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.



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,



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,

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,



The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you Pete,

good evening,
It is a wonderful informative site which gives all basic knowldge.Thanks a lot.
I want to do speaking practise more.It will build my confidence.so what would you suggest for that?

Hello maya01,
The best thing will be to practise with a partner who is also learning English, so think about your friends and acquaintances - could you practise with any of them?  You can also practise by yourself!  That might sound a little strange, but just talking to yourself at home can be a very effective way to develop fluency and build your confidence.  I know, because it is a method I use when I learn a foreign language!  Finally, you can use the transcripts that we have with our audio (and video) materials to practise speaking.  Try to say speak after, or at the same time as, the speakers so you can get used to speaking at natural speed.  It isn't easy, but it can really help.
I hope those ideas are helpful.
Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team

hello peter!
you wrote that' when i learn a foreign language' i don't understand that. i mean it is about prsent or something like that..because i think when it is past it shoud be 'when i learnt a......'

Hello bimsara,

If I was talking about one particular time in the past then I would use the past simple ('when I learnt...').  However, I was talking in general terms, about something I do every time, and so the present simple is suitable ('when I learn...').

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

I'm doing upper intermediate with British council in Hyderabad( India). Actually, I was sugessted to do the advance course, by one of your colleague, because I had applied for CELTA. Due to some reasons I can't continue the course till advance( C1)
Now, will you please suggest to me, what I should do to improve myself. I have only 2 months with me,coz next session for CELTA is after 2 months.
So, please give your best suggestion.
Thank you

Hello Quadri Dilnawaz,
I can suggest some higher-level materials for you here on LearnEnglish:

If you're planning on taking the CELTA course and becoming a teacher, then you might find our sister-site Teaching English useful.  You can also join in the discussions on the Teaching English Facebook page.
I hope those links help you.
Best wishes,

The LearnEnglish Team