Level: beginner

Many verbs in English are followed by the infinitive with to. Some of these verbs take the pattern:

  • Verb + to + infinitive

We planned to take a holiday.
She decided to stay at home.

Others verbs take the pattern:

  • Verb + noun + to + infinitive

She wanted the children to learn the piano.
I told him to ring the police.

Two very common verbs – make and let – are followed by the infinitive without to. They take the pattern:

  • Verb + noun + infinitive

My parents made me come home early.
They wouldn't let me stay out late.

The verb dare can be followed by the infinitive with or without to:

  • Verb (+ to) + infinitive

I didn't dare (to) go out after dark.

verb + to + infinitive

Some verbs are followed by the infinitive with to:

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

Common verbs with this pattern are:

  • verbs of thinking and feeling:
choose
decide
expect
forget
hate
hope
intend
learn
like
love
mean
plan
prefer
remember
want
would like/love
  • verbs of saying:
agree promise refuse threaten
  • others
arrange
attempt
fail
help
manage
tend
try
 
Verb + to + infinitive 1

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Verb + to + infinitive 2

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verb + noun + to + infinitive

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

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 that warn is normally used with not:

The police warned everyone not to drive too fast.

  • verbs of wanting and liking:
hate
intend
like
love
mean
prefer
want
would like/love
  • others:
allow
enable
expect
force
get
 
teach
 

Many of the verbs above 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.

Verb + noun + to + infinitive 1

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Verb + noun + to + infinitive 2

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Level: intermediate

make and let

The verbs make and let are followed by a noun and the infinitive without to:

They made him pay for the things he had broken.
The doctor made me wait for almost an hour.
They let you go in free at the weekend.
Will you let me come in?

But the passive form of make is followed by the infinitive with to:

He was made to pay for the things he had broken.
I was made to wait for almost an hour.

let has no passive form. We use allow instead:

We were allowed to go in free at the weekend.
I was allowed to go in.

dare

The verb dare is hardly ever found in positive sentences. It is almost always used in negative sentences and questions.

When it is used with an auxiliary or a modal verb, dare can be followed by the infinitive with or without to:

I didn't dare (to) disturb him.
Who would dare (to) accuse him?

But when there is no auxiliary or modal, dare is followed by the infinitive without to:

Nobody dared disturb him.
I daren't ask him.

make, let and dare

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Comments

thanks for your site realy very important . every day i do exercise and reviewing the grammer and listen to your nice video talking and explanation .
 

I am having a difficulty in having the Activities usibg my ipad
I need help pllleease

Hello Fatooom,
I'm afraid that iPads don't have Flash functionality and so can't see the exercises on LearnEnglish. We are working on making a new version of our exercises so that they work on iPads and other similar devices.
In the meantime, check out our mobile apps, some of which work on the iPad.
Best wishes,
Adam
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Adam,
I have been learning English for a long time..! and am almost there ...!.but I got a innocent problem...with this guy...."ITSELF''....when he is in here..
                          "The day media  itself  got embroiled in scandal"... and
                            "The dream itself was breaking down"
                             "The Calendar Hung Itself".
                                                           More I'll have to meet in the future...!.
          So  What is this kind of ."Itself"  ..and , When do we use it ?......
    One more...What is the meaning of it..?
                                                               I hope I will be helped ,
                                                                                       Best work,
                                                                                       Thank you .
 

Hello, how are you?

thanks for your site for it gives us a number of information about English grammar
 

Hello,
 
is it possible to say:
s.o. announced to do s.th.
or do I have to say
s.o. announced that...

Hello Honscho!

I'm afraid you have to use the second pattern, not the first. You can drop the 'that', though:

He announced that he would marry Emily.

OR

He announced he would marry Emily.

... are both OK. We use 'would' because we are using announced as a reporting verb for reported speech.

Regards

Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,  I have a question that relates to the proper use prepositions of "to", "for" and "of" in a sentence.  Can you send me the link on the proper use of these prepositions or tips on how to get this right? 
Based on this example, which one is correct?
1. She is the executive secretary to the Programme Director.
2. She is the executive secretary for the Programme Director
3. She is the executive secretary to Michael Smith.
4. She is the executive secretary of Michael Smith.
5. She is the executive secretary for Michael Smith.
I hope you can help me on this. - Marikit

Hello,
I came to this page because I have seen "make sure to" a lot recently. Is this grammatically correct? Should "make sure" always be followed by "that"?
Thanks.
 

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