Infinitives used with zu

If there are two verbs in a sentence, the second verb appears in the infinitive after the word zu (to): 
subject + conjugated verb + (extra information / pronouns) + zu + verb in the infinitive.

Wir versuchen zu singen.

We are trying to sing.

Ihr vergesst ständig, den Müll zu trennen.

You always forget to sort the garbage.

Sie haben Lust sich zu sehen.

They want to see each other.

With separable verbs Trennbares Verb like aufhören (to stop) or vorschlagen (to suggest), the zu is added in the middle of the verb: prefix + zu + verb stem.

Wir planen wegzufahren.

We are planning to go away.

Ich bitte Sie, mit dem Lärm aufzuhören.

I have to ask you to stop making noise.

After a modal verb Modalverben, the following verb is not preceded by zu (to).

Ihr wollt morgen Abend nicht mitkommen.

You don't want to come along tomorrow evening.

Wir können losfahren.

We can set off.


  • After the verbs bleiben (to stay) and lassen (to leave), the following verb is not preceded by zu (to).

Wir bleiben sitzen.

We stay sitting.

Sie lassen sich scheiden.

They are divorcing.

  • If the modal verb or lassen come after the conjugated verb, they follow the verb in the infinitive (after zu) at the end of the sentence.

Er bittet uns, ihn ausreden zu lassen.

He asks us to let him finish speaking.

Sie glauben, sparen zu müssen.

They believe they have to save money.

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