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1. Verb patterns

Verb patterns refer to those verbs that need to be followed by another verb.
I like playing the piano.
Do you want to go to the cinema?

2. How are verb patterns used?

Depending on the first verb, the second verb will be used in the form of a gerund (-ing) or an infinitive.

  • Examples of verbs followed by a verb in the gerund:
    1st Verb 2nd Verb in -ing
    Admit He admitted having broken the window.
    Consider I'm considering moving to a bigger flat.
    Imagine I can't imagine living without you.
    Involve Being on a diet involves eating more fruit and vegetables.
    Miss I miss not having my children at home.
    Keep Keep working like this.
    Recommend I recommend using oral rinse after brushing your teeth.
    Postpone We'll have to postpone painting the fence until it stops raining.
  • Examples of verbs followed by a verb in the infinitive:
    1st Verb 2nd Verb in -to
    Arrange We arranged to meet at six.
    Refuse He refused to listen to me.
    Plan What do you plan to do today?
    Offer Mary has offered to go to the dentist with me.
    Manage How did you manage to remove the stain from your jacket?
    Seem She seems to have no idea of what's going on.
    Expect I expect to finish the project next week.
    Deserve He deserves to be among the top three.
  • When the first verb is let, make or help, the second verb will be in the infinitive without the particle to
    She didn't let me fly the drone.
    She made me eat all the vegetables.
  • The verbs like, love, hate and prefer can be followed either by verbs in the infinitive or in the gerund. The second verb in the gerund -ing is used to express generic actions. To express concrete actions or at a specific point in time, we use the particle to followed by the second verb in the infinitive.
    I prefer working at the cash desk.
    We prefer to give him the present today.

3. Differences in verb patterns

There are some verbs which can be followed by either a verb in -ing or an infinitive with to, although the meaning or usage is different.

TRY TO

It is used when you want to perform an action, but you may not succeed.

- I'm trying to improve the taste of the soup.
TRY + ing 

It is used when you want to give possible solutions to a situation.

- Try adding a bit of white pepper.
STOP TO

It is used when you stop to perform another action.

He was studying and he stopped to watch TV.
STOP + ing

It is used when you want to express that you stop performing an action that is taking place.

Stop watching TV and tidy your room.
REMEMBER TO

It is used when we have to remember to perform an action in the future. First we remember the action and then we perform it.

- Did you remember to lock the door?
REMEMBER + ing

It is used when we remember having performed an action in the past. First we perform the action and then we remember that we have done it.

- Yes, I remember locking the door.
FORGET TO

It is used when we have forgotten to perform an action. The action has not been done.

I forgot to talk to Peter about the trip.
FORGET + ing

It is usually used with never and with future will for a memorable action from the past.

I will never forget talking to Peter for the first time.
REGRET TO

It is used when we feel sorry about what we are going to say. Usually bad news.

I regret to tell you that the flight is late.
REGRET + ing

It is used when we feel sorry for having or not having done an action.

I regret not having taken a parasol.
MEAN TO

It is used when we intend to perform an action.

I meant to call you, but I couldn't.
MEAN + ing

It is used when an action or situation involves another action taking place.

Accepting the job means moving to Italy.
NEED TO

It is used when we feel that we have to do the action.

I need to paint my room.
NEED + ing

It is used when an action should be done, no matter who does it.

This room needs painting.

Remember!

Verb patterns refer to those verbs that need to be followed by another verb.
Depending on the first verb, the second verb will be used in the form of a gerund (-ing) or an infinitive.

Verbs followed by -ing
Consider Admit
Imagine Postpone
Involve Recommend
Miss Keep
Verbs followed by to
Refuse Seem
Plan Deserve
Offer Expect
Manage Arrange
Verbs followed by -ing and to
Try Stop
Remember Need
Regret Mean

 

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