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A couple questions about these uses of infinitives


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Old August 12, 2022, 05:29 PM
createdamadman createdamadman is offline
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A couple questions about these uses of infinitives

For the first three images below, I know the answers are "El vivir", "El limpiar" and "El escuchar", but I'm not clear on why the "El" is needed.

For these next three images, I know the answers are "pulsar", "hacer clic", and "ver", but I'm not entirely clear why infinitives are used where it seems imperatives should be used instead. I imagine it has to do with there not being a specific audience for the messages, but 'm not sure.

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Old August 12, 2022, 06:13 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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When an infinitive is used as a noun, it "takes" the masculine gender.
Depending on the situation and the speaker, we sometimes don't use the article, but its function in your exercise is that you get used to the article associated with the infinitive.
In the other examples, the infinitive is used as an order, so there is no article, as the verb there is not a noun.

You can say: "Vivir bien es nuestro principal objetivo", and the sentence will have the same meaning, but when there is a modifier to the "infinitive-noun" it's important that you know its gender and necessary article: "El buen vivir es nuestro objetivo". There is no difference in meaning, but we have another way to express we want to be well-off that needs, grammatically, that the infinitive is properly used as a masculine noun.
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Old August 12, 2022, 07:29 PM
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Adding to what Angélica explained, the gerund is the English-language equivalent to the Spanish infinitive being used as noun. The English gerund always acts as a noun in a clause and it looks like a verb with an -ing ending.

(By the way, you shouldn't confuse the gerund with the English present participle, which also looks like a verb ending in -ing. The latter is put to other uses (never a noun).)

This explains why 'living', 'cleaning', and 'listening to' are nouns (gerunds) in the first three examples, instead of a verb (which is what most English speakers would think).

When the infinitive is used as a command (order), it seems to us English speakers that it should be conjugated as such. But the Spanish language makes use of the infinitive to get around giving a direct command to the general public, usually seen on traffic signs or billboards and in some user manuals.

Last edited by Rusty; August 12, 2022 at 08:48 PM.
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