Infinitive – infinitif


Let's Define It!

What's the*infinitive*?

The infinitive, known as l'infinitif in French, is the basic form of a verb. It is a mood, just like the indicative, the subjunctive, imperative, etc. le mode infinitif the infinitive mood.

When you look up a French verb in a dictionary, the verb is listed in the infinitive: manger / (to) eat, dire / (to) say/tell, venir / (to) come, etc.

French verbs that follow a modal verb or semi-auxiliary (pouvoir / vouloir / savoir / devoir, etc) are always in the infinitive.


Let's Pronounce It!

What does it sound like in French?


Let's Have an Example or Two!

Can a little reinforcement do the trick?

Some examples of verbs in the infinitive are presented below:

  • Je veux manger. I want to eat.
  • Manger en classe est interdit. /Eating in class is forbidden. (Infinitives can also be subjects)
  • Tu peux manger quand tu veux. /You can eat whenever you want. 
  • J'ai envie de manger quelque chose. I feel like eating something.




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