Verbs + Objects + Infinitive /Gerund/Clause

Verb + object + to-infinitive

English reporting verbs like tell, warn, remind and encourage, are often followed by an object and then an infinitive with ‘to’, like this:

Elena: Well, I told him to be nice to everybody

I told you to do it. The negative infinitive is formed with notI told you not to do it.

subject verb object (not) to + infinitive
Marco’s mother ordered him to get into the car.
Elena told the children not to touch the glasses.


Verb + object + to-infinitive Verb + object + that clause after Verb + object + that clause after Want,

would like/love/hate

would prefer

+ object + infinitive

(+ that clause)

Verb + for + object + to-infinitive Verb + object +infinitive without TO Verb + object + ing-form
Advise, allow, ask, beg, cause
command, encourage

Enable, expect, forbid
force, help, instruct

Intend, invite, Mean, oblige, order, permit


take (time), teach
want, warn



(*) Could you help me to look for my car keys? I can’t find them anywhere.
















He persuaded me that I should buy a new car
















He recommended that I take a few days off of work
















I want you to help me with this

I would like you to come to dinner















Could you arrange for someone to collect me at the airport?

Verbs of perception (see, hear, watch, notice,…)

Let, make and help


Make is followed by infinitive with to in the passive






(*) Could you help me look for my car keys? I can’t find them anywhere.

They were made to return their tickets.

Some of the verbs that are followed by –ingsee page below(e.g. can’t stand, dislike, imagine, involve, mind, miss, put off and risk) can be used with a new subject before the -ing form. If the new subject is a pronoun, it is in the object form (me, him, her, us, them):


We just couldn’t imagine Gerry/him singing in public.

Do you mind me being here while you’re working?

I don’t want to risk him losing his job.


Most verbs of perception (e.g. hear, see, watch, notice) are followed by object + infinitive (without to).

  • I heard him cry. (NOT I heard him to cry.)
  • I watched them play. (NOT I watched them to play.)
  • I saw her cross the road. (NOT I saw her to cross the road.)

Most of these verbs can also be followed by –ing forms. Note that there is usually a difference of meaning:

infinitive forms after these verbs are used to say that we hear or see the whole action or event.

  • I once heard him give a talk on international politics. (I heard the whole talk.)

-ing forms suggest that we see or hear an action in progress.

  • As I walked past his cabin, I heard him talking with his secretary. (I didn’t hear the whole talk.)

An –ing form is not usually used to refer to a momentary action or event.

  • I saw the bomb explode. (NOT I saw the bomb exploding. The action mentioned here (explosion) doesn’t last for more than a few moments.)

Sometimes an –ing form can suggest repetition.

  • I saw the children throwing stones at the dogs. (= The children kept throwing stones.)


Verbs followed by -ing

Some common verbs that are normally followed by the -ing form:


Admit, appreciate, avoid, consider, delay, deny, detest, dislike, enjoy, feel like, finish, forgive, give up, (can’t) help, imagine, involve, keep (on), mind, miss, postpone, practice, put off, resist, risk, (can’t) stand, suggest, understand

Examples: I always enjoy cooking, She keeps changing her mind about the wedding, We haven’t finished eating yet.


Verb + (object) + ing-form

Some of the verbs listed above, and some others, can be followed by object + ing-form: detest, dislike, dread, envisage, hate, imagine, like, love, mind (in questions and negatives), miss, recall, regret, resent, risk, spend, start, stop, stand, remember…


They can’t stand him driving his old car.

I remember you buying that jumper.

I dislike people telling me what to think.

I can’t imagine him working in an office.

Nobody can stop him doing what he wants to.


Prevent something (from) happening – Cleanliness experts say hygienic cleaning will help prevent germs spreading in the home.

Prevent somebody (from) doing something – She hid the car keys to prevent him (from) driving in such terrible weather conditions

Verbs change their meaning when they are followed by a Gerund or an Infinitive

Some verbs have different meanings when they are followed by a gerund or an infinitive.


+ To infinitive + -ing form
Remember and forget The remembering is before the action

I must remember to post this letter today.

The clothes are dirty because I forgot to switch on the machine.


The action is before the remembering

I can remember posting the letter. I posted it on Friday morning.

I’ll never forget flying over the Grand Canyon. It was wonderful.

Regret Regret to do something means to be sorry for something you are doing

We regret to inform you that we are not taking on any new staff at present.

Regret to do something means to be sorry of something that happened in the past

I regret spending all that money. I’ve got none left.


Try Try to do something means to attempt something, to do your best.

I’m trying to run this computer program.

Try doing something means to do something which might solve a problem.

I tried clicking on the box, but it doesn’t work.

Stop Stop to do something means to stop so that you can do it.

An old man walking along the road stopped to talk to us.

Stop doing something means to end an action, to finish doing it.

There’s too much noise. Can you all stop talking, please?

Mean Mean to do something is the same as to intend to do it.

I think Nick meant to break that glass. It didn’t look like an accident.

Means doing something expresses the idea of one thing resulting in another.

I’m applying for a visa. It means filling in this form.

Go on Go on to do something means to do something else, to do the next thing.

The teacher introduced herself and went on to explain about the course.

Go on doing something means to continue doing it.

The teacher told everyone to be quiet, but they

just went on talking.

Need I need to clean my shoes.

This means that I must clean my shoes, I have to clean them.

My shoes need cleaning.

This means that my shoes need to be cleaned

Interesting links:

Pronunciation: Initial ‘S’

Ok, with this song from ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ you can practice the pronunciation of initial ‘S’

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]


Captain: Are you ready kids?

Kids: Aye-aye Captain.

Captain: I can’t hear you…

Kids: Aye-Aye Captain!!

Captain: Oh! Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

Kids: SpongeBob SquarePants!

Captain: Absorbent and yellow and porous is he!

Kids: SpongeBob SquarePants!

Captain: If nautical nonsense be something you wish…

Kids: SpongeBob SquarePants!

Captain: Then drop on the deck and flop like a fish!

Kids: SpongeBob SquarePants!

Captain: Ready?

EveryBody: SpongeBob SquarePants! SpongeBob SquarePants! SpongeBob SquarePants!

Captain: SpongeBob…. SquarePants! Haha.