The infinitive and verbs

THE INFINITIVE AND VERBS
THE INFINITIVE AND VERBS
VERBS NORMALLY FOLLOWED BY THE INFINITIVE
C. These are the most common of the verbs followed by a to-infinitive, with or without a noun.
Example:
 I asked him to show me the book.
 I asked to see the book.
ask*
beg*
choose
dare
desire*
elect expect*
help
mean* (=intend)
request*
want
wish*
The verbs marked * can also be followed by a that-clause
Note:
dare: In negative and interrogative sentences the infinitive with or without 'to' is possible, though it is more common to omit the 'to':
 I never dared tell him what happened.
 Dare you tell him the news?
 Would you dare (to) jump out of a plane?
Examples:
 We've chosen John to represent the company at the conference.
 The elephant didn't mean to tread on the mouse.
 We expect you to do your best in the exam.
 Do you want to go to the beach?
 Do you want me to go with you to the beach?
 You are requested to be quiet in this library.


A. The to-infinitive is used after the verbs in this group, without a preceding noun. The verbs marked * can also be followed by a 'that-clause'
Example:
VERB TO-INFINITIVE
I hope... to see you next week.
THAT- CLAUSE
I hope... that I'll see you next week

afford
agree*
aim
appear †
arrange*
bother
care
claim*
condescend
consent
decide*
demand*
determine*
endeavour fail
guarantee*
happen †
hasten
have (= be obliged)
hesitate
hope*
learn
long
manage
offer
prepare
pretend*
proceed promise*
propose
prove (= turn out)
refuse resolve*
seek
seem †
strive
swear*
tend
threaten*
trouble
undertake
volunteer
vow*

† These verbs can only be followed by a 'that-clause' when they have the subject 'it'. e.g. It appeared that no-one had locked the door.
Examples:
 He claimed to be an expert.
 I managed to reach the top of the hill.
 I know you're only pretending to love me!
 Don't pretend that you know the answer.
 She failed to explain the problem clearly.
 The customs man demanded to search our luggage.
 I can't afford to go out tonight.

The zero infinitive is used:
a. after most auxiliaries (e.g. must, can, should, may, might)
b. after verbs of perception, (e.g. see, hear, feel) with the pattern verb + object + zero infinitive
c. after the verbs 'make' and 'let', with the pattern make/let + object + zero infinitive
d. after the expression 'had better'
e. after the expression 'would rather'
when referring to the speaker's own actions

Examples:
After auxiliaries:
 She can't speak to you.
 He should give her some money.
 Shall I talk to him?
 Would you like a cup of coffee?
 I might stay another night in the hotel.
 They must leave before 10.00 a.m.

After verbs of perception:
 He saw her fall from the cliff.
 We heard them close the door.
 They saw us walk toward the lake.
 She felt the spider crawl up her leg.

After the verbs 'make' and 'let':
 Her parents let her stay out late.
 Let's go to the cinema tonight.
 You made me love you.
 Don't make me study that boring grammar book!
NOTICE that the 'to-infinitive' is used when 'make' is in the passive voice:
 I am made to sweep the floor every day.
 She was made to eat fish even though she hated it.

After 'had better':
We had better take some warm clothing.
She had better ask him not to come.
You'd better not smile at a crocodile!
We had better reserve a room in the hotel.
You'd better give me your address.
They had better work harder on their grammar!

After 'would rather':
Note: this is ONLY when referring to the speaker's own actions - see 'would rather' in section on Unreal past.


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