French Grammar: Conjugated Verbs + Infinitive Verb

French Grammar: Conjugated Verbs + Infinitive Verb

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French Grammar: Conjugated Verbs + Infinitive Verb
la grammaire française: les verbes conjugués + les verbes à l’infinitif

  • The infinitive form of a verb conveys the basic meaning of that verb.
  • Many conjugated French verbs can be followed directly by 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 can be followed directly by an infinitive verb. Here are some of those verbs:

admettre : to admit to

adorer : to love

aimer / aimer mieux : to like / to prefer

aller : to go

avoir beau : to do (some action) in vain / to do (some action) without success

compter : to intend

croire : to believe / to think

désirer : to want

détester : to hate

devoir : to have to / must / should / ought

espérer : to hope

laisser : to let (something happen) / to allow (something to happen)

oser : to dare

paraître : to appear to / to seem to

penser : to intend

pouvoir : to be able / can

préférer : to prefer

savoir : to know how

sembler : to seem to

souhaiter : to wish / to hope

vouloir : to want


Vous allez à la fête?
Are you all going to the party?

Non, nous pensons rester à la maison.
No, we intend to stay home.

Il n’ose pas arriver en retard.
He doesn’t dare to arrive late.

Ils peuvent parler russe.
They (masculine) can speak Russian.

Elle veut regarder la télé mais je préfère sortir.
She want to watch TV but I prefer to go out.

Tu sais patiner à glace?
Do you (informal) know how to ice skate?

Non, j’ai eu beau apprendre!
No, I tried learning without success!