|Verb + Verb patterns – Level:|
- V + infinitive
- V + bare infinitive
- V + -ing
- V + O + infinitive
- V + O + bare infinitive
- V + O + -ing
- V + -ing/infinitive
- v + O + -ing/bare infinitive
- List of verbs and examples
In English, when a verb is followed by another verb, the second verb may be an infinitive (to go), bare infinitive (go) or -ing form (going). It all depends on the first verb. Let's see all those different patterns.
VERB + VERB PATTERNS
V + INFINITIVE
Most normal verbs use this construction.
I want to go
They decided to stay at home
They need to buy a bigger car
V + BARE INFINITIVE
Special verbs (except Be, Have and Ought to): do, can/could, will/would, shall/should, may/might, must
Josh can speak French
I must go
She will come soon
V + -ING
Verbs of likes and dislikes: like, dislike, hate, detest, love, prefer, enjoy...
Ken likes reading comics
I enjoy listening to music
She hates walking in the rain
I love singing in the shower
In modern English these verbs can also be used with infinitive with no real change of meaning
I like to dance tango
She loves to swim
But if these verbs are used with WOULD, you must always use the infinitive
I'd like to tell you a secret (not I'd like telling you...)
She would prefer to live in a bigger house
Other verbs: finish, mind, keep, practice, go on, consider, suggest ...
Would you mind opening the window?
When you finish studying, come with me
She suggested going to Cancun for the summer
VERB + OBJECT + VERB
V + O + inf
want, ask, invite, order, tell, teach, advise, allow, beg, cause, command, encourage, expect, force, need, order, recommend, remind ....
I want you to go
She invited me to have dinner
I told you not to do it
She taught him to do it the right way
V + O + bare inf
let, make, (help)
Please, let me go
She made me do it
I’ll help you move the table (also: I'll help you to move the table)
V + O + -ing
The object of the first verb is the subject of the following -ing form. In this case we can also use a possessive adjective.
excuse, forget, forgive, etc.
Excuse me interrupting you / Excuse my interrupting you
VERBS USING 2 PATTERNS
V + -ing / inf
No change of meaning: begin, start, continue
It began to rain = It began raining
Change of meaning: remember, forget, regret / stop / try / advise, allow, permit, forbid
Remember, forget, regret
Look to the future: Remember to post this letter when you get there (=don’t forget to do it in the future)
Look to the past: I remember buying my first bicycle when I was 8 (= it's a memory from the past)
End an action to do something different: He stopped to relax
Finish an action: He stopped driving because he was too tired
Make an effort: He tried to open the door, but it was locked
Make an experiment: He tried speaking to her in German, but she still didn't answer
Advise, allow, permit, forbid
With no object: I advise getting up very early
With an object: I advise you to get up very early
V + O + -ing / bare inf
Verbs of the senses: see, watch, hear, listen, feel, smell, notice...
If we use it with a bare infinitive, the action is perceived complete, from beginning to end. If we use it with -ing then we only perceived a fragment of the action, we saw it happening, but not from beginning to end.
I saw them talk angrily, but nothing happened
I saw them talking angrily, so I left the room. I could still hear them from the kitchen.
LISTS OF VERBS AND EXAMPLES
Don't try to memorize this, use it simply as reference.
-ING: Verb + -ing / Verb + O + -ing
admit, avoid, delay, deny, detest, excuse (me/my), feel like, finish, forgive (me/my), imagine, fancy, keep, mention, mind, miss, postpone, practice, can't stand, can't help, suggest, look forward to, be used to, give up, resent, resist, risk...
- He will never admit not knowing where Mickey Mouse lives
- You must avoid cutting your toe nails in bed
- I always delay buying my Christmas presents till after Christmas, when it’s much cheaper
- Do you still deny having killed Roger Rabbit?
- I detest sitting on the plain with a neurotic scaredy cat
- He enjoys pulling his head out of the car window while driving
- Excuse my interrupting you... but is this your underwear?
- I don't feel like taking your mother for a walk just now
- When you finish crying I’ll give you a good reason to continue
- please, forgive his talking too much, he’s a teacher
- I can't help thinking of her sweet rosy honey lips night and day
- Imagine having all Barbie’s complements, wouldn’t it be heaven on earth?
- keep walking and never look back or you’ll turn into a statue of salt
- She didn't mention having thrown your lovely child out of the window
- Do you mind getting your scruffy finger out of my eye? It hurts, you know?
- I miss feeling her sweet hands stroking all the length of my back at the cinema
- You mustn't postpone writing to him or he’ll forget he’s got a girlfriend back in Spain
- I have to practise frying eggs, I’m terrible at that
- I can't stand people vomiting on the bus
- I suggest picking our noses to kill the time
- She’s looking forward to getting old so that she can have natural white hair
- I'm used to not smoking when I’m swimming
Verb + object + infinitive
advise, allow, ask, expect, forbid, force, invite, like, need, order, persuade, prefer, recommend, request, remind, teach, tell, want, warn...
- I advise you not to touch a sleeping lion
- They allowed us to wear red socks
- He asked her to jump out of the window
- People expect him to tell the best jokes
- I forbid you to look at me in the eyes
- They forced me to wear that horrible handbag again
- She invited me to go to help her with the washing, which I declined
- I like people to suck their fingers
- I need you to scratch my back, please
- He ordered me to lick his boots
- John persuaded Mary to paint the house dark red
- I prefer you to do it yourself
- The police recommended people to be good and nice
- He requested me not to insult him in front of his dear dog
- I reminded her to take an umbrella just in case
- My father taught me to spit with elegance
- He told her to call me and she told him to mind his business
- I want him to go
- He warned us not to go out with him because he was a one-track mind