Verb + to.

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Verb + to.
decide to do / forget to do etc.

A.    offer    decide    hope    deserve    attempt     promise    agree    plan    aim    afford    manage     threaten    refuse    arrange    learn    forget    fail

If these verbs are followed by another verb, the structure is usually verb + to... (infinitive):
  • It was late, so we decided to take a taxi home.
  • Simon was in a difficult situation, so I agreed to lend him some money.
  • How old were you when you learnt to drive? (or 'learnt how to drive')
  • I waved to Karen but failed to attract her attention.
Note these examples with the negative not to...:
  • We decided not to go out because of the weather.
  • I promised not to be late.
With many verbs you cannot normally use to... . For example, enjoy/think/suggest:
  • I enjoy dancing, (not 'enjoy to dance')
  • Ian suggested going to the cinema, (not 'suggested to go')
  • Are you thinking of buying a car? (not 'thinking to buy'

B. We also use to... after: seem appear tend pretend claim. For example:

  • They seem to have plenty of money.
  • I like George but I think he tends to talk too much.
  • Ann pretended not to see me as she passed me in the street.
There is also a continuous infinitive (to be doing) and a perfect infinitive (to have done):
  • I pretended to be reading the newspaper. (= I pretended that I was reading)
  • You seem to have lost weight. (= it seems that you have lost weight)

C. We say 'decide to do something', 'promise to do something' etc. In the same way, we say 'a decision to do something', 'a promise to do something' etc. (noun + to...):

  • I think his decision to give up his job was stupid.
  • George has a tendency to talk too much.

D. After dare you can use the infinitive with or without to:

  • I wouldn't dare to tell him. or I wouldn't dare tell him.
But after daren't (or dare not), you must use the infinitive without to:
  • I daren't tell him what happened, (not'I daren't to tell him')

E. After the following verbs you can use a question word (what/whether/how etc.) + to...:

ask;  decide;  know;  remember;  forget;  explain;  learn;  understand;  wonder
  • We asked    how    to get    to the station.
  • Have you decided    where    to go    for your holidays?
  • I don't know    whether    to apply    for the job or not.
  • Do you understand    what    to do?    '
Also show / tell / ask / advise / teach somebody what / how / where to do something:
  • Can somebody show me how to change the film in this camera?
  • Ask Jack. He'll tell you what to do.



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