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

Hello rosario,

No, they are different. The first one is speaking about a prize that has not yet been given, whereas and the second one is speaking about a prize that has been awarded, but which we don't know who won. Note that the verb is 'award' rather than 'ward'.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I would like to ask which sentence is correct and why?
1.she helped her mother to cook food.
Or
2. She helped her mother cook food.
I thought the first sentence was correct but the second also doesn't sound incorrect. Pls help

Hello Yojana77,

After the verb 'help' we can use either of these.

help someone to do something

help someone do something

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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,
Kirk
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,
Noëlle

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,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hello,

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,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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

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