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.




Hello... I'm Arrumi
I have some question: what is verb patterns?
Is it Important to learn?
how can we memorize the patterns?

Hello Jasmine Arrumi,

Verb patterns describe how verbs are used in relation to their objects. Some verbs have objects (transitive verbs), some do not (intransitive verbs) and some can be with an object or without (ergative verbs). Some verbs have indirect objects as well as direct objects.

It's very important to learn the pattern for each verb if you want to use it correctly in a sentence, because the verb pattern exists independent of the particular tense or aspect which is used. Our section on verb patterns starts here - use the links on the right to look at specific patterns.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

I have a question about this and previous articles. What the difference between the Verbs with -ing forms and Verbs with to-infinitive?

Hello Alexandr Topalov,

This is a question of form rather than meaning. There is no intrinsic meaning to either form; it is simply a question of remembering which verbs are followed by to + infinitive and which by -ing.

Some verbs can be followed by either form, and then there is a difference in meaning. The links I provided in my answer to your earlier question clarify this with examples.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

I have some question: as I know, two words with "-ing" ending can not to follow each other (They are considering employing her for another year.) Does this rule not applicable when Continious Tense is used?

Hello Katty K,

There is no rule like that which I am aware of. The example you give is perfectly correct and it is not unusual to follow a continuous form with a gerund, for example.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you Peter. It's so hard English for me, unfortunately.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all The LearnEnglish Team!

Hello Everyone, I am from Kazakhstan and an English Teacher but also a student. I have a question which is not directly related to the Ving or to-infinitive but I hope some of you can help me.

I am finding it difficult to explain why "I'm afraid It's time we left" is correct and why shouldn't it be "I'm afraid It's time we leave". I found the correct answer is "left" as per Oxford Solutions Placement Test and it has left me bewildered.

Could anyone explain this to me please and help me to find the right tutorial for this in this website? Many Thanks, Raj

Hello Raj,

The construction here is indeed as you say:

It's time + subject + verb2 (past form) - It's time we went

There is a similar construction which uses the infinitive with 'to':

It's time + to infinitive - It's time to go

The reason the second form of the verb is used is that we are talking about an unreal situation - a counterfactual situation. When we say 'It's time we left' we are still present - we have not left at the time of speaking. For this we use a past subjunctive form, which looks like the past simple. It is similar to the form used in unreal if-clauses:

If I were a rich man...


The confusion arises because the past subjunctive form (which is not really tied to past time) has the same form in English as the past simple form (which is tied to past time).

I hope that helps to clarify it for you.

You can find more information on the present and past subjunctive on this page.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you Peter. I will read more about subjunctive and "revert" with my questions, if any. By the way, is the use of verb "revert" right here? I know it's meaning but not always sure of its usage. Regards, Raj