The following perfective verbs are said to only accept perfective infinitives.

забыть - to forget
успеть - to manage, have time
удаться - to manage, succeed
суметь - to be able to manage
получиться - to succeed, manage

For example:

Я забыл купить марки. - I forgot to buy stamps.

Is that right that they only accept perfective infinitives as their dependencies? If yes, what is the logic behind that?

  • Can you please clarify what exactly you are asking about? Explanation of what exactly you are looking for?
    – shabunc
    Jul 16, 2021 at 21:44
  • The logic as to why those verbs behave like that. Jul 16, 2021 at 21:45
  • I'm sorry then, I will have to leave it closed. Asking why verbs have specific feature is too broad.
    – shabunc
    Jul 16, 2021 at 21:50
  • 3
    Those verbs on your list sometimes allow imperfective infinitives after them, e.g. Однако, я сделал многое, и сделал бы больше, если бы сумел все сказать и сумел говорить без боязни его обидеть. (Письмо от Страхова Н. Н. к Толстому Л. Н., 30 июня 1880 г., tolstoy-lit.ru/tolstoy/pisma-tolstomu/pisma-strahova/…) Here говорить is imperf. inf. following сумел from your list. Or this: Ты забыл говорить о себе, Ты забыл говорить о высоком. (From Google Books).
    – Yellow Sky
    Jul 16, 2021 at 22:06
  • if you will edit question to state something like "is it indeed the case and this verbs can not be used with imperfective verbs at all", then I can reopen it and @YelowSky would be able to add an answer.
    – shabunc
    Jul 16, 2021 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


No, the imperfect form of the verb can also be used if we show the time period:

  • Я все время забывал покупать марки.
  • Я никогда не успевал приходить вовремя.

Thus, we mean a repetitive action. But if there was one action (I did it and that's all), then the perfect form of the verb is obligatory.

  • You changed the verbs' aspect. The OP asked, if the perfective verbs (e.g. забыть) could only take a perfective infinitive. Your examples use imperfective (забывать). So I think this doesn't answer the question
    – king_nak
    Aug 6, 2021 at 7:24

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