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Non-personal forms of a verb. Infinitive - Part II



Mouse-over Spanish text fragments in red to see English translation

Uses of the Infinitive:

2. Direct Object: the infinitive is used as a direct object when the subject of the conjugated verb and the subject of the infinitive is the same.

Quiere adopter un perro de la perrera. (él quiere, él adopta)
He wants to adopt a dog from the dog pound.

Prefiero tomar té en vez de café. (yo prefiero, yo tomo)
I prefer to have tea instead of coffee.

3. Verbs of Perception: the infinitive is used after a verb of perception such as oír, ver, or sentir.

Le vi corer detrás del ladrón.
I saw him chasing the thief.

Le oí decir que se había copiado las respuestas del examen.
I heard him saying that he had copied the answers on the exam.

4. Subjunctive

4.A. with verbs of influence such as prohibir, mandar, or autorizar, the infinitive works as an alternative to the subjunctive.

El rey Saurid mandó crear las pirámides de Guiza. (mandó que crearan)

The king Saurid ordered the Giza pyramids to be built.

4.B. the infinitive also works as an alternative to the subjunctive when is preceded by a direct object pronoun and one of these verbs: dejar, hacer, invitar a, or obligar a.

No la dejes corer sola por el parque. Ponle la correa o morderá a alguien. (que corra sola)
Don't let her run free around the park. Put her on the leash or she will bite someone.

El Infinitivo Compuesto:

The perfect infinitive indicates anteriority of an action at a given time. It is also used with a sense of recrimination by the speaker to the listener for not doing something he should have.

Creía haber contestado bien todas las preguntas del test.
I thought I had answered right all the questions on the test.

Por haber cogido el autobús en vez del coche, he llegado tarde a clase.
Having taken the bus instead of the car, made me be late for class.

- Yo quería más pastel. ¿Por qué lo has tirado?
- Pues haber dicho algo. Ahora es demasiado tarde.
- I wanted more cake. Why did you throw it away?
- You should have said something. Now it's too late!