• 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 -/-)
  • Make a German indirect speech! (Score -/-)
  • 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 -/-)
  • Form the correct plural form of the German nouns! (Score -/-)
  • Fill in the correct definite and indefinite article! (Score -/-)
  • Translate these nouns into German (Score -/-)
  • Match the right German word to the sentences (Score -/-)
  • 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 -/-)
  • Determine the form of use of these German adjectives! (Score -/-)
  • Transform these German adjectives to their nominal form (Score -/-)
  • Build the comparative and superlative of these German adjectives (Score -/-)
  • Insert the German attributive adjective! (Score -/-)
  • 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 -/-)
  • Form the German simple past and participle II form (Score -/-)
  • Exercise to match the right German auxiliary verb! (Score -/-)
  • Choose the right conjugation of the German verbs (Score -/-)
  • Build the German form of politeness! (Score -/-)
  • 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 -/-)
  • 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 -/-)
  • Match the German prepositions! (Score -/-)
  • Prepositions and German grammar cases! (Score -/-)
  • Determine which kind of German preposition is being used! (Score -/-)
  • Complete the verbs and adjectives! (Score -/-)
  • 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]
  • 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]
  • Infinitive clause in German

    What is a infinitive clause?

    As the name suggests, an infinitive clause always contains a verb in its infinitive form, which is the not-conjugated form of the verb. The infinitive can be accompanied with or without the word "zu", which is the German equivalent for "to".

    Infinitiv without 'zu' Sie kann die Prüfung schaffen. She can pass the test
    Infinitiv with 'zu'  Sie hofft, die Prüfung zu schaffen. She hopes to pass the test


    enlightenedFor building the infinitive clause you always need the the infinitive form with "zu"!

    Infinitive clause with 'zu'

    These clauses are without a subject. The subject is in the main clause, which stands before the infinitive clause. Infinitive clauses refer to the person or thing of the main clause! 

    Building infinitive clauses

    As mentioned above, you always need zu + infinitive of the verb to build and infinitive clause. In German this combination will always be at the end of the infinitive clause, in English this is not the case.

    • Ich plane (=main clause), nächsten Sommer nach Italien zu fahren (=infinitive clause). (I plan, to go to Italy next summer)

    If the verb in the infinitive clause is a separable verb, then the "zu" will stand between the two parts of the verb.

    • Er beginnt immer zu spät (=main clause), sich auf die Prüfung vorzubereiten (=infinitive clause). (He always begin late to prepare himself for the test)

    When to use the infinitive clause?

    After certain words you follow up with "zu" + infinitive. The following table provides you with the most important of these words.

    Verbs that initiate an infinitive clause

    Infinitive Translation Main clause Infinitive clause Translation of the sentence
    anbieten To offer Sie hat uns angeboten, bei dem Umzug zu helfen. She offered to help us moving
    anfangen To start Morgen fängt es an, zu schneien.  Tomorrow it will start to snow
    aufhören To stop Hör bitte auf, zu schreien.  Please stop to scream
    beginnen To begin Ich beginne jetzt schon, mich auf die Klausur vorzubereiten. I already begin to prepare myself for the exam
    sich bemühen To try Er bemüht sich, eine neue Wohnung zu finden.  He's trying to find a new apartment
    bitten To ask Ich bitte dich, die Tür zu schließen.  I ask you to close the door
    denken an To remember Denk daran, die Wäsche aufzuhängen.  Remember to hang up the laundry
    erlauben To allow Meine Eltern erlauben mir, im Sommer nach Spanien zu fliegen. My parents allow me to fly to spain in the summer
    glauben To think / To believe Warum glaubt er, eines Tages berühmt zu sein.  Why does he think to be famous one day?
    hoffen auf To hope Sie hofft immer noch darauf, entdeckt zu werden. They still hope to be discovered
    verbieten To forbid Ihr Vater verbietet ihr, abends auszugehen. He father forbids her to go out in the evening
    vergessen To forget Sie hat vergessen, mir zum Geburtstag zu gratulieren.  She forgot to congratulate me to my birthday
    versuchen To try Du kannst versuchen, auf den Baum zu klettern. You can try to climb up the tree
    warnen vor To warn Ich habe dich davor gewarnt, mit dem Motorrad zu fahren. I warned you to drive with the motorcycle

    enlightenedIn German the infinitive always stands at the end of the sentence

    Adjectives and participles that initiate an infinitive clause

    Infinitive Translation main clause Infinitive clause Translation of the sentence
    bereit sein zu To be prepared Ich bin dazu bereit, die Prüfung zu schreiben. I am prepared to write the exam
    entschlossen sein To be determined Wir sind entschlossen, nach Italien zu fahren. We are determined to go to Italy
    erlaubt sein To be allowed Es ist erlaubt, Fragen zu stellen. He is allowed to ask questions
    falsch sein To be wrong Es war falsch, nicht die Wahrheit zu sagen. It was wrong not to say the truth
    gesund sein To be healthy Es ist nicht gesund, jeden Tag Eis zu essen. It is not healthy to drink a cup of coffee each morning
    gewohnt sein To be used to Ich bin es gewohnt, jeden Morgen eine Tasse Kaffee zu trinken. I am used to drink a cup of coffee each morning
    leicht sein To be easy Es ist leicht einfach aufzugeben. It is easy to just give up
    richtig sein To be right Es ist richtig seine Meinung zu sagen. It is right to say your opinion
    verboten sein To be forbidden Es war verboten, am Gelände zu essen. It was forbidden to eat at the rail

    Nouns that initiate a infinitive clause

    Infinitive Translation Main clause Infinitive clause Translation of the sentence
    die Absicht haben To have the intention Wir haben die Absicht, nach Rom zu fahren. We have the intention to go to rome
    Angst haben (vor) To have the fear  Sie hat Angst, die Wahrheit zu sagen. She has fear to say the truth
    eine Freude sein To be a joy Es ist eine Freude, dich zu sehen. It is a joy to see you again
    Problem haben To have the problem Er hat das Problem, niemanden zu kennen.  He has the problem to know nobody
    (keine) Zeit haben (Not) having time Ich habe keine Zeit, dir zuzuhören. I have no time to listen to you

    yes Prove your knowledge now with the following free exercise!

    Exercises

    Exercise: Complete the infinitive clause