Linked verbs are verbs governed by the same subject and which are used together without any punctuation or conjunction (such as and or or). This happens frequently in Spanish, and only the first of the two verbs may be conjugated; the second verb may be an infinitive or a gerund (-ndo form). There is no simple hard and fast rule as to how these verbs are joined together, and the situation is complicated by the fact that some verbs can be used in various ways, at times with various meanings, depending on which preposition if any intervenes. Nevertheless, a few generalizations may help when these linkages occur:
acostumbrarse a to become accustomed to aprender a to learn how to aspirar a to aspire to atreverse a to dare to, to be so bold as to ayudar a to help to comenzar a (ie) to begin to, to start to contribuir a to contribute to correr a to run to 1decidirse a to decide to, to make up one's mind to dedicarse a to dedicate oneself to, to devote oneself to echarse a to start to, to burst out (doing something) empezar a (ie) to begin to, to start to enseñar a to teach how to invitar a to invite to ir a to go to, to be going to llegar a to come to negarse a (ie) to refuse to prepararse a to prepare to ponerse a to start to, to set about to 1rehusarse a to refuse to salir a to go out to, to leave to venir a (ie) to come to volver a (ue) to do something again 1 Note that the reflexive form is followed by a preposition plus an infinitive, but the non-reflexive form is followed by an infinitive without a preposition.
acabar de to have just (done something) acordarse de (ue) to remember alegrarse de to be happy to arrepentirse de (ie) to regret, to repent of cansarse de to tire of, to grow tired of dejar de to stop (doing something) depender de to depend on jactarse de to boast of 1olvidarse de to forget parar de to stop (doing something) pensar de (ie) to think about (i.e., to have an opinion about) quejarse de to complain of terminar de to finish, to stop (doing something) tratar de to try to 1 Note that the reflexive form is followed by a preposition plus an infinitive, but the non-reflexive form is followed by an infinitive without a preposition.
consistir en to consist of convenir en (ie) to agree to insistir en to insist on pensar en (ie) to think about (i.e, to contemplate doing something) tardar en to delay in
2agradar to please (to like) amenazar to threaten to anhelar to be eager to, to long to, to yearn to 3deber must, should, ought to 1decidir to decide to desear to desire to, to want to detestar to detest 2doler (ue) to hurt, to ache esperar to hope to, to expect to 2gustar to please (to like) 2importar to matter, to be important intentar to try to lamentar to lament, to regret lograr to manage to, to succeed in 2molestar to bother necesitar to need to odiar to hate to 1olvidar to forget to parecer to seem to, to appear to 4pensar (ie) to plan to, to intend to poder (ue) to be able to, can, may preferir (ie, i) to prefer to prometer to promise to querer (ie) to want to 1rehusar to refuse to saber to know how to sentir (ie, i) to regret, feel sorry for soler (ue) to be accustomed to, to be used to 1 Note that the reflexive form is followed by a preposition plus an infinitive, but the non-reflexive form is followed by an infinitive without a preposition.
2 With verbs used like gustar, the following infinitive is technically the subject of the verb; therefore, no intervening preposition can be used.
3 Deber may also be used with de plus an infinitive, particularly when it indicates conjecture.
4 Pensar may be followed by en plus an infinitive when it means to think about (i.e, to ponder something) or by de plus an infinitive when it means to have an opinion about.
acabar + -ndo to end up, finish up (by doing something) andar + -ndo to walk, to go around (doing something) continuar + -ndo to continue to, to continue (doing something) entrar + -ndo to enter, to go in (doing something) estar + -ndo to be (doing something) ir + -ndo to go (doing something) salir + -ndo to go out, to leave (doing something) seguir + -ndo (i, i) to keep on (doing something), to continue to terminar + -ndo to end up, finish up (doing something) venir + -ndo (ie) to come (doing something)
When used impersonally, expressions with ser plus an adjective are normally followed by an infinitive, with no intervening preposition:
Es fácil leer. It's easy to read. Es difícil describir a mi madre. It's difficult to describe my mother.
However, when this type of expression is used to modify something specific (rather than an impersonal it), de is used before the infinitive. This occurs most frequently with fácil and difícil.
¿Este libro? Es fácil de leer. This book? It's easy to read. Mi madre es dificil de describir. My mother is hard to describe.
acabar + -ndo to end up (doing something) acabar de + inf. to have just (done something) acabar por + inf. to end up by acordarse de + inf. to remember to amenazar + inf. to threaten to amenazar con + inf. to threaten with anhelar + inf. to long to acostumbrarse a + inf. to be used to alegrarse de + inf. to be happy to aprender a + inf. to learn how to arrepentirse de + inf. to repent of aspirar a + inf. to aspire to atreverse a + inf. to dare to, be so bold as to ayudar a + inf. to help to cansarse de + inf. to get tired of comenzar a + inf. to begin to consistir en + inf. to consist of contar con + inf. to count on continuar + -ndo to continue to contribuir a + inf. to contribute to convenir en + inf. to agree to correr a + inf. to run to deber + inf. must, should, to ought to deber de + inf. must, should decidir + inf. to decide to decidirse a + inf. to make up ones mind to dedicarse a + inf. to dedicate oneself to dejar de + inf. to stop depender de + inf. to depend on desear + inf. to desire to detestar + inf. to detest doler + inf. to hurt to echarse a + inf. to bust out, start to empezar a + inf. to begin to enseñar a + inf. to teach how to entrar + -ndo to go in (doing something) esperar + inf. to hope to, expect to estar + -ndo to be (doing something) gustar + inf. to be pleasing [=like] to hay que + inf. have to importar + inf. to be important to insistir en + inf. to insist on intentar + inf. to try to
invitar a + inf. to invite to ir + -ndo to go along (doing something) ir a + inf. to be going to jactarse de + inf. to brag about lamentar + inf. to lament lograr + inf. to manage to llegar a + inf. to come to molestar + inf. to bother necesitar + inf. to need to negarse a + inf. to refuse to odiar + inf. to hate to olvidar + inf. to forget to olvidarse de + inf. to forget to parar de + inf. to stop (doing something) parecer + inf. to seem to pensar + inf. to plan to, intend to pensar de + inf. to think about (=have an opinion about) pensar en + inf. to thing about (= to consider) poder + inf. can, to be able to ponerse a + inf. to start to, set about to preferir + inf. to prefer to prepararse a + inf. to prepare to prometer + inf. to promise to quejarse de + inf. to complain about querer + inf. to want to rehusar + inf. to refuse to saber + inf. to know how to salir + -ndo to go out (doing something) salir a + inf. to go out to seguir + -ndo to keep on (doing something) sentir + inf. to regret soler + inf. to be used to, to usually soñar con + inf. to dream of tardar en + inf to delay in, take time to tener que + inf. to have to terminar + -ndo to end up (doing something) terminar de + inf. to stop terminar por + inf. to end up (by doing something) tratar de + inf. to try to venir + -ndo to come (doing something) venir a + inf. to come to volver a + inf. to return to, to (do something) again
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