Use the infinitive after prepositions (not gerund)

 
In the cases where, in English, a gerund (e.g dancing, eating, living) is used, in Spanish the infinitive is generally used instead (e.g bailar, comer, vivir), especially if the phrase in Spanish contains a preposition.

Here are some examples:

Estoy interesado en ofrecerte un trabajo.
I am interested in offering you a job.

Después de cenar, veremos la televisión.
After having dinner, we will watch the television.

Hice la traducción sin mirar el diccionario.
I did the translation without consulting in the dictionary.

Ella está acostumbrada a dormir en un colchón duro.
She is used to sleeping on a hard mattress.

Notice how in the Spanish sentence there is an infinitive after the preposition, while in English there is a gerund (with or without a preposition).

Here are some more examples:

Hice el examen sin mirar el reloj.
I did the exam without looking at the clock.

Yo había parado de bailar cuando él se unió a la fiesta.
I had stopped dancing when he joined the party.

Debo centrarme en mejorar mi español.
I must focus on improving my Spanish.

In Spanish the only possible verbal form directly after a preposition is an infinitive.

Learn more about these related Spanish grammar topics

Examples and resources

Debo centrarme en mejorar mi español.
I must focus on improving my Spanish.


Yo había parado de bailar cuando él se unió a la fiesta.
I had stopped dancing when he joined the party.


Hice la traducción sin mirar el diccionario.
I did the translation without consulting in the dictionary.


Hice el examen sin mirar el reloj.
I did the exam without looking at the clock.


Ella está acostumbrada a dormir en un colchón duro.
She is used to sleeping on a hard mattress.


Después de cenar, veremos la televisión.
After having dinner, we will watch the television.


Estoy interesado en ofrecerte un trabajo.
I am interested in offering you a job.


Q&A

El niño

Kwiziq community member

11 September 2018

1 reply

when is a spanish infinitive verb translates as an infinitive in english? Why is the phrase Encantado de conocerle is translated as Pleased to meet u

¡Hola!

May I ask why is the phrase "Encantado de conocerle/te" is translated as Pleased/Nice "to meet" you in English and not Pleased/Nice "meeting" you, if the preposition "de" is followed by an infinitive verb in this phrase? 

Thanks!

El niño

Silvia

Kwiziq language super star

12 September 2018

12/09/18

¡Hola El Niño!

As the lesson says, in Spanish we don't really use the gerund as in English and we have always to use an infinitive after a preposition. In English, "Pleased meeting you" sounds a bit clumsy, and the best translation is "Pleased to meet you". While in English you can use either a gerund or infinitive after a preposition, in Spanish the only option is to use the infinitive.

Silvia.

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