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.


good morning to everyone i have a question for you:

in thise sentences( when do you plane to be done?, or we had hoped to be done sooner) are they correct if i added the object as it follows: when do you plane to be done the race? , we had hoped to be done a good celebration sooner.

thank you so much.

Hello rosario70,

No, in 'to be done', 'done' is an adjective, and this adjective can't take an object. The easiest and most natural way to say what I think you want to say is 'When do you plan to finish the race?'

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Peter M
I have a question about the verb "like". Sometimes it is followed by "to" and sometimes by "verb +ing" : I like to play with Paul
I like playing with Paul
Do the two sentences have the same meaning?
Thank you for your answer.
Best regards,

Hello Noëlle,

You can find the answer to your question, plus more examples of similar verb on this page.

You can also find useful information on the topic here.

I hope that answers your question.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team


regarding causative verbs,if I want to make the verb after object negative,are following sentences correct?and common in English?
1.I get my brother not to come.
2.I have my brother not come.
3.I make my brother not come.
if they are not, please kindly direct me the right way.

And one more unrelated question for ending letters!is it considered rude to finish letters by the expression "thanks in advance"?

best wishes
thanks in advance

Hello misam,

The infinitive or bare infinitive after a causative verb are not normally negated. To be honest, I'm not sure if it's considered incorrect to negate them or not, but I can tell you that negative forms sound very strange there because no one, or nearly no one, uses them. To communicate the ideas in your sentences, you could change the second verb, e.g. 3. 'I make my brother stay at home'.

'Thanks in advance' can indeed be used near the end of an email or note, such as in this comment. Most of the time, however, it would come before 'Best wishes'. For example:

Thanks in advance (for your answer)!

Best wishes - misam

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi kirk
S+verb+to be + past perticiple
What would be the alternative of above.?
In which situation the above structure use?

Hello Muhammad,

I'm afraid I don't know what structure you're referring to above. Could you please explain what you mean more specifically?

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Kirk
the structure is
sub + verb + to be + past participle + obj
in what circumstances i can use above one
Is there any alternate of above structure that gives the same meaning?

Hi again Muhammad,

I'd have to see an example sentence to be sure, but it looks to me like this is a planned passive action, i.e. 'to be going to + verb' in which the verb is in the passive. For example, 'The book is going to be published in July'. This is slightly different from the formula you wrote, but it's the only thing that makes sense to me at the moment. 

For an explanation of the 'to be going to + verb' construction, see our talking about the future page, and for more about the passive, our active and passive voice page.

I hope this helps you.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team