Apprendre la Langue Française (Part 93): les verbes pronominal en les infinitifs ou les participes présent


Source: french.about.com

How to use a pronominal verb in the infinitive or present participle

When you use pronominal verbs in the infinitive or present participle, there are two things to keep in mind:

  1. The reflexive pronoun directly precedes the infinitive or present participle
  2. The reflexive pronoun agrees with its implied subject

Pronominal verbs in dual-verb constructions
Dual-verb constructions are those where you have a verb like aller (to go) or vouloir (to want) followed by an infinitive. When using a pronominal verb in this construction, it’s important to remember that the reflexive pronoun goes directly in front of the infinitive, not the conjugated verb, and that the reflexive pronoun has to agree with the subject.

Je vais m’habiller. I’m going to get dressed.
Nous voulons nous promener. We want to go for a walk.
Tu devrais te laver les cheveux. You should wash your hair.

Pronominal verbs after prepositions
When you use pronominal verbs in the infinitive after prepositions, remember to change the reflexive pronoun to agree with the implied subject of the verb:

Avant de te coucher, range ta chambre. Before you go to bed, clean your room.
Il faut trouver un juge pour nous marier. We have to find a judge to get married.

Pronominal verbs used as subjects
To use pronominal verbs in the infinitive as subjects at the beginning of a sentence, remember to change the reflexive pronoun to agree with the implied subject of the verb:

Me lever tôt est une règle de ma vie. Getting up early is a rule for me.
Te moquer de ton frère n’est pas gentil. Making fun of your brother isn’t nice.

Pronominal verbs as present participles
Once again, the reflexive pronoun always has to agree with the subject, including when pronominal verbs are used as present participles:

En me levant, j’ai entendu un cri. While getting up, I heard a scream.
C’était en vous inquiétant que vous avez attrapé un ulcère. It was by worrying that you got an ulcer.

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