Some of you may be confused with Infinitive verb in Russian language topic but we want to assure you that there is nothing hard about it. Lots of websites have already posted their explanations of it but they could hardly explain 3 easy questions:
If you know answers on these questions, then skip this article because you already know this topic very well.
#1 What is an infinitive verb in Russian?
It worth to mention, that Russian language has initial form of the words. Initial words are changeable and can be found in a Russian Dictionary. So if you open the Dictionary and see words there, be sure they are all initially formed and by changing endings depending on case, gender, tense, number etc., you get the right formed word for your sentence.
Initial nouns: машина – a car, мебель – a furniture, гитара – a guitar etc.
Infinitive verbs: смотреть – to watch, знать – to know, мочь – to be able to…
So what is an Infinitive verb in Russian? It is initial form of verbs that can be found in a Dictionary. Such verbs designate an action or condition but don’t give us information about tense, gender or number in which those are used.
Such infinitive verbs answer two, similar to each other, questions:
What to do? – “Что делать?” – see some examples:
(Imperfective verbs – simply means the action is in the process)
What to do? – “Что сделать?” – see some examples:
(Perfective – simply means the action is finished or complete)
#2 How can you remember such a large number of endings of infinitive verbs in Russian?
Now, we are about to give you the irrefragable answer.
Some internet resources are offering you to memorize such endings of infinitive verbs in Russian language:
-ать | -ять | -еть | -уть | -оть | -ыть | -ти | -чь | -зть | -сть | -ить
The secret is that you don’t have to memorize them all! Because you only need to keep in mind those 3 main endings:
to keep, to safeguard
to go, to walk
So the answer on the second question is simple: You have to memorize only 3 main endings of infinitive verbs. The other 8 endings are formed based on those 3.
#3 How infinitive verbs can be used in sentences?
It’s also quite easy to understand. You just need to remember those simple and logic 6 situations in which Russian infinitive verbs can be used:
1. Russian infinitive verbs can be used in the construction of compound future tense. Therefore it’s similar to English language.
Они будут гулять на улице
They will walk outside
Маша будет петь песню
Maria will sing a song
Мы будем идти в лес
We will go to the forest
2. Russian infinitive verbs are used with verbs denoting the beginning, continuation, or ending of an action.
Я начал читать новую книгу
I started reading a new book
Они продолжали кричать друг на друга
They kept shouting at each other
Мы заканчиваем плести новый браслет
We finish weaving a new bracelet
3. Russian verbs are also used after such words:
Я должен ехать в Москву – I must go to Moscow
Они рады приветствовать новых чемпионов в своём городе – They are happy to welcome new champions in their city
Мы готовы взять маленького щенка к себе домой –
We are ready to take the little puppy to our home
Ты должен дать интервью журналистам – You’re obliged to give an interview to journalists
Президент намерен распустить парламент – President intends to dissolve parliament
4. Russian infinitive verbs are used in combination with predicative adverbs and adjectives, such as:
Мне нужно ехать в Москву – I should go to Moscow
it is necessary
Необходимо поддерживать друг друга – It’s necessary to support each other
it is possible
Мне можно взять маленького щенка к себе домой –
I may to take the little puppy to my home
Тебе нельзя пить много кофе – You shout not drink too much coffee
Президенту трудно управлять парламентом – It is difficult for the president to manage the parliament
5. Russian infinitive verbs are used also in combination with verbs of motion, such as:
to go (by foot)
Мария идёт в кинотеатр смотреть новый фильм – Maria goes to the cinema to watch a new film.
to go (by vehicle)
Каждый год, мы ездим на море ловить морскую рыбу – Every year we go to the sea to catch sea fish
to go (by vehicle)
Они поехали покупать новый костюм Андрею –
They went to buy a new suit to Andrew
Каждые выходные, я хожу в кафе кушать мороженое – Every weekend, I go to a cafe to eat ice cream
Команда канадских хоккеистов летит в США играть с Русской сборной – The team of Canadian hockey players flies to the USA to play with the Russian national team
Please keep in mind the following: The infinitive verbs are never used with the verb знать – to know!
6. Russian infinitive verbs are used as a subject of a sentence where the infinitive often expresses a peremptory (business-like) order.
Согласно договору №12345, выплатить господину Андрею денежную сумму в размере…
According to the contract #12345, to pay Mr. Andrew a sum of money in the amount of …
Здесь курить ЗАПРЕЩЕНО!
It is forbidden to smoke here!
Громко НЕ разговаривать
Do not talk loudly
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