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The Italian infinitive mood (modo infinito) is mainly the basic grammatical form of a verb.
For Italian speakers, the infinitive mood specifies:
The main peculiarity of Italian infinitive is the absence of persons, both singular and plural, inside its conjugation pattern.
Indeed, the infinitive mood has an impersonal function.
You can find three main conjugations:
|Conjugations||Root + ending|
|First conjugation: -are||am-are (to love)|
|Second conjugation: -ere||tem-ere (to fear)|
|Third conjugation: -ire||serv-ire (to serve)|
The infinito has two main tenses, present and past.
The present infinitive (infinito presente) is the basic, undeclensed form of the verb with -are, -ere or -ire endings (i.e. [to] + [verb]);
The past infinitive (infinito passato) is formed by the auxiliary (essere or avere) and the past participle of the specific verb (e.g. [to] + [auxiliary] + [past participle]).
The Italian infinito passato chooses the auxiliary following the verb nature or the contexts rule:
Let's see some verbs that could occur both in active and passive sentences.
|Present infinitive||Past infinitive for active context||Past infinitive for other contexts|
|Amare (to love)||avere amato (to have loved)||essere amato (to be loved)|
|Temere (to fear)||avere temuto (to have feared)||essere temuto (to be feared)|
|Servire (to serve)||avere servito (to have served)||essere servito (to be served)|
The infinitive mood can have both nominal and verbal values.
In the main clause, the infinitive in Italian can express:
This use often occurs in the implicit sentences to convey several message that can be expressed explicitly by the subjunctive mood.
The present infinitive usually specify a contemporaneity relation between sentences. The past infinitive instead specifies an anteriority relation.
Hence, below you can find the main dependent clauses in which the infinitive occurs.
|Type of sentence||Example||Translation|
|Objective||Pensa di fare grandi cose.||She thinks she will do great things.|
|Subjective||Credevo di essere stato chiaro.||I thought I was clear.|
|Declarative||L'obiettivo è andare via.||The aim is to go away.|
|Interrogative||Non so cosa pensare.||I don't know what to think.|
|Causative||Si è fatto male per aver saltato oltre il muro.||He hurts himself because he jumped over the wall.|
|Consecutive||Mi sono spaventata tanto da rimanere lì.||I was so much frighten that I remained there.|
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