33.14 Constructions with infinitives

Constructions with infinitives can be among others of the following type:

  Es ist zu erwarten, dass er es macht.
= It is to be expected that he does it.
  Er weigerte sich zu tun, was man von ihm verlangte.
= He refused to do what they wanted him to do.
  Es freut mich, Ihnen mitteilen zu können, dass das Problem gelöst ist.
= I am glad to be able to inform you that the problem is solved.
  Er fuhr nach Granada, um Medizin zu studieren.
= He went to Granada to study medicine.

As you can see the English infinitive uses the preposition to; in German it is the preposition zu. Unfortunately that does not mean that every English infinitive with to is to be translated with a German infinitive with zu and the other way around. We now try to give some examples for infinitives. Still, we recommend that you do not spend too much time on this issue. Sooner or later you will get the constructions when using the language. These things are better to be learned as complete constructions than to be learned by heart.

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