The non-finate forms do not have an inflection or reference to a grammatical person. These forms have a more unique character. In Catalan there are three non-finate forms: the infinitive, the gerund and the participle. This article explains the use of these forms in Catalan.
The infinitive (l'infinitiu) forms the entry of the verb in a dictionary. For example, you can find a verb conjugation table on verbs.cat by entering the infinitive below:
The infinitive expresses the action of the verb in an non personal way. It can function as a noun. For example:
The ending of the infinitive indicates the conjugation class it follows. In Catalan there are three classes and each class has its own regular conjugation, in the table below you see some model verbs:
|first conjugation||-ar||menjar (to eat)|
|second conjugation||-er||témer (to fear)|
|-re||perdre (to lose)|
|third conjugation||-ir (inchoative)||servir (to serve)|
|-ir (pure)||dormir (to sleep)|
The verbs dir (to say) and dur (to carry) are conjugated following the second conjugation.
The gerund (el gerundi) expresses an action simultaneous or directly before the action of the primary verb. The gerundi always ends in -ant, -ent or -int.
The gerund is gramatically equivalent to an adverb. It can express the way something takes place. You can ask the question how?:
- Vaig a casa caminant.
I go home walking.
To express a duration of an action we use the periphrasis estar + gerundi. For example:
- Estic jugant futbol.
I'm playing football.
To express the continuous character of an action we use the periphrasis anar (to go), continuar (to continue) or seguir (to follow) + gerundi. Some examples:
- Anava tota la tarde estudiant.
I was studying the whole afternoon.
- Continua nevant als Pirineus.
It keeps on snowing in the Pyrenees.
- Segueixo treballant fins a la mitjanit.
I will be working until midnight.
The participle (el participi) functions as an adjective and it's utilised together with the auxiliar verb haver (to have) in compound tenses. In this example you see the present perfect of the indicative (perfect de l'indicatiu):
- He vist el vianant.
I've seen the pedestrian.
Read more about the compound tenses in their respective modes in the respective articles.