Verbs in zu + infinitive clauses


The infinitive in final position

In zu + infinitive clauses, the verb in the infinitive form appears at the end.

Er hofft, im Lotto zu gewinnen.
He hopes to win the lottery.
Ich habe keine Zeit, ins Kino zu gehen.
I don’t have time to go to the cinema.
Ist es schwierig, Karten zu kaufen?
Is it difficult to buy tickets?

zu + infinitive clauses often follow verbs such as aufhören ‘to stop’, hoffen ‘to hope’, versuchen ‘to try’ and expressions which consist of verb + noun (Ich habe keine Zeit . . .) or verb + adjective (Ist es schwierig . . .).

The construction um zu – ‘in order to’

When using the construction um zu ‘in order to’, um is at the beginning of the clause, while zu + infinitive appears at the end: Er läuft viel, um fit zu bleiben. ‘He runs a lot (in order) to stay fit.’