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

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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



Comment or correction by The Language Tutors  :)

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

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