1) Verb + object + to-infinitive

After some verbs, we need to include an object before a to-infinitive. There are many verbs like this including allow, believe, cause, command, enable, encourage, entitle, force, invite, order, persuade, show, teach, tell, consider, warn…


- I considered her to be the best person for the job.

- The police warned everyone to stay inside with their windows closed.

2) Verb + to-infinitive

After some verbs, we can’t include an object before a to-infinitive. Other verbs like this include agree, consent, decide, fail, hope, pretend, start, volunteer, refuse, threatened…


- The shop refused to accept a cheque.

- He threatened to report their behavior to the principal.

3) Verb + (object) + to-infinitive

After some verbs, an object might or might not be included before a to-infinitive. Other verbs like this include can bear (in negative sentences and in questions), hate, hope, like, love, want, wish, prefer, need…


- I prefer to drive. (= I do the driving)

- I prefer you to drive. (= you do the driving)

- We need to complete this report by Friday. (= we complete it)

- We need them to complete this report by Friday. (= they complete it)

NOTE: After help we can use either a to-infinitive or bare infinitive.

Example: I’ll help you (to) arrange the party if you like.

4) Verb + object + to-infinitive

With some verbs in this pattern we have to put the word for immediately after the verb. Other verbs like this include appeal, apply, campaign, long (= want), plan, wait, arrange…


- We waited for the taxi to come before saying goodbye. (not …waited the taxi to come…)

- They arranged for Jane to stay in London. (not …arranged Jane to stay…)

NOTE: After apply and campaign, the to-infinitive is usually passive.

Example: They applied for the hearing to be postponed.

5) Verb + object + bare infinitive

Some verbs are followed by a bare infinitive after an object. Other verbs like include feel, hear, observe, overhear, see, watch, have, let, notice, make…


- She noticed him run away form the house. (not …noticed him to run…)

- I make Peter wait outside. (not …make Peter to wait…)

NOTE 1: However, in passive sentences with these verbs, we use a to-infinitive.

Example: He was overheard to say that he hoped John would resign.

NOTE 2: After some of these verbs (feel, hear, notice, observe, overhear, see, watch) we can use either bare infinitive or the ing-form, but usually there is a difference in meaning.

6) Verb + bare infinitive

A few verbs can be followed directly by a bare infinitive in fairly idiomatic phrases, including hear tell, make believe, and let (it) slip.


- He made believe that he had caught the huge fish himself. (= pretended)

- She let (it) slip that she’s leaving. (= said it unintentionally)

NOTICE also the phrases make do and let go.

Example: Jim borrowed my new bike; I had to make do with my old one. (= it wasn’t the one I wanted)