Infinitive – infinitif
Let's Define It!
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.