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Der Infinitivsatz — Verbs with “Zu”: Part 1


I. Theory

The preposition zu is often found before infinitives in German, much like “to” is in English. However, in German, zu is not present when there is a modal verb plus an infinitive. Therefore, zu is most frequently seen when the infinitive in question is in its own clause (an Infinitivsatz) or used in conjunction with a verb that is not a modal verb.

For example:
Ich muss meine Hausaufgaben machen (no “zu” due to modal verb).
I must do my homework.

Ich habe vergessen, meine Hausaufgaben zu machen.
I forgot to do my homework.

In the sentence above, we see th

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