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

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

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

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

accepter de : to accept (doing something)

arrêter de : to stop (doing something)

avoir envie de : to feel like (doing something)

avoir l’intention de : to intend to (do something)

avoir peur de : to be afraid to (do something)

avoir raison de : to be right to (do something) / to start to (do something)

avoir tort de : to be wrong to (do something)

choisir de : to choose to (do something)

décider de : to decide to (do something)

essayer de : to try to (do something)

éviter de : to avoid (doing something)

finir de : to finish (doing something)

manquer de : to nearly (do something) / to almost (do something)

oublier de : to forget to (do something)

refuser de : to refuse to (do something)

regretter de : to regret (doing something)

risquer de : to risk (doing something)


L’enfant refuse de dormir sans son nounours.
The child refuses to sleep without his teddy bear.

Oh là! J’ai oublié de fermer la porte!
Uh-oh! I forgot to close the door!

Tu as envie de sortir ce soir?
Do you (informal) feel like going out tonight?

Oui, mais d’abord je finis de faire la vaisselle.
Yes, but first I’ll finish doing the dishes.

Ils ont eu tort de désobéir à l’officier de police.
They (masculine) were wrong to disobey the police officer.

Si nous n’étudions pas, nous risquons de rater le cours.
If we don’t study, we risk failing the course.