Verb + (object) + to...

Article Index
Verb + (object) + to...
I want (you) to do etc.

A.    want         ask        help                      would like              would love     expect        beg        mean (= intend)        would prefer        would hate

These verbs are followed by to... (infinitive). The structure can be:

verb + to...  
 verb + object + to...
We expected to be late.  We expected Tom to be late.
Would you like to go now? 
  Would you like me to go now?
He doesn't want to know.
  He doesn't want anybody to know.

Be careful with want. Do not say 'want that...':

  • Do you want me to come with you? (not 'Do you want that I come')

After help you can use the infinitive with or without to. So you can say:

  • Can you help me to move this table? or Can you help me move this table?

B.    tell          remind        force    enable        teach    order    warn    invite   persuade    get (= persuade, arrange for)

These verbs have the structure verb + object + to...:

  • Can you remind me to phone Ann tomorrow?
  • Who taught you to drive?
  • I didn't move the piano by myself. I got somebody to help me.
  • Jim said the switch was dangerous and warned me not to touch it.

In the next example, the verb is passive (was warned):

  • I was warned not to touch the switch.

Note that you cannot use suggest with the structure verb + object + to...:

  • Jane suggested that I should buy a car. (not 'Jane suggested me to buy').

C.    advise    recommend        encourage        allow        permit        forbid

There are two possible structures after these verbs. Compare:

verb + -ing (without an object)           verb + object + to...
 I wouldn't recommend staying in that hotel.   I wouldn't recommend anybody to stay in that hotel
She doesn't allow smoking in the house,   She doesn't allow us to smoke in the house.

Compare these examples with (be) allowed (passive):

  • Smoking isn't allowed in the house.     
  • We aren't allowed to smoke in the house.

D. Make and let

These verbs have the structure verb + object + infinitive (without to):

  • The customs officer made Sally open her case. (not 'to open')
  • Hot weather makes me feel tired. (= causes me to feel tired)
  • Her parents wouldn't let her go out alone. (= wouldn't allow her to go out)
  • Let me carry your bag for you.

We say 'make somebody do...' (not 'to do'), but the passive is '(be) made to do...' (infinitive with to):

  • Sally was made to open her case (by the customs officer).


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