The infinitive mode
What is the infinitive mode in French? How and when is it used?
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The French infinitive form of a verb is actually a mode. An infinitive verb is not conjugated, it has no personal pronoun.
Present infinitive mode – L’infinitif
The infinitive mode is used to define a verb as a non-conjugated form. It has two tenses:
present – AIMER – to love
past - AVOIR AIMÉ – to have loved
In English, the infinitive form always uses ‘to’: to love, to speak.
In French, it is at the end of the verb that you see the mark of the infinitive form. It has one of the following endings:
–ER in AIMER – called ‘verbes du 1ier groupe’
–IR in FINIR – those –IR verbs that happen to have a past participle in –I and a present participle in –issant are called ‘verbes du 2ième groupe’
–OIR in S’ASSEOIR – are called ‘verbes du 3ième groupe’
–RE in PRENDRE – are also called ‘verbes du 3ième groupe’
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