课程 2

There are many different verb patterns in English. Verbs can be followed by different structures. Should you try to learn them all or should you try learning just a few? In this session we highlight some common patterns and which patterns go with which verbs.

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练习题 1

Verb patterns 1

What comes after a verb?

There are many verbs in English and there are many different patterns for what comes after a verb.

Some common patterns are:

Verb + infinitive with to

  • I decided to take the car to work. (To decide to do something)
  • She pretended to be asleep. (To pretend to do something)
  • He offered to cook the dinner. (To offer to do something)

Verb + gerund
A gerund is the noun form of a verb. In these examples the clause with the gerund acts as the object of the verb.

  • He admitted eating the last biscuit. (To admit doing something)
  • It took years but I've finally quit smoking. (To quit doing something)
  • After she finished reading the book she turned off the light and went to sleep. (To finish doing something)

Verb  + (that) clause
In these examples the clause that comes after the verb is that verb's object. You can leave out that.

  • I understand (that) you weren't happy with your pay rise. (To understand something)
  • She assumed (that) the bill had already been paid. (To assume something)
  • I suggest (that) you try the salmon, it's delicious. (To suggest something)

Learning tip

When noting down new verbs it's a good idea to write down the pattern as well as some examples. In the examples above the pattern is written in brackets after the examples.

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Infinitive with to or gerund?

There are no simple rules for working out which verbs are used with the infinitive with to and which are used with the gerund. You need to learn them individually.

Here are 10 common verbs that can be followed by the infinitive with to.

  • to afford to do something: We can't afford to go on holiday this year.
  • to arrange to do something: Let's arrange to meet up soon.
  • to decide to do something: I've decided to leave my job.
  • to hope to do something: I hope to see you soon.
  • to learn to do something: She's learning to play the guitar.
  • to manage to do something: He managed to do his homework by himself for the first time.
  • to offer to do something: I'd like to offer to help with the party.
  • to refuse to do something: I can't believe he refused to change his mind.
  • to vote to do something: Parliament has voted to raise income tax by 1%.
  • to want to do something: I really want to get home early today.

And here are 10 to use with the gerund.

  • to admit doing something: He admitted breaking the window.
  • to avoid doing something: I think my dog would do almost anything to avoid having a bath.
  • to delay doing something: Don't delay booking your ticket, they're selling like hot cakes.
  • to deny doing something: She denied taking the money from her mum's wallet.
  • to enjoy doing something: I enjoy going to the cinema by myself.
  • to finish doing something: When do you think you'll have finished painting the house?
  • to miss doing something: Since our son was born I really miss having a lie-in at the weekend.
  • to quit doing something: I had to quit playing football after I broke my leg.
  • to risk doing something: He was so upset I couldn't risk letting him drive home by himself.
  • to suggest doing something: The doctor suggested eating more fresh fruit.

Gerund = Noun

Remember that a gerund is the noun form of a verb. Any verb that can be followed by a gerund clause could also be followed a different noun or a noun phrase.

  • He admitted breaking the window.
  • He admitted it.
  • He admitted (that) he had broken the window.

But NOT:

  • He admitted to break the window. WRONG

To do

Try the quiz to see how well you remember which verbs are followed by the infinitive with to and which with the gerund

Infinitive with to or gerund?

5 Questions

In each question choose the best option to complete the sentence.

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Next

There are some verbs that can be followed either by the gerund or infintive with to. Sometimes the meaning is more or less the same, but with some verbs the meaning can be quite different. Learn more about this in the next activity.

本课语法

  • Examples of verb patterns

    Verb + infinitive with to

    • I decided to take the car to work.
      (To decide to do something)
    • She pretended to be asleep.
      (To pretend to do something)
    • He offered to cook the dinner.
      (To offer to do something)

    Verb + gerund
    A gerund is the noun form of a verb. In these examples the clause with the gerund acts as the object of the verb.

    • He admitted eating the last biscuit.
      (To admit doing something)
    • It took years but I've finally quit smoking.
      (To quit doing something)
    • After she finished reading the book she turned off the light and went to sleep.
      (To finish doing something)

    Verb  + (that) clause
    In these examples the clause that comes after the verb is that verb's object. You can leave out that.

    • I understand (that) you weren't happy with your pay rise.
      (To understand something)
    • She assumed (that) the bill had already been paid.
      (To assume something)
    • I suggest (that) you try the salmon, it's delicious.
      (To suggest something)