Easy Learning French

Other uses of the infinitive - Easy Learning Grammar French

  • The infinitive can be used in many other ways:
  • after certain adjectives
content de happy to 
prêt à ready to 
Il est toujours prêt à rendre service.He’s always ready to help.
  • after certain prepositions
Pour aller à la gare?How do you get to the station?
Il est parti sans dire au revoir.He left without saying goodbye.
  • after certain set phrases involving a verb plus a noun
avoir envie de faire quelque choseto feel like doing something
avoir besoin de faire quelque choseto need to do something
avoir peur de faire quelque choseto be frightened of doing something
J’ai besoin de changer de l’argent.I need to change some money.
  • in instructions that are aimed at the general public – for example, on signs or in cookery books
Ajouter le sel et le poivre, et bien mélanger.Add the salt and pepper, and mix well.
Conserver au frais.Keep refrigerated.
  • as the subject or object of a sentence, when the infinitive corresponds to the -ing form in English used as a noun
Fumer n’est pas bon pour la santé.Smoking isn’t good for your health.
J’adore lire.I love reading.
TipYou can use the verb faire with an infinitive to refer to something you are having done by someone else.
Je dois faire réparer ma voiture.I have to get my car repaired.
Key points
  • Infinitives are found after certain adjectives, prepositions and set phrases, and in instructions to the general public.
  • They can also function like nouns, as the subject or object of another verb.

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