The past participle in the German infinitive (double infinitive)

When accompanied by an infinitive, some German verbs employ the infinitive instead of the past participle.

Verbs concerned

Translation Infinitive Past Participle
to be allowed to dürfen gedurft
to be able to können gekonnt
to like mögen gemocht
to have to müssen gemusst
to be supposed to sollen gesollt
to want wollen gewollt
  • Sie hätte es machen sollen (she should have done it)
  • Wir haben arbeiten müssen (we had to work)

Other verbs concerned

Sehen and lassen can also follow this rule. For helfen and hören, they can also be left as a participial verb in the infinitive form.
  • Sie hat Karina singen hören or gehört (she heard Karina sing)
  • Das habe ich nicht kommen sehen! (I didn’t see that coming!)

The double infinitive in the subordinate

In subordinate cases of the double infinitive, the verb goes before the infinitive.
  • Ich denke, wir hätten arbeiten müssen (I think we had to work)
  • Ich will, dass du das Auto reparieren lassen hast (I want you to have fixed the car)

Double infinitive

Conjugate the following verbs.


Questions:

8

Level:

5-Native speaker