Monday, 2 March 2009


The infinitive is the basic form of the verb and is that part of the verb that tells you about the action without mentioning a personal pronoun. the obvious sign of an infinitive in English is the word 'to'. To stand, to sit. to speak to listen are all infinitives. In German the infinitive is one word that ends in -en. There are two exceptions and you should know them. I'll remind you in the last paragraph.

I like infinitives because this is what you see if you look in a dictionary. To drink is trinken. You don't need to change the verb if you say we are drinking or you (formal) are drinking or they are drinking. If you use a modal verb you keep the infinitive (as you do in English) I would like to drink, but in German the infinitive will go the end of the sentence. Ich möchte Bier trinken.

After adjectives you need to put the word zu before the infinitive. Es war leicht zu tun. Es ist schwierig gut zu sein. You also have to add the word zu after nouns. Ich habe keine Zeit deutsch zu lernen. Oh those two exceptions - you have just read them, to do and to be.

Bis bald

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