Unit 53. Verb + object + infinitive


want ask expect help would like would prefer

There are two possible structures after these verbs:

verb + infinitive verb + object + infinitive

I asked to see the manager. I asked Tom to help me.

We expected to be late. We expected him to be late.

He would like to come. He would like me to come.

After help you can use the verb with or without to:

  • Can somebody help me (to) move this table? Be especially careful with want. Do not say “want that. .. “:

  • Everyone wanted him to win the race, (not wanted that he won)

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

    tell remind force enable persuade order warn invite
    teach (how) get (= persuade)

    These verbs have the structure verb + object + infinitive:

  • Remind me to call Ann tomorrow.

  • Who taught you (how) to drive?

  • He warned me not to touch anything.

    ? I got Jack to fix my car.

    Here is an example in the passive:

    I was warned not to touch anything. You cannot use suggest with the infinitive (see also Unit 33c):

    ? Tom suggested that I buy a car. (not Tom suggested me to buy)


    advise encourage allow permit

    There are two possible structures after these verbs. Compare:

    verb + -ing (without an object) verb + object + infinitive

    I wouldn’t advise staying at that hotel. I wouldn’t advise you to stay at that hotel.

    They don’t allow smoking in this They don’t allow you to smoke in this

    building. (= Smoking is not allowed building. (= You are not allowed to

    in this building.) smoke in this building.)

    Make and let

    These verbs have the structure verb + base form (do, read, etc.):

  • Hot weather makes me feel uncomfortable. (= causes me to feel)

  • I only did it because they made me do it. (= forced me to do it)

  • She wouldn’t let me read the letter. (= allow me to read) Do not use to after make and let:

  • They made me do it. (not they made me to do it)

  • Tom let me drive his car yesterday, (not Tom let me to drive) But in the passive make is followed by to (to do):

  • I only did it because I was made to do it.

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