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Forum Home > Various Reference Articles > 'A' or 'de' between two infinitives?

thelanguagetutors
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Posts: 673

Have you noticed that sometimes a spanish infinitive is followed by 'a' plus another infinitive but that at other times you'll see 'de' used instead?

How do you know which to choose?




The answer is that many verbs come as a set with their own personal preposition as it were, such as 'acordarse de' (to remember to) or 'aprender a' (to learn how to).

Some verbs can come with or without their preposition or may even appear with different prepositions but in such cases the meaning of the verb will likely change.

Eg.  terminar:  to end, terminar por + inf: to end up (doing something), terminar de + inf, to stop (doing something)


Here's an awesome verb list complete with their prepositions that I found online here:

 

acabar + -ndo to end up (doing something)

 

acabar de + inf. to have just (done something)

 

acabar por + inf. to end up by

 

acordarse de + inf. to remember to

 

amenazar + inf. to threaten to

 

amenazar con + inf. to threaten with

 

anhelar + inf. to long to

 

acostumbrarse a + inf. to be used to

 

alegrarse de + inf. to be happy to

 

aprender a + inf. to learn how to

 

arrepentirse de + inf. to repent of

 

aspirar a + inf. to aspire to

 

atreverse a + inf. to dare to, be so bold as to

 

ayudar a + inf. to help to

 

cansarse de + inf. to get tired of

 

comenzar a + inf. to begin to

 

consistir en + inf. to consist of

 

contar con + inf. to count on

 

continuar + -ndo to continue to

 

contribuir a + inf. to contribute to

 

convenir en + inf. to agree to

 

correr a + inf. to run to

 

deber + inf. must, should, to ought to

 

deber de + inf. must, should

 

decidir + inf. to decide to

 

decidirse a + inf. to make up ones mind to

 

dedicarse a + inf. to dedicate oneself to

 

dejar de + inf. to stop

 

depender de + inf. to depend on

 

desear + inf. to desire to

 

detestar + inf. to detest

 

doler + inf. to hurt to

 

echarse a + inf. to bust out, start to

 

empezar a + inf. to begin to

 

enseñar a + inf. to teach how to

 

entrar + -ndo to go in (doing something)

 

esperar + inf. to hope to, expect to

 

estar + -ndo to be (doing something)

 

gustar + inf. to be pleasing [=like] to

 

hay que + inf. have to

 

importar + inf. to be important to

 

insistir en + inf. to insist on

 

intentar + inf. to try to

 

invitar a + inf. to invite to

 

ir + -ndo to go along (doing something)

 

ir a + inf. to be going to

 

jactarse de + inf. to brag about

 

lamentar + inf. to lament

 

lograr + inf. to manage to

 

llegar a + inf. to come to

 

molestar + inf. to bother

 

necesitar + inf. to need to

 

negarse a + inf. to refuse to

 

odiar + inf. to hate to

 

olvidar + inf. to forget to

 

olvidarse de + inf. to forget to

 

parar de + inf. to stop (doing something)

 

parecer + inf. to seem to

 

pensar + inf. to plan to, intend to

 

pensar de + inf. to think about (=have an opinion about)

 

pensar en + inf. to thing about (= to consider)

 

poder + inf. can, to be able to

 

ponerse a + inf. to start to, set about to

 

preferir + inf. to prefer to

 

prepararse a + inf. to prepare to

 

prometer + inf. to promise to

 

quejarse de + inf. to complain about

 

querer + inf. to want to

 

rehusar + inf. to refuse to

 

saber + inf. to know how to

 

salir + -ndo to go out (doing something)

 

salir a + inf. to go out to

 

seguir + -ndo to keep on (doing something)

 

sentir + inf. to regret

 

soler + inf. to be used to, to usually

 

soñar con + inf. to dream of

 

tardar en + inf to delay in, take time to

 

tener que + inf. to have to

 

terminar + -ndo to end up (doing something)

 

terminar de + inf. to stop

 

terminar por + inf. to end up (by doing something)

 

tratar de + inf. to try to

 

venir + -ndo to come (doing something)

 

venir a + inf. to come to

 

volver a + inf. to return to, to (do something) again

 






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Comment or correction by The Language Tutors  :)

April 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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