Forum Rocket Italian Italian Grammar Infinitive verb following 'potere'

Infinitive verb following 'potere'




On lesson 3.7 (level 1), it is stated that "the verb potere - "to be able to", like the verb volere - "to want", is ALWAYS followed by a verb in its infinitive form."

Some examples are given, such as "Puoi aprire la finestra per me?" - and here clearly "aprire" is in infinitive form. But then two other examples are given which confused me a bit. These are:

"Puoi parlarmi in inglese?"
"Puoi farmi una foto?"

To me it seems that the verbs following potere here are not in the infinitive form and therefore contradicting the earlier statement. Can someone help me to understand this? 
Many thanks 


Hi John, 

Thanks for your question! I'll be very happy to help clarify this.

Let's take the 2 sentences you mentioned.

The first one is: "Puoi parlarmi in inglese?" / Literally: Can you talk to me in English?
parlarmi = parlare + mi ("mi" means "a me", "to me")
As you can note, "parlarmi" consists of two parts: "parlare" (infinitive form) + "mi" (meaning "to me")

The second one is: "Puoi farmi una foto?" / literally: Can you take to me a picture?
farmi = fare + mi ("mi" means "a me", "to me")
As you can note, "farmi" consists of two parts: "fare" (infinitive form) + "mi" (meaning "to me")

They are both infinitive verbs, although they have an added +mi (as it refers to the subject).

Hope this clarifies your doubt, please let me know if you would like to receive more information :)


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