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'El' with verbs?


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Old November 06, 2012, 06:29 PM
lollykh lollykh is offline
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'El' with verbs?

Hey guys

In some grammar books, I have seen sentences like this:

El vivir en Madrid es muy agradable and

El beber puede conducir a la intoxicación e incluso a la muerte.

Could anyone tell me why is the masculine definite article before the infinitive? Obviously verbs are not gendered.
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Old November 06, 2012, 09:35 PM
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Rusty Rusty is offline
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Welcome to the forums!

What you're calling a verb is actually an infinitive. An infinitive acts as a noun. As such, a masculine article may precede it.

The translation of the Spanish construct into English also employs a noun, one that also happens to look like a verb. This noun is called a gerund in English. The equivalent of the English gerund is the Spanish infinitive. Both function as nouns.

Living in Madrid is very nice.
Drinking can lead to poisoning, even death.
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Old November 06, 2012, 10:41 PM
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JPablo JPablo is offline
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Rusty's answer is spot on.

Antonio Machado had some verses that read,

Entre el vivir y el soñar
hay una tercera cosa,

[Between living and dreaming,
there is a third thing,
you need to guess what.]
[or "divine which one"]

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