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 GiveHer!
Yes, this use of make sure is perfctly OK. You can use make sure with an infinitive:
Make sure to finish your homework!
or with a complete clause, with a subject and a verb:
Make sure (that) you finish your homework!
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team

Please help me to understand the following English phrase:"There was nice work to be done." Unfortunately, I don't quite understand this phrase: is it about the future or past? Are there any grammatical errors?
Thank you very much for your help!
PS: To refer to the present or future, I believe it should be, as there is nice work to be done. To refer to the past we use perfect infinitive: "There was nice work to have been done."
Best regards,

Hello aniletom,
The sentence is correct.
We can say 'there is nice work to be done' if we are talking about the future.
Your sentence also talks about the future.  However, it refers not to the future from now, but rather the future at the time of speaking, which for us may not be the future any more because some time has passed.  In that case we have to say 'there was (at that time in the past) some nice work to be done (in the future, looking from that time)'.
You can find more on talking about the future here (click).
You can find some more examples of future in the past on this page about talking about the past (click).
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

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

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,