Level: beginner

Many verbs in English are followed by the infinitive with to. Some of these verbs take the pattern:

  • Verb + to + infinitive

We planned to take a holiday.
She decided to stay at home.

Others verbs take the pattern:

  • Verb + noun + to + infinitive

She wanted the children to learn the piano.
I told him to ring the police.

Two very common verbs – make and let – are followed by the infinitive without to. They take the pattern:

  • Verb + noun + infinitive

My parents made me come home early.
They wouldn't let me stay out late.

The verb dare can be followed by the infinitive with or without to:

  • Verb (+ to) + infinitive

I didn't dare (to) go out after dark.

verb + to + infinitive

Some verbs are followed by the infinitive with to:

I decided to go home as soon as possible.
We all wanted to have more English classes.

Common verbs with this pattern are:

  • verbs of thinking and feeling:
choose
decide
expect
forget
hate
hope
intend
learn
like
love
mean
plan
prefer
remember
want
would like/love
  • verbs of saying:
agree promise refuse threaten
  • others
arrange
attempt
fail
help
manage
tend
try
 
Verb + to + infinitive 1

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Verb + to + infinitive 2

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verb + noun + to + infinitive

Some verbs are followed by a noun and the infinitive with to:

She asked him to send her a text message.
He wanted all his friends to come to his party.

Common verbs with this pattern are:

  • verbs of saying:
advise
ask
encourage
invite
order

 
persuade
remind

 
tell
warn*

 

* Note that warn is normally used with not:

The police warned everyone not to drive too fast.

  • verbs of wanting and liking:
hate
intend
like
love
mean
prefer
want
would like/love
  • others:
allow
enable
expect
force
get
 
teach
 

Many of the verbs above are sometimes followed by a passive infinitive (to be + past participle):

I expected to be met when I arrived at the station.
They wanted to be told if anything happened.
I don't like driving myself. I prefer to be driven.

Verb + noun + to + infinitive 1

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Verb + noun + to + infinitive 2

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Level: intermediate

make and let

The verbs make and let are followed by a noun and the infinitive without to:

They made him pay for the things he had broken.
The doctor made me wait for almost an hour.
They let you go in free at the weekend.
Will you let me come in?

But the passive form of make is followed by the infinitive with to:

He was made to pay for the things he had broken.
I was made to wait for almost an hour.

let has no passive form. We use allow instead:

We were allowed to go in free at the weekend.
I was allowed to go in.

dare

The verb dare is hardly ever found in positive sentences. It is almost always used in negative sentences and questions.

When it is used with an auxiliary or a modal verb, dare can be followed by the infinitive with or without to:

I didn't dare (to) disturb him.
Who would dare (to) accuse him?

But when there is no auxiliary or modal, dare is followed by the infinitive without to:

Nobody dared disturb him.
I daren't ask him.

make, let and dare

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Comments

Hello dear team,
(I like them to trust me; that I am there for them.) Is this sentence true? Thank you.

Hello Hosseinpour,

It's hard to be sure without knowing the full context, but I think the sentence you are looking for is probably as follows:

I hope that they trust me and understand that I am there for them.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Peter, thank you for the time and help.

Hello. Could you please help me? What is the difference between the two forms
John was left to dream about his new life as a teacher.
John was left dreaming about his new life as a teacher.
Thank you.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

When we say leave somebody to do something there can be two meanings:

I left John to clean up

1. I went away so that John could clean up.

2. I went away because I needed to clean up.

When passive voice is used, as in your example, only the first meaning is possible.

 

When we say leave somebody doing something it means that we went away while they continue with the action:

I left John cleaning up.

When I went away, John was cleaning up.

Your sentence could have this meaning.

 

However, remember that language draws meaning from the context in which it is used, as well as from its own structures and forms. These sentences would like have more meaning in context, such as telling us something about whether or not John's dreams were real or some kind of delusion, for example.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Team!
I have a quesiton.
Is this a sentence?
"Class 3000 to be used with schedule 80 pipes"
I think "to be used with schedule 80 pipes" describes "class 3000".So its an adjective.
But there is no verb here.And this is not a complete sentence.Can we use this as if it was a sentence?For example,when we describe a table.
Thank you!

Hello Goktug123
You're right in thinking that that is not a complete sentence. What I understand it to mean is: 'Class 3000 *is* to be used with schedule 80 pipes'. Words are often left out when there's not much space and the meaning is thought to be clear.
All the best
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, every one.
My bother asked me where my sister was. When I wanted to answer him, I got confused about the rule to use after "try".
Here is my answer: I don't know where she is. Try (to call / calling) her on her phone.
Thank you .

Hello Ahmed Imam,
'Try' is an example of a verb which can be followed by either 'to + verb' or 'verb-ing'. However, there is a difference in meaning.
> try + verb-ing = do something to see if it is a good idea:
I tried taking the medicine, but it didn't help.
> try + to verb = attempt something which is difficult or not possible:
I tried to phone him, but there was no answer.
~
In your example, both forms would be correct:
Try calling her (maybe this will help)
Try to call her (maybe you will succeed in contacting her)
~
Peter
The LearnEnglish Team

Hola

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