Finnish for busy people

Infinitive Verb Rections – Rektiot Infinitiivi

Certain verbs can be used in a verb + verb construction, where you have two verbs next to each other. The verbs below (in the first column) require the second verb attached to them (in red) to be in their basic form (the infinitive). That’s what we mean by infinitive verb rections.

The infinitive (more technically the first infinitive) is the basic form of a verb. Linguistics call it the A-infinitiivi, because it ends in an -a/-ä for all verbs. If you’ve studied Finnish a little bit, you probably know about the Finnish verbtypes. The A-infinitive is the form which that division is based upon.

Verb Example English
haluta Minä haluan nukkua ikuisesti. I want to sleep eternally.
osata Me osaamme uida tosi hyvin. We know how to swim very well.
voida Sinä et voi auttaa häntä. You can’t help him.
saada Me saamme mennä kotiin aikaisin. We get to go home early.
jaksaa Minä en jaksa syödä tätä kaikkea. I can’t manage to eat that all.
kannattaa Sinun kannattaa kuunnella. You should listen.
pitää Minun pitää mennä kotiin. I need to go home.
tahtoa Me tahdomme olla rauhassa. We want to be in peace.
viitsiä Me emme viitsi siivota tänään. We can’t be bothered to clean today.
luvata Minä lupaan tulla huomenna. I promise to come tomorrow.
muistaa Muista sammuttaa valot! Remember to turn off the lights!
unohtaa Anja unohtaa kuitenkin tulla. Anja will forget to come anyway.
aikoa Minä aion pyrkiä yliopistoon. I plan to try to get into university.
alkaa Hän alkaa opiskella. She starts to study.
uskaltaa Minä en uskalla avata tätä. I don’t dare to open this.
päättää Anne päättää lähteä matkalle. Anne decides to leave on a vacation.
tykätä Minä tykkään laulaa karaokea. I like to sing karaoke.

A small sidenote: you can also use the verb olla in combination with the first infinitive to express that someone was about to do something: Hän oli lähteä “He was about to leave”, or Hän oli kuolla “He was about to die”.

This was our article on infinitive verb rections! There are other verbs that have a different rection. Here are the links to some of those rection pages!

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