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

Hi.
I was wondering if you could tell me the meaning of this sentence in Act 1: " I helped him to get his life back together again". the word TOGETHER makes me very confusing and Could i say: "I helped him to get his life back again"?

Hi student,

You can say that and in many contexts the meaning is very similar: to restore your life to some kind of order and coherence after a period of chaos (often emotional).

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Good evening.

Could you tell me which form of infinitive should I use to express some ativity using only one word. Should I say for example: TO SWIM, SWIM or SWIMMING? The sentence should consists only from a one verb, but my intension is not to order someone to start swimming.
Thank you in advance for your answer.

Hello pcabak,

I'm afraid we don't provide help with exercises from elsewhere, such as homework or tests. In any case, it is impossible to answer this without knowing the communicative purposem such as whether the sentence an answer to a question or not, for example.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

How can the two sentences below be made in simple sentences except the passive infinitives?

1. Sofia Coppola is only the third woman to be nominated for best director. (Present)
2. Sofia Coppola was only the third woman to be nominated for best director. (Past)

Hello Microctg,

I'm not sure I understand your question fully. There are several ways to change the sentences so they do not include passive infinitives. The simplest would be as follows:

1. Sofia Coppola is only the third woman who has been nominated for best director.

2. Sofia Coppola was only the third woman who was nominated for best director.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you so much. You have exactly given what I wanted.

The word "love", what takes, an + ing or to + inf. I am confused here.

Hello Rind.aziz,

Both to infinitive and -ing are possible after 'love', but the meaning is different. For examples and explanations please take a look at this page and this page.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

good evening to everyone teachers, i have these two clauses 1( we hope to be warded the top prize), 2) we hope that we have been warded the topo prize).

i am wondering if they are the same meaning.

thank yuo so much.
rosario

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