There are different ways of forming nouns in Spanish, and using infinitives is one of the simplest ways to do it. Now, let's learn how to use it.
El comer sano es importante para tener una buena salud.
Eating healthy is important for good health.
Remember that the infinitive form is when verbs have not been conjugated yet. In Spanish, verbs in their infinitive form end in -ar, -er, or -ir.
Forming Nouns from Infinitives
Rule 1. If you are an English speaker or your second language is English, you will probably find it strange to know that in Spanish, you can form nouns from the infinitive form of verbs.
In English, this is done using the gerund, as you may have noticed in the translation of the introduction. However, the gerund in Spanish does not have this function.
Remember that the gerund is used in the verbal periphrasis estar + gerund to talk about an action in progress or an action that happens at the same time as another. A quick reminer:
- Estar + gerundio
Estaba hablando por telefóno cuando escuché un fuerte ruido.
I was talking on the phone when I heard a loud noise.
So, to form nouns in Spanish, the infinitive form of the verb is used instead.
How are nouns formed with infinitives?
There are two ways of forming nouns with infinitives, and both are quite simple.
Rule 2. For the first option, just take the infinitive form of the verb and add the masculine singular definite article (el). It is important to consider that you can only use this article and not its plural (los) or indefinite form (un, unos), nor the definite (la, las) or indefinite (una, unas) feminine articles.
El meditar es excelente para fortalecer la mente.
Meditating is excellent for strengthening the mind.
Rule 3. The second option is even easier. It only consists of using the infinitive by itself, without articles.
Entrar a ese restaurante es muy difícil.
Getting into that restaurant is very difficult.
Me gusta mucho la natación.