Infinitive with or without “ATT”

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Using verbs in infinitive properly

Today we are going to shed a little light on sentences with verbs in infinitive. We will get to know where to use “att” and where to omit it.

Do you hesitate if you should use an infinitive in the sentence with att or without it? If your answer is yes, this lesson is exactly for you.

There are some rules that make this problematic easier.

Modal verbs

First of all let's talk about modal verbs in Swedish. Modal verbs are very important in every language. These verbs are sometimes called helping verbs and are a type of verb that is used to indicate modality — that is: likelihood, ability, permission, and obligation.

Here is the list of modal verbs in Swedish:

att behöva — to need (to have to)
Du behöver inte betala. — You do not have to pay.
att måste — must
Jag måste gå. — I have to go.
att få — may, can
Jag får inte komma. — I am not allowed to come.
att vilja — to want
Vi vill naturligtvis komma. — Of course we want to come.
att kunna — can
Varför kan du inte ringa? — Why can you not call?

Now we can go back to the original topic of today's lesson. The rule number one is that we do not use att before infinitive in sentences where modal verbs are used.

Jag måste skriva till Filip. I have to write to Filip.

Verbs with a particle

The second group of verbs are those with a particle. What does that mean? To this group of verbs belongs for example att tycka om, att glömma bort, att ge upp … After these verbs we use att before the infinitive.

Jag tycker om att lära mig svenska. — I like to study Swedish.

The less popular group of verbs

All the other verbs are irregular. That means that we have to learn if to use att with them or if we omit it.

Jag lovar att komma. — I promise to come.
Hon älskar att tala svenska. — She loves to speak Swedish.
Jag ska äta på restaurang ikväll. — I will eat at the restaurant in the evening.
Jag tänker göra det. — I am intending to do it.

This is all for today’s lesson. I hope that you like this lesson and find it helpful and interesting. Thank you for coming here and see you soon. Bye bye!

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