13.1.3 à plus infinitive

Some verbs connect a following infinitive with à.

à bei Anschluss eines Infinitivs
commencer à + infinitive = to start to ...
Il commence à faire du sport.
  He starts to go in for sports.
apprendre à + infinitive = to learn (how) to ...
Il apprend à nager.
  He learns how to swim.
continuer à + infinitive = to continue to ...
Il continue à écrire.
  He continues to write. / He continues writing.
chercher à + infinitive = to try to ...
Il cherche à le faire.
  He tries to do it.
renoncer à + infinitive = to abandon to ...
Il renonce à le faire.
  He abandons to do it.
tenir à + infinitive = to make a point doing sth.
Il tient à le faire lui-même.
  He makes a point doing it himself.
hésiter à + infinitive = to hesitate to ...
Il hésite à le faire.
  He hesitates to do it.

Unfortunately it does not mean that all infinitives are connected to the previous verb with à. Here some examples about the opposite.

Verbs connecting the infinitive with de
Il craint de faire des fautes.
  He is afraid to make mistakes.
Il évite de lui parler.
  He avoids to talk to him.
Il oublie de payer les factures.
  He forgets to pay the bills.

In some cases the meaning of the verb changes with different prepositions. Actually in English we have the same, (e.g. looking for; looking after; looking at...).

Verbs with different prepositions
Il arrive quand même à se débrouiller.
  He still gets along fine.
Il lui arrive de s' endormir en plein jour.
  It happens that he falls asleep during the day.

contact privacy statement imprint