verbs followed by to + infinitive

 

1 Some verbs are followed by the to-infinitive:

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

Common verbs followed by the to-infinitive are:

Verbs of thinking and feeling:

  • choose
  • decide
  • expect
  • forget
  • hate
  • hope
  • intend
  • learn
  • like
  • love
  • mean
  • plan
  • prefer
  • remember
  • would like
  • would love

Verbs of saying:

  • agree
  • promise
  • refuse

Other common verbs are:

  • arrange
  • attempt
  • fail
  • help
  • manage
  • tend
  • try
  • want

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

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: The verb warn is normally used with not
The police warned everyone not to drive too fast.

Verbs of wanting or liking:

  • expect
  • intend
  • would
  • prefer
  • want
  • would like

Other verbs with this pattern are:

  • allow
  • enable
  • force
  • get
  • teach

3. Passive infinitive

Many of these verbs 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.

 

Activity 1:

Match the 'to infinitive' clauses to the sentence beginnings.

 

Activity 2:

Match the 'to infinitive' clauses to the sentence beginnings.

 

Activity 3:

Match the 'to infinitive' clauses to the sentence beginnings.

Comments

Hi,
So what is the difference between two of the examples?
>He was found to be carrying undecleared goods.
>He was found carrying undecleared goods.

Hi Sir,
Can we use past participle with the verb 'seem'?
She seems worried.
Instead of
>She seems to be worried.
My second question is that the sentance given below is of gerund form or participle form?
>He was found to be carrying undecleared goods.
>He was found carrying undecleared goods.
This form of the sentance is correct or not?

Hi neha_sri,

The word 'worried' here is actually an adjective, though it has the same form as the past participle. You can see this if you consider that we could use other adjectives here such as 'happy', 'enthusiastic' and so on.

In the second sentence the -ing form is a participle form, not a gerund. Both of your examples are correct forms.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Teacher,
what is the difference between two sentences given below?
1 she seems to comprehend my problems.
2 she seems comprehending my problems.

Hi neha_sri,

The main difference is that the first sentence is correct and the second is incorrect! 'Seem' is followed by an infinitive with to, not by an -ing form.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

I feel as thought I must have learned this at some point! Please clarify for me which is correct:

I encourage you to treat the event as a networking opportunity and invite potential customers.
OR
I encourage you to treat the event as a networking opportunity and to invite potential customers.

Thank you!
Maggie

Hello Maggie,

Both of these are correct.  The verb 'encourage' is followed by an infinitive with 'to', so 'to invite' is correct; however, where there are two identical forms in the sentence then we often omit the repeated 'to' for stylistic reasons, and so 'invite' is also possible.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Teachers,
I have a confusion whenever the following words come together : to be. For example, It needs to be done. Second, the battery may need to be replaced.
Until now , I have not understood why we use ' to be' and when we use it .Are they use for passive, active ,future , advice or purpose.
Kindly please clarify it for me and provide an explanation so that I can use it appropriately according to the context.
With kind regards,
Livon    
 

Hello Livon,

What you are essentially asking is what the infinitive is used for, and the answer is that it is used for many things.  The infinitive can be used in all of the ways which you list, and more besides.  To list, explain and exemplify them all would require a very long and detailed response, which is really what the grammar pages are for here on LearnEnglish.  For example, here is the page on the infinitive, which contains, I believe, just the information you are looking for.  With a little seaching in the grammar pages you should be able to find the right section (here is the section on verbs, for example) and the relevant material; the comments sections of LearnEnglish are really for more specific questions on particular examples or rules.

I hope the links are useful.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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