Infinitive ( latin [mode] infinitive to lat. Infinitum , literally "the unlimited" meant. "Indeterminacy") is the name for a verb form, in the number and (usually) person will not be expressed. There are nevertheless infinitive forms in different tenses (“have seen”) and different diathesis (“have been seen”). Together with the participles and the inflective , the infinitive belongs to the infinite verb forms .
In German and in many other languages, the infinitive is used as a citation form of a verb; however, this is not the case in all languages. For example, a number of languages have no infinitive at all, while other languages do have an infinitive, but this is not used as a citation form.
The infinitive in German
Infinitives appear in German:
- in connection with infinitive governing verbs (example: She has to stay. He seems to be sleeping. )
- in subordinate infinitive phrases (example: reading long texts is difficult for him )
- in main clause infinitive phrases (example: don't lean out of the window! )
The infinitive can be recognized in German by the ending -en (more rarely: -eln, -ern of verbs that originally ended in -elen or -eren ; exception: ending in -n with do from originally do and be ):
- The witness wants to testify (infinitive present active).
The infinitive can also be formed in the tense tense:
- The witness wants to have observed the act (infinitive perfect active).
For both tenses you can also form an infinitive in the passive:
- The perpetrator does not want to be discovered during the act (infinitive present passive).
- The witness could have been forced to testify (infinitive perfect passive).
Subordinate Infinitive Phrases
Infinitives can also be formed with too . If except the infinitive and to another word for Infinitivgruppe heard spoken traditionally by a "extended infinitive". An infinitive with zu, which occurs afterwards, always has the status of its own subordinate clause (which does not necessarily apply to other construction types with infinitives; for more details see under coherent construction ).
- The witness wishes to testify (present active).
- He comes to testify (present active).
- The witness claims to have observed the act (Perfectly Active).
- The perpetrator hopes not to be discovered during the act (present passive).
- The witness confirms that he was compelled to testify (perfect passive).
Main clause-valued infinitive phrases
The "free infinitive" is independent of any other verb, especially with inscriptions and instructions:
- Observe the package insert !
Like all verbs, infinitives are usually written in lower case . However, they can also be used as nouns and must then be capitalized . Examples: "The extinction of the dinosaurs, being laughable, in my opinion, without reputation, making a lot of talking." If the substantiation is not clear - it becomes clear z. B. by a preceding article - the Duden allows both lowercase and uppercase letters; however, since the 25th edition, he has recommended capitalization (example: "To err is human"). Infinitives with reflexive pronouns (example: “agitation brings blessings”) are not nouned, so that lowercase letters are necessary; When nouning such verbs, the reflexive pronoun is omitted (to stir → the rain) .
Clear two-part infinitive compounds are written together (examples: driving a car, being different ). Through coupling , d. H. Separate spelling with hyphens is only required for complex phrases (eating the puree) and for compounds with more than two components (living into the day) .
The infinitive in other languages
Most infinitive forms are impersonal. The Portuguese language , which knows a “personal infinitive” (infinitivo pessoal), is an exception .
In Indo-European languages
The infinitive occurs in many Indo-European languages, but has different endings in the various language groups.
- Present / active: clamare (call / shout), vidēre (see), audire (hear), agĕre (act), venire (come)
- Present / passive: clamari, videri, audiri, agi
- Perfect / active: clamavisse, vidisse, adivisse, egisse
- Perfect / passive: clamatum esse, visum esse, auditum esse, actum esse (with past participle passive , declinable)
- Future tense / active: clamaturum esse, visurum esse, auditurum esse, acturum esse
- Future tense / passive: clamatum iri, visum iri, auditum iri, actum iri (with supinum , not declinable)
- Spanish : -ar, -er, -ir
- cantar (sing), beber (drink), vivir (life)
- Portuguese : -ar, -er, -ir
- falar (speak), vender (sell), partir (go away)
- Exception: pôr (set, set, place)
- French : -er, -dre, -oir, -ir, -re
- thunder (to give), prendre (to take), savoir (to know), finir (to end), vivre (to live)
- Exception: boire (drink)
- English : with infinitive marker "to" (missing from bare infinitive )
- to go (to go), to sleep (to sleep), to sing (to sing)
- Italian : -are, -ere, -ire
- cantare (sing), vedere (see), partire (depart)
- Hindi : always ends in -ना / naˑ /
- होना / ɦoːnaˑ / (to be, become), बेचना / beːt͡ɕ (ə) naˑ / (sell), ख़रीदना / xəriːd̪ (ə) naˑ / (buy)
- Romanian : with infinitive marker "a"
- a auzi (listen), a face (do / do), a vrea (want)
- Russian : always ends in -ть, -ти or -чь
- жить (to live), писать (to write), любить (to love), идти (to walk), нести (to carry), печь (to bake), мочь (to be able to)
- Latvian : ends in -t or -ties
- būt (to be), nākt (to come), mācīties (to learn)
- The ending -ties can be found in reflexive verbs.
- Armenian : ends in -ալ or -ել: կարդալ (read), գրել (write)
- Sanskrit : ends in -tum
- dātum (to give), bhávitum (to be)
- This ending is the accusative of -tu and corresponds to the supinum in Latin and in Baltic and Slavic languages.
- In the older Vedic there were other endings, although their frequency could vary:
- -e (e.g. dṙśé "see"),
- -ase (dative of -as, e.g. áyase "to go"),
- -mane (dative of -man, e.g. dāmane "to give"),
- -vane (dative of -van, e.g. dāváne "to give")
- -taye (dative of -ti, e.g. sātáye "win")
- -tave (dative of -tu, e.g. étave "go")
- -sani (locative of -san, e.g. neṣáṇi "lead")
- The endings with dative were the most common.
In Finno-Ugric languages
- Finnish : Each verb forms five infinitives, each of which can only be used in certain contexts and only appear in certain case forms or constructions (sometimes in connection with the possessive suffixes to identify the acting person).
- Infinitive I or A-infinitive: laulaa (sing), laulaakseni [-si, -nsa ...]
- Infinitive II or E-infinitive: laulaessa, laulettaessa, laulaen
- Infinitive III or MA infinitive: laulamassa, laulamasta, laulamaan, laulamalla, laulamatta, laulaman, laulettaman
- Infinitive IV or MINEN infinitive: laulaminen, laulamista
- Infinitive V or MAISILLA infinitive: laulamaisillani [-si, -nsa ...]
- Estonian : Every verb forms two infinitives, namely on -da (rarely -ta or -a) or -ma, both of which differ in their use in the sentence.
- lugema - lugeda (read), ostma - osta (buy)
- Hungarian : always on -ni
- menni (walk), futni (run)
In Turkic languages
- Turkish : always ends in -mak or -mek
- gülmek (laugh), gelmek (come), bakmak ( watch ), oynamak (play)
In planned languages
- Esperanto : always ends in -i
- iri (to walk), labori (to work), vidi (to see), kompreni (to understand)
- Volapük : always ends in -ön
- stopön (stop), klotön (dress), dolön (pain)
- Duden. The grammar . 8th edition. Dudenverlag, Mannheim, Vienna, Zurich 2009, ISBN 978-3-411-04048-3 , pp. 847 ff . ; a list of infinitive governing verbs can be found in the Wiktionary
- Duden. The grammar . 8th edition. Dudenverlag, Mannheim, Vienna, Zurich 2009, ISBN 978-3-411-04048-3 , pp. 850 ff .
- Duden. The grammar . 8th edition. Dudenverlag, Mannheim, Vienna, Zurich 2009, ISBN 978-3-411-04048-3 , pp. 852 ff .
- German spelling: rules and vocabulary ( memento of the original from July 11, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 847 kB), § 43
- German spelling: rules and vocabulary ( memento of the original from July 11, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 847 kB), § 44
- Berthold Forssmann: Dictionary Latvian-German. Pages 39, 132 and 144.
- T. Burrow: The Sanskrit language. Page 364.
- According to Kauderwelsch Volume 55, Estonian word for word. 6th edition. 2014, page 32.
- After Volapük - Die Weltsprache , by JM Schleyer, pages 50 and 75.