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Even though the French infinitive translates as "to + verb," the French infinitive sometimes needs to be preceded by a preposition.

This phenomenon can be divided into two categories: verbs that must be followed by a preposition (see lesson) and the passive infinitive, which you will learn about in this lesson. The passive infinitive occurs when a sentence is written in such a way that the infinitive has a passive, rather than active, meaning. This construction requires the preposition . Compare these two sentences Je veux dire quelque chose. J'ai quelque chose dire. The first sentence, "I want to say something," is active - this want is an active state of mind. The second sentence, "I have something to say," is passive: the speaker is using this construction to emphasize the "something to say," rather than the action of actually saying it. It might help to literally translate it as "I have something to be said." The passive infinitive occurs most commonly with indefinite words, including negative indefinites. This is not a definitive list, but it should give you a good idea about when and how to use the passive infinitive.

Indefinite pronouns Je cherche quelque chose lire. I'm looking for something to read. En voici un autre corriger. Here's another one to correct. Aimes-tu les films ? En voici plusieurs voir. Do you like movies? Here are several to watch.

Negative pronouns Il n'y a rien manger. There's nothing to eat. Elle n'en a pas une seule partager. She doesn't have a single one to share.

Indefinite adjectives Je cherche une autre voiture louer. I'm looking for another car to rent. Il regarde chaque peinture vendre. He looks at each painting to be sold.

Il y a maintes choses faire demain. There are many things to do tomorrow.

Negative adjectives Je n'ai aucun argent te prter. I don't have any money to loan you. Il n'y a pas un seul ordinateur utiliser. There isn't a single computer to use. Il n'a nulle sagesse communiquer. He has no wisdom to impart.

Indefinite article or number Il me reste une maison vendre. I have one house left to sell. Elle a trouv un chien adopter. She found a dog to adopt. J'ai achet quatre tartes partager avec le groupe. I bought four pies to share with the group.

Presentatives C'est difficile dire. It's hard to say. Il y a beaucoup de choses faire Paris. There are a lot of things to do in Paris. Voici les vtements laver. Here are the clothes to wash. Note that sometimes c'est and il est must be followed by de rather than - learn more.

Sentence Fragments The passive infinitive may also be used in fragments: vendre For sale Maison louer House for rent