanish like you, though this help me alot. Anyone, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong :-)

I think of the series of verbs like lego pieces, combined with certain rules

For an example:

  • I {(learn)} Spanish - {(Aprendo)} español
  • I {(want) (to learn)} Spanish - {(Quiero) (aprender)} español
  • I {(am going) (to learn)} Spanish - {(Voy a) (aprender)} español

words in braces in a sentence make up the verb phrase. In Spanish, the first verb in the verb phrase will take the conjugation form, while the rest takes the infinitive form.

There are cases that a verb needs preposition after that changes it meaning (e.g. tener + que, acabar + de, dejar + de, ir + a)

for our case, let's combine three verbs

  • Tener + que + infinitive - means to be obliged to infinitive
  • Tratar + de + infinitive - means to try to infinitive
  • Aprender - learn

If we combine these three, using tener + que as the first verb, it will take the conjugation while the rest take their infinitive form plus the preposition word, if needed.

  • I {(have) (to try) (to learn)} Spanish - {(Tengo que) (tratar de) (aprender)} español

I hope I was able to help you :-)

4 years ago


Thanks :)

4 years ago

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