(I asked it first in MathStackExchange but I haven't get an answer yet)

Smooth (resp. étale) morphisms are just locally finitely presented + formally smooth (resp. étale) morphisms. For unramified morphisms, it is originally defined in EGA as locally finitely presented + formally unramified morphisms, but now they are widely accepted as locally of finite type + formally unramified morphisms.

My question is, why do we need to add the "locally finitely presented" or "locally of finite type" conditions in the "true definition" of smooth/étale/unramified morphisms?

According to vakil's discussion and this note about motivations of unramified morphisms, we can see that the three morphisms are analogues of some important notions in differential geometry:

- Smooth-Submersions: surjections on tangent space, e.g. $\mathbb{A}^9\to \mathbb{A}^5$
- Étale-Covering Spaces: bijections on tangent space, e.g. $\mathbb{A}^5\to \mathbb{A}^5$
- Unramified-Immersions: injections on tangent space, e.g. $\mathbb{A}^2\to \mathbb{A}^5$

From my point of view, given a morphism of schemes $f:X\to Y$, the natural analogue of surjection (resp. bijection, resp. injection) on tangent spaces is perfectly described by surjection (resp. bijection, resp. injection) of $$\DeclareMathOperator{\Spec}{Spec}\DeclareMathOperator{\Hom}{Hom}\Hom_Y(\Spec A,X)\to \Hom_Y(\Spec A/I,X)$$ where $\Spec A$ is any afine $Y$-scheme with $I^2=0$.

In the language of this note about motivations of unramified morphisms, they are all the "differential like data", and tangent vectors can be thought as differentals. So I would be happy to accept the above definitions as the defitions of smooth (resp. étale, unramified) morphisms.

Is there any natural motivations that we include these finiteness conditions? The idea "we need the fibres of smooth morphisms to be smooth varieties" is not enough to convince me, because there are still the case étale morphisms and unramified morphisms, also why do we need that naturally?

e.g.

- Is there any morphisms of schemes that are not expected to be smooth/étale/unramified intuitively but they fall into the cateogy of formally smooth/étale/unramified? So to exclude them we need to introduce finiteness condition.
- Is there any big theorems that have to include finiteness conditions?
- Maybe the true analogue indeed contains finiteness conditions from the begining?

3more comments