Stacking up infinitives in a sentence

2
votes

Is it possible to use several infinitives in a Spanish sentence? Do I need to precede each one with "a", or does it depend on where they fall in the sentence. Here is a sample sentence I wrote - is it correct?

Necesito a practicar hablo Espanol con gentes de mexico, a aprender el idioma.

4769 views
updated NOV 18, 2009
posted by bnjmcleod

4 Answers

2
votes

I think you can say like this but I'm not sure. It does sound weird. You still need to change the sentence a little:

Necesito practicar hablar español con gente de México, para aprender el idioma.

If I think of something else I'll let you know. I'd love to here from somebody else though.

updated NOV 18, 2009
posted by 0068e2f4
1
vote

bnjmcleod wrote: You are correct; I am trying to say I need to practice, but there are very few Spanish speakers where I live. I am also trying to say that I need to converse with native speakers.

Then Robertico's sentence is what you want. He said:

Necesito practicar hablar español con gente de México, para aprender el idioma.

This means: "I need to practice speaking Spanish with people from Mexico in order to learn the language." You're first guess in the question above was pretty close. Keep up the good work!

This is a great site for improving in understanding Spanish. In order to improve speaking it, try asking for a Hispanic waiter at your local Mexican restaurant and tell him you want to practice. More than likely he'll get a real kick out of that! Or try to find an authentic Hispanic market (one that caters to Hispanic customers). I have found that when Spanish speaking people see that you sincerely want to learn Spanish then they are more than happy to help. smile

updated NOV 18, 2009
posted by chaparrito
Many thanks everyone! I believe I need to adjust my thinking. In English we use many gerunds: speaking...flying...etc, and in Spanish perhaps I should be thinking "I need to practice to speak..." rather than using the English gerund "speaking"
1
vote

You could say:

Necesito practicar, hablo español con gente de México para aprender el idioma.

Another example:

Necesito escribir, leer, pronunciar y escuchar para mejorar el español.

Infinitives can be separated by commas in Spanish...

grin

updated NOV 18, 2009
posted by Carlos-F
0
votes

Hey bnj!

The expample you gave actually does not have two infinitives 'stacked up' in English.

Necesito a practicar hablo Espanol. (or as robertico correctly put it "Necesito practicar hablar español".)

In English I think you are trying to say: "I need to practice speaking Spanish." So, 'to practice' is infinitive, but 'speaking' is not. In this case it is a noun form of the verb.

Regarding your question 'can infinitive verbs be put back to back', my guess would be no. However I'm open to correction. wink

updated NOV 18, 2009
posted by chaparrito
You are correct; I am trying to say I need to practice, but there are very few Spanish speakers where I live. I am also trying to say that I need to converse with native speakers.