In English I learned that one can link verbs together by one of the following ways:
- Verb + to + Infinitive ( I try to help)
- Verb + V-ing (I like learning)
- Verb + preposition + V-ing (I prevent it from happening)
I guess the equivalences in german are:
- Verb, zu + Infinitive ( ich habe versucht zu helfen)
- Verb + das Infinitive (Ich mag das Lernen)
- Verb + preposition + das Infinitive (not even sure if the literal translation is correct, ich verhindere es von dem Geschehen?)
However, I'm not confident in using it. Some verbs in English can only be linked in certain forms, or else its meanings changes ( I want to help, not I want helping). Does the same phenomena happen in german? How does one translate complicated phrases like: "I wanted to try to help to prevent it from happening." "I like going shopping to help to prevent me from wanting to overhear my neighbor talking about eating some horrific food."
It's artificial, but you get the idea, the english construction makes it very easy to link a long list of verbs together. The german equivalent seems to make it very hard to do so, since by 1) you have to put the object of the second verb (or linked verb) before the "zu + verb" phrase, so if there is an object in between, I'm not sure how to proceed without sounding unidiomatic. ( I like going shopping to help myself to prevent me from wanting my sister to overhear my neighbor talking about...).