Grammar: Infinitives – be going, have
Reza is going to talk about infinitives – “to talk” is an infinitive.
An infinitive is the base form of the verb with ‘to’ before it: to go,
to write, to read, to love, to be (or not to be!), to drink, to be merry
Some structures in English require an infinitive with ‘to’, and some
require an infinitive without ‘to’ (the base form).
“Reza’s going to the bank…….to withdraw some money.” (to withdraw = to
take out – sacar)
This is the infinitive of purpose. Why is Reza going to the bank? What’s
the reason? – to withdraw some money.
“Tomorrow I want….to publish a podcast.” After the verb ‘want’ use an
infinitive with ‘to’ – I want TO PUBLISH
“I’m too fat. I really must….lose weight / do more exercise.”
MUST + base form (lose / do) the infinitive WITHOUT ‘TO’.
You can also use nouns or noun phrases after these structures: “I want…….more
chocolate.”, for example.
Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “It’s better to have loved and (have) lost
than never to have loved at all.”
This is an example of the perfect infinitive: TO + HAVE + PAST
PARTICIPLE (to have loved / to have lost)
You must be Peter (MUST + BE – base form of the verb)
“Yesterday I met someone. It must have been Peter.” (MUST + HAVE + BEEN
– perfect infinitive)
Be careful of the weak pronunciation of the perfect infinitive in
connected speech, “It must’ve been Peter.”
Active infinitive – to eat
Passive infinitive – to be eaten
Active infinitive – to call
Passive infinitive – to be called
Active infinitive – to bear
Passive infinitive – to be born
“Reza was born in Belfast.”
I born in Madrid is not correct. Use the passive,
“I was born in Madrid.”
“To be born” is the passive infinitive
Reza was born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. Craig was born in Twickenham
in the South of London.
“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in
“To be lying on a beach right now.” – “To be lying” is the progressive
or continuous infinitive; to be eating, to be running, to be drinking
Reza wants to be lying on a beach right now!
Yesterday at five o’clock, Reza wanted to be lying on a beach.
Craig would rather be drinking a cocktail in Cuba than recording this
Reza would like to be drinking a Pina Colada on a beach in Cuba and
recording this podcast.
GP (General Practitioner) – family doctor – médico de cabecera
to practise medicine
Make an appointment – pedir una cita
Go for a check up – una revisión médica
revisión del coche / mantenimiento – to take your car for “a service”
reflex – reflejo
Prescription – receta médica
recipe (for food) – receta (de cocina)
Chemist’s (UK), pharmacy, drugstore (US) – farmacia
Take a pill – tomar una pastilla
Blood pressure – presión/tensión arterial – to get/have your blood
pressure taken (by a nurse)
to bleed – sangrar
I’m sick, I’m ill, I don’t feel well, I’m not well, I’m under the
weather – estoy enfermo
I have a cold – estoy resfriado
to be sick / to vomit / to throw up – vomitar
to be / feel well, to be healthy, to be in good health – bien de salud
How are you? – I’m fine, I’m well
Resfriado – Cold – To get/catch a cold, I’ve got a bad cold.
Gripe – Flu – to go/come down with the flu / to get over the flu – to
recover from the flu
disease / sickness / illness – enfermedad
The words are often interchangeable. A disease can sometimes be more
serious and long-term
tos – cough – toser – to cough – I have a cough
estornudo – sneeze – estornudar – to sneeze
Bless you! – !Jesús¡
Chichón – Bump (on the head)
A bruise – hematoma, moratón
cicatriz – scar – Scarface (Al Pacino) Have you got any scars?
doloroso – painful
dolor – ache/pain
dolor de cabeza – headache
dolor de garganta – a sore throat
More useful medical vocabulary
A doctor, nurse – Enfermera, specialist
Cirujano – Surgeon – cirugía – surgery (doctor’s surgery and to do (‘perform’)
surgery in an operating ‘theatre’.
To go for a test (blood test), x-ray, scan
Alergia – Allergy – I’m allergic to…..
Ataque al corazón/Infarto – Heart attack
Fiebre – Fever – to take your temperature, to have a high temperature
Estar mareado – To feel dizzy
to feel weak, to have aches and pains
Contagio/Infección – Infection – to be/become infected –
Contagioso/Infeccioso – Infectious
Derrame cerebral – Stroke
Desmayarse – To faint
Herida – Wound, Injury
Enfermedad – Disease/Illness
Enfermo/a – Sick, ill, Poorly, Under the weather
Erupción/Sarpullido – Rash
Esguince/Torcedura – Sprain, Twist
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