• German grammar
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  • 1 German pronunciation [0/1]
  • 2 German functions of words [0/5]
  • 3 German sentence structure [0/28]
  • Construct a German sentence! (Score -/-)Free
  • Make a German indirect speech! (Score -/-)Free
  • 3.1 Sentence structure of main clauses in German [0/4]
  • 3.2 Dependent clauses in German [0/12]
  • 3.3 Negation in German [0/3]
  • 3.4 Questions in German [0/2]
  • 3.5 Indirect speech in German [0/2]
  • 3.6 Conjunctions in German [0/3]
  • 4 German Articles [0/7]
  • 5 German nouns [0/28]
  • Fill in the correct form of the German noun! (Score -/-)Free
  • Form the correct plural form of the German nouns! (Score -/-)Free
  • Fill in the correct definite and indefinite article! (Score -/-)Free
  • Translate these nouns into German (Score -/-)Free
  • Match the right German word to the sentences (Score -/-)Free
  • 5.1 Gender of German nouns (substantives) - der, die, das [0/9]
  • 5.2 Plural of German nouns [0/4]
  • 5.3 German declension (N-declension) [0/4]
  • 5.4 Diminutive (-lein, -chen) in German [0/3]
  • 5.5 Compound nouns in German [0/2]
  • 5.6 Adjectives and verbs as nouns in German [0/1]
  • 6 German pronouns [0/19]
  • 7 German cases [0/13]
  • 8 German adjectives [0/29]
  • Exercise for building German adjectives (Score -/-)Free
  • Determine the form of use of these German adjectives! (Score -/-)Free
  • Transform these German adjectives to their nominal form (Score -/-)Free
  • Build the comparative and superlative of these German adjectives (Score -/-)Free
  • Insert the German attributive adjective! (Score -/-)Free
  • 8.1 Different types of adjectives in German [0/3]
  • 8.2 How to form German adjectives [0/1]
  • 8.3 German participle as adjectives [0/2]
  • 8.4 Comparative and superlative adjectives in German [0/4]
  • 8.5 Declension of German adjectives [0/2]
  • 8.6 Forming and declension of ordinal numbers in German [0/2]
  • 8.7 Possessive adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.8 Demonstrative adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.9 Interrogative and exclamatory adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.10 Indefinite adjectives in German [0/2]
  • 8.11 List of German Adjectives [0/2]
  • 9 German adverbs [0/13]
  • 10 German verbs [0/67]
  • Match the correct German verb to the sentences (Score -/-)Free
  • Form the German simple past and participle II form (Score -/-)Free
  • Exercise to match the right German auxiliary verb! (Score -/-)Free
  • Choose the right conjugation of the German verbs (Score -/-)Free
  • Build the German form of politeness! (Score -/-)Free
  • 10.1 Auxiliary verbs in German [0/5]
  • 10.2 Modal verbs in German [0/8]
  • 10.3 Separable and inseparable verbs in German [0/3]
  • 10.4 Conjugation of regular verbs (weak verbs) in German
  • 10.5 Conjugation of irregular verbs (strong verbs) in German [0/45]
  • Exercise: German irregular verbs (Score -/-)Free
  • 10.5.1 Conjugation of geben (to give) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.2 Conjugation of gehen (to walk, to go) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.3 Conjugation of lassen (to let) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.4 Conjugation of nehmen (to take) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.5 Conjugation of fahren (to drive) German [0/2]
  • 10.5.6 Conjugation of essen (to eat) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.7 Conjugation of lesen (to read) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.8 Conjugation of sehen (to see) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.9 Conjugation of kommen (to come) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.10 Conjugation of trinken (to drink) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.11 Conjugation of schlafen (to sleep) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.12 Conjugation of gefallen (to please) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.13 Conjugation of schreiben (to write) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.14 Conjugation of helfen (to help) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.15 Conjugation of laufen (to run) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.16 Conjugation of treffen (to meet, to hit) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.17 Conjugation of tragen (to carry) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.18 Conjugation of bleiben (to stay) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.19 Conjugation of schwimmen (to swim) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.20 Conjugation of finden (to find) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.21 Conjugation of waschen (to wash) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.22 Conjugation of bekommen (to get) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.23 Cojugation of bringen (to bring) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.24 Conjugation of sprechen (to speak) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.25 Conjugation of heißen (to be called) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.26 Conjugation of fliegen (to fly) in German [0/2]
  • 10.5.27 Conjugation of backen (to bake) in German [0/1]
  • 10.5.28 Conjugation of steigen (to rise) in German [0/1]
  • 10.6 List of common verbs in German [0/1]
  • 11 German prepositions [0/27]
  • Spot all the used German prepositions! (Score -/-)Free
  • Match the German prepositions! (Score -/-)Free
  • Prepositions and German grammar cases! (Score -/-)Free
  • Determine which kind of German preposition is being used! (Score -/-)Free
  • Complete the verbs and adjectives! (Score -/-)Free
  • 11.1 Locative prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.2 Temporal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.3 Modal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.4 Causal prepositions in German [0/2]
  • 11.5 German prepositions requiring the genitive [0/2]
  • 11.6 German prepositions requiring the dative [0/2]
  • 11.7 German Prepositions requiring the accusative [0/2]
  • 11.8 German prepositions with either dative or accusative [0/2]
  • 11.9 German prepositions and articles [0/2]
  • 11.10 German prepositions with verbs [0/2]
  • 11.11 German prepositions and adjectives [0/2]
  • 12 Tenses and conjugation of German verbs [0/23]
  • Form the correct German tense! (Score -/-)Free
  • Choose the correct German tense! (Score -/-)Free
  • 12.1 Present tense (Präsens) in German [0/4]
  • 12.2 Simple past tense (Präteritum) in German [0/4]
  • 12.3 Present perfect (Perfekt) in German [0/3]
  • 12.4 Past perfect tense (Plusquamperfekt) in German [0/3]
  • 12.5 German future I [0/4]
  • 12.6 German Future II [0/3]
  • 13 Infinitive in German [0/8]
  • 14 Imperative in German [0/3]
  • 15 Subjunctive in German [0/6]
  • 16 Active and passive voice in German [0/2]
  • 17 Participle in German [0/6]
  • The double infinitive in German

    Exercises

    0%
    1. Multiple-Choice exercise on double infinitive Score -/-
    2. Present perfect or double infinitive? Score -/-

    What is the double infinitive and how do you form it in German?

    When in German you find two infinitive verbs in the same sentence, the sentence contains of a double infinitive.

    The double infinity is used with certain verbs, especially with modal verbs, when these are conjugated to compound times (Perfekt, Plusquamperfekt) or to Futur I. Let's see in the following chapters how you should use the double infinitive in different situations.

    Verbs introducing the double infinitive

    The double infinitive is used in combination with the following verbs. Keep in mind, that when there are three verbs in the sentence, only one of them is conjugated.

    Verb Example Translation

    With modal verbs:

    • können
    • dürfen
    • wollen
    • mögen
    • sollen
    • müssen
    • Ich habe dieses Buch lesen müssen.
    • Wir werden ein neues Handy kaufen müssen.
    • Er wird es nicht einsehen wollen.
    • I had to read this book.
    • We will have to buy a new mobile.
    • He will not want to understand it.

    With verbs that do not hold the infinitive with zu:

    • hören
    • sehen
    • bleiben
    • fühlen
    • Ich habe sie schreien hören.
    • Wir haben sie Volleyball spielen sehen.
    • Wir haben ihn essen sehen.
    • I heard her screaming.
    • We saw them playing volleyball.
    • We saw him eating.

    With other verbs such as:

    • lassen
    • helfen
    • brauchen
    • Ich habe meine Nägel machen lassen.
    • Sie haben ihm nicht helfen brauchen.
    • I had my nails been made.
    • They did not need to help him.

    With verbs of motion (which don't hold an infinitive with 'zu'):

    • gehen
    • fahren
    • kommen
    • Wir haben etwas essen gehen wollen.
    • Wir haben in die Berge fahren können.
    • We wanted to go eating something.
    • We could have gone to the mountains.

     

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    The double infinitive with the past participle

    The verbs you can find in the table above, can be used alone or in a verb group. But with the past participle, we always use the double infinitive.

    The double infinitive is therefore always used with a past form of a modal verb. See some examples in the table below:

    Verb Example with double infinitive Example without double infinitive Translation
    müssen Ich habe den Wagen reparieren müssen. Ich musste den Wagen reparieren. I had to fix the car.
    wollen Wir haben ihr helfen wollen. Wir wollten ihr helfen. We had wanted to help her - We wanted to help her.
    können Ich habe ihn nicht treffen können. Ich konnte ihn nicht treffen. I couldn't meet him.
    sehen Wir haben ihn fallen sehen. Wir sahen ihn fallen. We had seen him falling. - We saw him falling.
    lassen Du hast dir die Haare schneiden lassen. Du ließt dir die Haare schneiden. You got your hair cut.

     

    The double infinitive with Futur I

    It is the same thing, when we use the Futur I. With the simple Futur I you have to use the double infinitive at the end. In the table below, you will have some examples.

    Example Translation
    Die Frau wird ihren Mann schnarchen hören. The women will hear her husband snore.
    Er wird nicht spielen können. He won't be able to play.
    Ihr werdet etwas kaufen müssen. You will have to buy something.

     

    The position of the double infinitive in the sentence

    Since the position of the verbs change, according to whether they are in the main or in the subordinate clause, we will have a look at both cases in the following chapters.

    Double infinitive in the main clause

    In the main sentence, the double infinity is at the end of the sentence, while the auxiliary is always in second position (not necessarily after the subject).

    Example Translation
    Wir haben das Auftragsformular ausfüllen müssen. We had to fill in the order sheet.
    Gestern haben wir das Kind weinen hören. Yesterday, we heard the child crying.
    Wir werden Lena den Schlüssel suchen helfen. We will help Lena to find her key.

     

    Double infinitive in the subordinate clause

    In the secondary (subordinate) sentence the double infinity is always placed at the end of the sentence, while the conjugated auxiliary is in front of the double infinity (at the third last place).

    enlightenedBe careful: Usually the conjugated auxiliary in subordinates is in the last position. In this type of proposition it is in the third last place.

    Example Translation
    Sie behaupten, dass sie es nicht haben machen können. They claim, that they couldn't have done it.
    Wir wissen nicht, ob er in die Schweiz hat fahren müssen. We don't know, if we had to go to Swiss.
    Er hat gesagt, dass er das Kind nicht hat weinen hören. He said, that he did not hear the child crying.