French Infinitives?

Alright, so I am taking French Honors this year in high school, and still do not know exactly how to use infinitives. For example, I know manger (to eat), etre (to be), faire (to do), etc, but I am not sure how to use infinitives in the form so that they would apply as "eating, being, doing, etc", thanks guys.


Hey come on guys, I know how to conjugate a verb...regular, irregular whatever, I am just wondering how to put a verb into the context of -ing, instead of to-... Such as in english to swim and swimming, whereas in french it is nager, but I do not know how to say swimming...(and yes I know je nage, etc)

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    In French, the infinitive usually substitutes for the -ing form when used as a noun (gerund). Swimming is fun. (Swimming is a noun--the act of swimming). So when you see j'aime nager, the sentence could be translated as either 'I like to swim or I like swimming.

    When you are using 'swimming' to express what you are doing right now. (I am swimming while I type...hmm, not hardly), the other poster was correct: Je suis en train de nager. 'I am in the process of swimming if you HAVE to emphasize the currentness of the action or simply 'je nage'. If you look back in your first year book (generally about chapter four), there will be some box that says something like: je nage--I swim, I do swim, I am swimming You choose the translation based on the sense of the sentence.

    I hope I answered what you are asking. Oh, and if you want to start a sentence with an -ing, It usually is something like, 'Lire, c'est vivre." to read is to live or reading is living. You need the c'est in the middle, not just the 'est' or it just doesn't sound french.

    30+ years teaching middle school French

  • 1 decade ago

    The infinitive is the unconjugated form. You have to to take off the "er" or "ir" off the infinitive's end and stick on the correct ending.

    Example... manger = to eat

    "Je manger" is wrong. It means "I to eat."

    You need to take off the 'er' from "manger" and stick on the right ending for the 'Je' form... Je mange = I eat.

    Sorry dude, but you shoulda kinda learned this basic stuff back in French I. Check out a basic grammar book to get caught up! I'm not knocking you, but you won't get very far without understanding basic verb conjugation in the present tense, let alone all the other tenses you will learn this year.

    Source(s): B.A. in Spanish and French... taught both for 3 years before retiring to have my own kids LOL
  • 1 decade ago

    There is no direct equivalent in French when conjugating.

    I am eating = je suis en train de manger (literally, i'm in the middle of eating)

    i eat = je mange

    If you want to use it stand alone as in "being there"... then use just the infinitve = etre la.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Conjugation Of Esperer

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  • Clo
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Manger or mangé(e)(s) I suppose that what you're wondering.

    So it's simple, I give you an example :

    Je veux manger des spaghettis. If you don't know if it's ER or É change the verb : je veux prendre des spaghettis not je veux pris des spaghettis.

    Source(s): I'm french
  • 1 decade ago

    speaking: parler

    Asking a question: poser une question

    reading the answers: lire les reonses

    Feeling: sentiire

    swiming: nager

    playing: jouer

    watching: regarder

    working: travailler

  • 1 decade ago

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    Bon chance! ;)

  • 5 years ago


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