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Conjugated Verbs + Infinitives Part 1

Conjugated verbs have different endings depending on the type of verb, the tense, and the person carrying out the action. Daniela has taught video lessons on the different conjugations of Italian verbs. Un verbo all’infinito (a verb in the infinitive), on the other hand, is the basic verb, with nothing done to it. It always ends in “e.”


Conjugated verbs combine with verbs in the infinitive in different ways. Sometimes a preposition (to, at, of) is needed and sometimes not. Let's talk about the cases in which no preposition is needed between the conjugated verb and the verb in the infinitive.


No preposition needed!

In these cases we have the formula:

conjugated verb + verb in the infinitive


Modal verbs

In the following example, the conjugated verb is the modal verb volere (to want). Let’s quickly review what modal verbs are. They generally combine with verbs in the infinitive and normally don’t stand alone. Another word for verbo modale is verbo servile (servant verb) because these verbs serve another verb. The modal verbs in Italian are potere (to be able to), volere (to want to), sapere (to know how to), and dovere (to have to). See this video lesson about modal verbs.


Voleva entrare dalla finestra all'alba.

He wanted to come through my window at sunup.

Caption 15, La Tempesta - film Part 3

 Play Caption


Let it happen

But here is a non-modal verb that works the same way. The verb lasciare (to leave, to let) is conjugated, and it's followed by a verb in the infinitive entrare (to enter), with no preposition between the two verbs.


Non ti lasciamo entrare in casa.

"We won't let you come in the house."

Caption 4, Ti racconto una fiaba - I tre porcellini

 Play Caption


An adjective in the middle

The second formula Daniela talks about is:

conjugated verb essere (to be) + adjective + verb in the infinitive


E per lei non è stato difficile conoscere tanti nuovi amici.

And it hasn't been hard for her to get to know a lot of new friends.

Caption 24, Adriano - la sua ragazza

 Play Caption


Mix and Match

The following are some examples of the two different formulas Daniela has explained. They don’t correspond in meaning exactly, but are close enough to give you a visual idea of how these two combinations of verbs work.


verbo essere + aggettivo + verbo all'infinito (verb “to be” + adjective + verb in the infinite)
verbo coniugato + verbo all’ infinito (conjugated verb + verb in the infinitive)


È bello parlare con te (it’s nice talking to you).

Mi piace parlare con te (I like talking with you). 


È noioso fare i compiti a casa (it’s boring to do homework).
Non mi piace fare i compiti a casa (I don’t like doing homework).


Non è sano mangiare troppo (it is not healthy to eat too much).
Non si dovrebbe mangiare troppo (one shouldn’t eat too much). 


Sarebbe preferibile prendere un'altra strada (it would be preferable to take another road).
Preferirei prendere un'altra strada (I would prefer to take another road).


Per me è stato molto faticoso camminare fin qua (it was very tiring for me to walk here).
Non ho potuto camminare fin qui senza stancarmi. (I couldn’t walk here without getting tired).


È brutto parlare male degli altri (it is bad to speak badly about other people).
Non dobbiamo parlare male degli altri (we shouldn’t speak badly about other people).


È facile parlare italiano (It's easy to speak Italian).
So parlare italiano (I know how to speak Italian).


Sarà importante andare a letto presto stasera (it will be important to go to bed early tonight).
Devo andare a letto presto stasera (I must go to bed early this evening).


In part 2, we talk about formulas where we need the preposition between the conjugated verb and the infinitive.

Grammar Verbs

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