In this Italian grammar lesson we are going to discover the Italian infinitive. This can be considered an indefinite mode, because when we use the infinitive we do not make explicit the people acting or the period (past, present or future) of the action.
How to use the infinitive in Italian
To understand how to use the infinitive in Italian we can start from discovering the circumstances in which the use of this tense is appropriate.
We can use the infinitive in independent clauses to express a sudden fact, to express a doubt or to express an unfulfillable longing. We can also use the infinitive introduced by preposition, for example the sentence I buy many books to read more and more can be translated with Io compro tanti libri per leggere sempre di più.
In Italian we need to use this tense with modal verbs too. For examples, the verbs volere (to want), sapere (to know), dovere (to must) and trovare (to find) are often used in infinitive tense and this explains why the infinitive is one of the most used tenses. To improve your language skills you can read our guide about how to learn Italian verbs quickly.
How to make the infinitive in Italian
The infinitive in Italian has only two tenses: the present and the past. Let’s learn how to make the infinitive in Italian having a look at both these tenses.
As for the present infinitive, you do not have to do anything, you can use the verb as you see it. For example, we have the infinitive giocare (to play), leggere (to read) and dire (to say). If you want to make the past infinitive, you need to use the present infinitive of the auxiliary verb and the past participle of the verb you want in past infinitive. For example, we have avere amato (to have loved), avere letto (to have read) and avere detto (to have said).
Studying the Italian infinitive with Clidante
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