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Infinitive

Grammar Glossary for Spanish Students

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Prohibido botar basura

Prohibido botar basura. (Dumping garbage prohibited.) Sign is from Navidad, Chile. The infinitive in the sentence is "botar."

Photo by Javier Ignacio Acuña Ditzel; licensed via Creative Commons.

Definition: The most basic form of a verb. In Spanish, infinitives always end in -ar, -er, or -ir. In English, the term is usually used to refer to the "to + verb" form of the verb such as "to run" or "to eat," although according to some authorities the infinitives are "run" and "eat." The infinitive by itself does not indicate tense or who is performing the action of the verb. In both English and Spanish, the infinitive can often function as a noun.

Also known as: Infinitivo in Spanish

Examples: In Spanish: 1. hablar. 2. viajar.

Corresponding examples in English: 1. "to speak." 2. "to travel."

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