https://www.duolingo.com/jkazor

"a", "de", and "para"

How do you know when to use "a", "de", "para", or nothing at all before an infinitive verb?

September 4, 2013

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

Before infinitive verbs, you can try this (not a strict rule, but a good start, please notice that there is a biiiig range of possibilities, here are a few)


A + infinitive: turns it into some kind of gerund action.

Estou a andar = I'm walking


De + infinitive: it can be the cause of something, generally you can use "of/from" to replace it. And it's used to tell the usage of somethings:

Estou cansado de andar = I'm tired from walking

Essa barriga grande é de comer demais = this big belly comes from eating too much

Essa fruta é de comer? = Can this fruit be eaten? (is it real or plastic?)


Para + infinitive: indicates an objective or goal:

É para comer = It's to be eaten (I made these breads for you to eat)

Vim aqui para falar = I came here to speak.

Hint: Ask "what for?" (para que?)
Hint 2: You can see it as "in order to".


No preposition : normally a direct object just being itself.

Quero andar = I want to walk (WHAT do I want? I want to walk)


Please BE AWARE that MANY times, the other verb or the thing coming before the infinitive verb will define the preposition:

Gosto de andar = I like walking (this preposition is demanded by the verb "gostar", so it has nothing to do with the given explanation about "de")

Ele começou a falar = He started to speak (Like "started to" in English. You always use "start to" or "start gerund", but gerund cannot be used that way in Portuguese)


Prepositions are not trustable!!!
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Back to Prepositions! - All you wanted to know

October 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/JosueSBarroso

Just a note: The gerund differs from Brazil to Portugal So "Estou a andar" would be the expected in Portugal, but in Brazil would be weird. Here we use "Eu estou andando".

November 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Danmoller

Not weird, just "erudite".

November 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JosueSBarroso

Indeed =D

November 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/saschambaer

That last sentence pretty much sums up everything about language learning. I'll give you half a lingot for the good explanation and another half for that :)

February 9, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas_More77

Muita obrigada.

August 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ReichertRomano

We don't use ''muita'' even for a woman is ''muito obrigada''

November 23, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Thomas_More77

OK

November 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MrC314159

What is the function of “a” (before fazer) in this sentence please?

O melhor que você tem a fazer é aceitar

I’m guessing it’s that “tem” takes a noun-like object, so requires “a fazer” as it’s a gerund.

So literally, something like: “The best that you have ‘for doing’, is to accept.

Am I close?!

Thank you!

July 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ymeagain

I noticed a structure that seems to be followed in this sentence (and others) which is ter + algo + a + infinitive but, as to the reasoning behind it - "Eu não sei"! I think the sentence may translate as The best you (can do)/(have to do) is to accept

July 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Paulenrique

Unfortunately prepositions vary from language to language so it's pretty hard to give any clues. Over time you'll learn which preposition fits better in certain cases and what prepositions are supposed to be used along with the verbs...

September 4, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/sirrkitt

Para + verb can also indicate "in order to". Not a big difference from "to" but a lot of the time that extra meaning gets dropped

December 6, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/kjusa

obrigada, eu gosto

October 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/dhanijlo

it's depends on situation. Some cases you can use different prepositions before the same verb.

September 5, 2013
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