French Grammar: Conjugated Verbs + [À] + Infinitive Verb

French Grammar: Conjugated Verbs + [À] + Infinitive Verb

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French Grammar: Conjugated Verbs + [À] + Infinitive Verb
la grammaire française: les verbes conjugués + [À] + un verbe à l’infinitif

  • The infinitive form of a verb conveys the basic meaning of that verb.
  • Many conjugated French verbs require [À]  before an infinitive verb.


The infinitive form of a French verb is the form that ends with [-ER], [-IR], or [-RE]. Each of these infinitive endings is the equivalent of  “to …”  (i..e. to speak, to read, to take, etc.) in English. Often, an infinitive verb is conjugated when used in a sentence. But French infinitives are used in a variety of other ways, too.

Certain conjugated verbs must be followed directly by the preposition [À] before an infinitive verb. There is no formula for why these verbs behave like this; they must simply be memorized. Here are some of those verbs:

s’amuser à : to enjoy (doing something)

apprendre à : to learn to (do something)

arriver à : to manage to (do something)

chercher à : to try to (do something)

commencer à : to begin to (do something) / to start to (do something)

consentir à : to consent to (doing something)

continuer à : to continue to (do something)

enseigner à : to teach (how) to (do something)

s’habituer à : to get used to (doing something)

hésiter à : to hesitate to (do something)

s’intéresser à : to be interested in (doing something)

se mettre à : to begin to (do something)

se préparer à : to get ready to (do something)

réussir à : to succeed in (doing something)

tenir à : to insist on (doing something)

Some conjugated verbs require the use of a direct object in front of [À] + Infinitive:

aider (quelqu’un) à (faire quelque chose) : to help (someone) to (do something)

autoriser (quelqu’un) à (faire quelque chose) : to authorize (someone) to (do something)

encourager (quelqu’un) à (faire quelque chose) : to encourage (someone) to (do something)

engager (quelqu’un) à (faire quelque chose) : to urge (someone) to (do something)

forcer (quelqu’un) à (faire quelque chose) : to force (someone) to (do something)

inviter (quelqu’un) à (faire quelque chose) : to invite (someone) to (do something)

obliger (quelqu’un) à (faire quelque chose) : to oblige (someone) to (do something)


À quelle heure est-ce que tu as commencé à travailler?
At what time did you (informal) begin to work?

Je me suis mis à travailler à dix heures.
I began to work at ten o’clock.

Il nous invite à dîner avec lui.
He invites us to have dinner with him.

Vous m’aidez à porter ces cartons? Je n’arrive pas à les soulever.
Will you all help me carry these boxes? I can’t manage to lift them.

Je tiens à sortir mais elle continue à regarder la télé.
I insist on going out but she continues to watch TV.

Tu m’enseignes à patiner?
Will you (informal) teach me how to skate?

Désolé, mais j’hésite à faire cela.
Sorry, but I hesitate to do that.