verbs with to + infinitive


Some verbs have the pattern N + V + to+infinitive:

They agreed to help.
We decided to go.

Some verbs have the pattern N + V + N + to+infinitive:

She told him to go home.
They advised us to wait.

Note: we suggest that you read about Verbs with -ing forms before doing this activity.



Hi teachers
1. To infinitive or ing forms after verb is either an adverbial or an object. please how can one know when it is modifying the verb of the sentence or it is an object of the sentence?
Examples, He agreed to contribute to the program. They need to practice before the competition. He called to explain the issues. He remembered traveling every weekend. He likes playing golf.

2 Also when to infinitive comes after the object of a sentence, is it modifying the object or the verb?
Examples, He asked the student to pay the fees. he bought a ticket to travel to London. He advised the team to practice. She saw the man driving in the morning.
Please, how many verbs take only ing forms and how to get them ? in order to understand it, is it to memorize them or to know the meaning of each verb?

Dear all,

A question?
In the sentence, The Cook insisted that he taste the soup! After he its taste and not tastes! Why?
Thanks in advance for your replies.

Hello clarise33,

This is an example of the subjunctive mood. It is a fairly uncommon form in English but occurs after certain verbs, such as 'insist'. In terms of form, the subjunctive is the same as the base form:

The Cook insisted that he taste the soup!

The teacher asked that he be quiet.

I demanded that she sit down.

You can find more information on the subjunctive mood here.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sirs,
Are there any rule or using of ing forms and to infinitive?Because I can not understand using of them.For example as I said, ' I can not understand using of them' or should I say 'I can not understand to use of them'. I am always confused on these.
Please could you give me some tips about these.
Thank you so much.

Hello sassha,

I'm afraid that in the example you give neither is correct! I would say that the most natural choice would be a noun, though it is hard to be sure without a context:

I can't understand the use of them.

In answer to your first question, I'm afraid you simply have to learn and remember what each verb is followed by. There is no rule by which you can work it out; you need to memorise them as they are quite arbitrary.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

dear sir i am a fresh learner so i am finding difficulty in english as i am studying english by myself at home by i need a propoer guidance from some teacher i hope for a best reply which favours me.......

Hello muhammad farooq,

Welcome to LearnEnglish!  I can only give you fairly general advice as I don't know your particular needs, strengths and weaknesses and so on, and the first thing I would say is that there is no one way to learn English. There are many different ways and different people find different ways of learning better or worse for them. For example, some people find memorising grammar rules and lists of words helpful, while others prefer to try to communicate with whatever language they have. Only you can say what is most effective for you. However, I can offer a few suggestions.

First of all, I would say that it is important to be in contact with the language as often and as regularly as possible. If you can, get into the habit of reading or listening to something in English every day. Set aside some time for reading, whether it is novels, short stories, articles or something else. This will help you to develop your vocabulary, to familiarise yourself with structures and to recycle what you learn rather than forgetting it.

Secondly, be clear about why you want to learn English and look for examples and models that are relevant to you. For example, if you want to learn English related to work or a professional context then have a look at our Business & Work section; if you are keen to work on your listening skills then try our Listen & Watch section.  Explore the materials here on LearnEnglish so you can familiarise yourself with what is available, and choose what you think will be most helpful for you and best suited to your needs.

Third, try to find a partner with whom you can regularly practise speaking. This might be a friend who is also learning English, or it might be a colleague or even a family member. The more you practise, the better you will get and this is true even if you cannot find a partner and can only speak to yourself at home!

I hope those suggestions are helpful. Remember that learning is a process and sometimes we do not feel that are making as much progress as we would like. This is normal - sometimes things go better and sometimes worse - but it is important to stay motivated and to not give up. If you can do that, then you will make progress.

Best wishes and good luck,



The LearnEnglish Team


  1. Students are trained for their future
  2. Students are to be trained for their future

Are these two sentences grammatically correct and are there any different between these two sentences?
Thank you.

Hi teacher, i was wondering if you could answer to my questions:
1) i may say:Students have to trained for their furure , what is the difference? if there is one.
2)as well i noticed in another part that asked was used with the subjunctive, i did not know it might be used like there. the verbs that i know are:suggest,propose,insisted and demand. is that right?

Hi rosario70,

1) This sentence is not grammatically correct. Perhaps you meant 'Students have to be trained for their future', which would have a meaning of obligation - something which is necessary. The difference with '...are to be trained...' is that where the first sentence describes obligation, the second described a plan or expectation.

2) It is possible to use 'ask' with the subjunctive. For example:

I ask that he leave now.

However, this sounds very old-fashioned. It is not a form which is used in everyday language, though you may come across it in certain archaic phrases, such as traditional parliamentary or legal turns of phrase.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team