“perífrasis verbales” with infinitive in Spanish In today’s blog we are going to learn some “perífrasis verbales”, do not let that name scare you, “perífrasis verbales” are just expressions that use verbs.


Today I want to see with you a special grammar construction in Spanish, that as I said is called “perífrasis verbales”. “Perífrasis verbales” are grammar structures formed by verbs.  Sometimes in this structure the first verbs change their original meaning a bit, and it can get a bit confusing, that is why it is helpful to learn these structures are they are.


As you probably know Spanish verbs is a wide term, we have a few structures with verbs,  but today we are just going to focus in a specific part of it,  today we are going to focus in the infinitive and some expression that use it.


Keep in mind that these ones are not the only ones, you can find perífrasis with the gerund (-ing in English) for example:  “-estoy estudiando español” among others.


The “perífrasis” we are going to see today are very common and used in the day a day, and I bet you have heard some of them 🙂


Perífrasis verbales


If you prefer video, you can come over to youtube and have a look to the video for this lesson, which is totally in Spanish 🙂 , will you give it a go? Video lesson here


To talk about something that is going to take place soon. Something is about to happen.



Estoy a punto de llamar a un taxi – I am about to call a taxi


Of course, we can use it in any of the tenses, examples:


-Something that was about to happen:

Estabamos a punto de ir al concierto  – We were about to go to the concert.


-Something in the future:

Esta tarde a las 6 estaré a punto de llegar a casa- This evening at 6 I will be about to get home.


As you see we change the first verb to indicate the tense, the time we want to indicate and the second verb stays in infinitive.



We use to indicate that something starts, but it starts in a sudden and immediate way. We can’t use them with all verbs, we normally use it with verbs that indicate mood and movement.



Se echo a reír cuando le conté laa historia – She started laughing when I told her the story.

Siempre que escucho algo tristeme echo a llorar – Everytime I hear something sad I start crying.



Probably this is one of the most known by Spanish students, and we use it when we stop something temporally o permanently.

It has the same meaning of “parar de + infinitvo” .



Pedro dejó de fumar hace 15 años – Pedro stopped/quit  smoking 15 years ago

¿Por qué no deas de mirar tu móvil? – why don’t you stop looking at your phone?



We use it to express that something is happening again.



Pedro ha vuelto a fumar después de 15 años – Pedro is smoking again after 15 years.

Volvería a hacerlo – I would do it again.

No vuelvas a hacerlo – do not do it again.



These two are very popular too, and they usually get confused. They are both very similar as both of them talk about obligation.  But….TENER QUE + INIFINITIVO, express an obligation (external -from a mother, a boss etc – or internal –something we impose ourselves because we think we need to do it-) of a specific person, while HAY QUE + INFINITIVO talk about an obligation in general:



Tengo que estudiar español. – I need to study Spanish, that is something I have to do, because I have too, I have self-impose that.

Hay que estudiar español si quieres hablarlo. – You have to learn Spanish if you want to speak it.- this is a general obligation to learn Spanish, although you could take it personal saying “tengo que estudiar español si quiero hablarlo” – I need to study Spanish if I want to speak it.


And that is it, I think you have enough “perífrasis” to work on for now, but keep an eye out, because I have some more in store for you. But now…I just want you to work on the ones above, so to do this leave a comment below with a sentence using one of those “perífrasis”. Also…I would love to know:


-did you know any of these “perífrasis” ?


-have you used them before?


Make this count! It is your moment of the week to practice, so pick one of the “perífrasis” and choose to master it, use it as much as you can during this week, and of course…you can start by leaving a comment with a sentence and your “perífrasis” chosen on it.



I will see you in the comments, until then…



¡Ten un buen día!Have a good day!


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