The Infinitive Verb Form

The infinitive conveys a verb that has no tense or relation to a noun.

In English, if you look up a verb in the dictionary, it will give you the verb in the infinitive. These verbs can be either preceded by to, succeeded by ing or not at all.

In Hungarian, the base-verb (taken from the 3rd person singular indefinite) is only succeeded by -ni. It also does not have any definite or indefinite conjugation.

When using the infinitive, be aware that it won’t always line up with the base-verb. There are two cases:

Case 1: Vowel Harmony

Depending on how the verb ends will determine if it has a linking vowel or not. The two forms of vowel harmony are -ani, -eni.

If the verb ends in -ít it will receive a linking vowel.

Or if the verb ends in two consonants it will also receive a linking vowel.

Case 2: Irregular verb

The verb that you are using could in fact be an irregular verb, in which case it will have different conjugations and possibly a different infinitive). Here is a list of all the irregular verbs, bolds and italics are there to help indicate pattern.

Irregular verb Infinitve
van lenni
lesz lenni
megy (he/she/it goes) menni
eszik (he/she/it eats) enni
iszik (he/she/it drinks) inni
fő (he/she/it cooks) főzni
tesz (he/she/it puts/does) tenni
vesz (he/she/it take/buys venni
visz (he/she/it brings) vinni
hisz (he/she/it believes) hinni
alszik (he/she/it sleeps) aludni
nyugszik (he/she/it rests) nyugodni
fekszik (he/she/it lies) feküdni
jön (he/she/it comes) jönni
sző (he/she/it weaves) szőni
lő (he/she/it shoots) lőni
nő (he/she/it grows) nőni
ró (he/she/it carves/punishes/mandates) róni
tagad (he/she/it denies) tagadni
fogad (he/she/it receives) fogadni
szenved (he/she/it suffers) szenvedni
enged (he/she/it allows) engedni
téved (he/she/it errs) tévedni

Addendum

It is worth noting that to cheer in Hungarian, you wouldn’t say you can do it! but rather menni fog or sikerülni fog. They literally mean it will go and it will succeed respectively.


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