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To Infinitives, and Beyond!. Infinitive Phrases Phrases: do not have subjects and verbs Clauses: do have subjects and verbs Infinitive phrases utilize.

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Präsentation zum Thema: "To Infinitives, and Beyond!. Infinitive Phrases Phrases: do not have subjects and verbs Clauses: do have subjects and verbs Infinitive phrases utilize."—  Präsentation transkript:

1 To Infinitives, and Beyond!

2 Infinitive Phrases Phrases: do not have subjects and verbs Clauses: do have subjects and verbs Infinitive phrases utilize an infinitive (without a subject) plus zu: – Ich hatte vor zu kommen. – Ich hatte Lust zu gehen. – Das ist schwer zu glauben. The infinitive phrase often has its own direct object. The direct object, as well as other complements such as adverbs, prepositional phrases, or indirect objects, will precede zu + the infinitive. – Es würde mir nicht gefallen, diesen Hosenanzug zu tragen. – Ich hatte die Absicht, diese Aufgabe sofort zu erledigen. The infinitive phrase may have several complements: – Ich habe versucht, heute Nachmittag mit meiner Mutter privat zu sprechen.

3 Functions of Infinitive Phrases Generally, we think of persons, places, and things as typical subjects and objects in a sentence. – Marlies hat den Plan für die Firma entwickelt. Infinitive phrases, on the other hand, name an action/activity or state. They most often serve functionally as the direct object of the entire sentence. – Was hast du versucht? (Were eliciting a direct object.) – Ich habe versucht zu schlafen. – Ich habe versucht, meine Finanzen wieder in Ordnung zu bringen.

4 Infinitive Clauses Infinitive clauses may also serve as the subject, but this is not quite as common. – Was gefällt dir? (Were eliciting a subject.) – Dir zu helfen gefällt mir. – Einen interessanten Roman zu lesen gefällt mir.

5 What does it all mean? What does all of this mean for you in practical terms? It means that you need to expand your definition of subjects and direct objects to include an entire activity expressed by an infinitive phrase.

6 Infinitive Phrases with Separable-Prefix Verbs If the verb in the infinitive phrase has a separable prefix, zu is inserted between the prefix and the stem verb: – Wir haben gewollt, etwas früher anzukommen. – Ich habe versucht, dieses große Paket aufzuheben. – Doris hat lange daran gearbeitet, ihr Zimmer aufzuräumen.

7 Special Infinitive Phrase Constructions There are several special infinitive constructions, set off from the main clause by a comma, that are introduced by um, ohne, and statt/anstatt: – Um...zu + infinitive: in order to Ich habe mein Geld gespart, um mir ein neues Auto zu kaufen. Um eine gute Note zu bekommen, muss man fleißig lernen. – Ohne…zu + infinitive: without Maria ist zu uns zu Besuch gekommen, ohne ihre Kinder mitzubringen. Ohne darüber nachzudenken, habe ich die Frage beantwortet. – Statt/anstatt…zu + infinitive: instead of Ich bin zu Hause geblieben, statt zur Arbeit zu gehen. Anstatt mit einer Kreditkarte dafür zu zahlen, habe ich einen Scheck geschrieben.

8 When cant you use infinitive phrases? There are a few times when infinitive phrases in English may not be rendered as infinitive phrases in German: – Dass-clauses after wollen and möchten: The modal verbs wollen and möchten employ dass-clauses instead of infinitive phrases to signal that the subject wants, expects, believes, thinks, etc., that someone else will do something: Meine Eltern wollen, dass ich gute Note bekomme. Karola möchte, dass du sie bald anrufst. – If you live in a neighborhood where people speak German or Yiddish, or if youve heard Jewish comedians on TV, youve probably heard similar Germanized sentences in English: I want that you should eat more. You would like that I should do that now? We want that our son should study medicine.

9 Infinitive Phrases Have No Subject! As you have seen, infinitive phrases have no subject, so the verb must take on a neutral verb form (an infinitive) + zu: – Wir haben versucht, einige Äpfel zu kaufen. – Note that the subject of versuchen is wir, and that the understood subject of kaufen is also wir, although it is not stated explicitly. (We tried. We wanted to buy some apples.) Since a second subject is not mentioned explicitly, the second verb has nothing with which to agree, so an infinitive is used.

10 Infinitives When two subjects are mentioned explicitly, an infinitive phrase is not possible in German. Two doers, or subjects, require two verbs, and each verb must agree with its subject. The first subject will usually be in a main clause, and the subject of the second verb will be in a subordinate clause. – Zeigen Sie mir, wie man das besser macht. – Zeigen Sie mir, wie ich das besser machen kann. This is also true if the subjects in both clauses are one and the same: – Zeigen Sie mir, wie Sie das besser machen.

11 Infinitives In virtually all cases an interrogative word is employed as the subordinating conjunction: – Zeigen Sie mir, wie man ein Haus baut. – Sagen Sie ihnen, was sie machen sollen. – Zeigen Sie uns, wo wir es finden können. – Sagen Sie mir, mit wem ich sprechen soll.


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