verb patterns


The structure of the clause depends on the verb. For example:

  • An intransitive verb has the structure: N(=noun) + V(=verb): (John) + (smiled).
  • A transitive verb has the structure: N + V + N: (We) + (had been playing) + (football)
  • A link verb has the structure: N + V + Adj : (She) + (looked) + (happy)
  • A phrasal verb has the structure: N + V + p + N (She) + (gave) +(back) + (the money)
    N + V + N + p (She) + (gave) + (the money) + (back)



would you please help me giving the elaboration of p in the structure N V p N.

Hi, I need some help with this sentence:
I tried to persuade his mother to send him to a school for handicaped children.
What is the structure here? Noun=subject + verb transitive + ??

Hello Irena,

There are a number of online tools which you can use to break sentences up (the name for this is 'parse the sentence'). For example, try going to this page and typing your sentence into the window:

I hope that helps you.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Good Afetrnoon.

I'm not completely sure if this is the most appropiate section for publishing this comment, but I have an huge doubt and I need that a british teacher gives me clues for solving it.

Actually I have readen all the grammar folder of this website, even though i can not find the answer to that question.

Must I say?

John gave some flowers to her.

or can I say?

John have some flowers her.

I know that for verbs like "tell" or "listen" is a must to put "to" before the Indirect Object nevertheless I am not sure if it is correct for all the verbs or if I have to learn it for each verb.

Is there any kind of verbs which must be used with "to" before the Indirect Object?

If the answer is positive, can you give the name of that verbs to look for an exhaustive list?

Thnak you very much for your help and for this free website, it is a huge help for imporving my English and it is for free!

Best Regards!

Thank you,Mr Adam.
Would not you mind my asking you again?
Can I substitute understand for comprehend?
I understood what you had said.
I comprehended what you had said.

Hello Kamran,

Yes, you can use 'comprehend' here, but it is rather more formal than 'understand' and is not very common in everyday speech.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Dear sirs.
I ask your help to clarify several expressions.
Is this sentence correct?
John was capable of raising this question at the meeting.
John was able to raise this question at the meeting.
Thank you beforehand.
Best wishes.

Dear Kamran,

Both of those sentences are correct! The first one suggests that John didn't raise the question and the second one suggests that he did. Also, the first one is more formal.

Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello sir,

This soup's cold. I checked the intransitive verb option, but the correct answer is link verb. Can you please clarify me where I went wrong?

saipathudu. T