Portuguese Grammar Reference ("QuickGrammar")
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>>Portuguese Verbs > The Infinitive

The infinitive is a form of the Portuguese verb that has no person or number. The person is the subject of the action (I, you, he, etc.). The verb's number indicates how many people are involved (singular I, you, he; plural we, all of you, they). In English, an infinitive is either the root form of the verb (such as do) or the preposition "to" followed by that root form (such as to do).

Portuguese infinitives are easy to identify, and have one of three endings: -ar, -er or -ir. This is the form of the verb that you will find listed in a dictionary or any other reference. The verb falar to speak can be identified as an -ar verb and sentir to feel as an -ir verb.

The only exception is pôr to put, which historically comes from an -er verb, as well as its derivatives (like impor to impose or supor to suppose). This is one of many irregular verbs that do not behave like the majority of Portuguese verbs.

If an infinitive needs to represent a noun or pronoun, as in I want you to go, that word will become the infinitive's subject, and you must add a set of endings to form the inflected or personal infinitive.