1) Verb + object + to-infinitive clause

When we report offers, suggestions, orders, intentions, promises, requests, etc., we can use a to-infinitive clause after the reporting clause. Some verbs are followed by an object + to-infinitive clause. The object usually refers to the person who the offer, etc., is made to. Other verbs like this include advise, ask, command, compel, expect, instruct, invite, order, persuade, recommend, remind, request, tell, urge, warn, encourage, call…etc.


- ‘You should take the job, Frank.’ (direct speech)

- She encouraged Frank to take the job. (reported speech)

- ‘It must be a peaceful demonstration.’ (direct speech)

- Dr. Barker called on the crowds to demonstrate. (reported speech)

2) Verb + to-infinitive clause

Some verbs cannot be followed by an object before a to-infinitive clause. Other verbs like this include agree, demand, guarantee, hope, promise, swear, threaten, volunteer, vow, offer, propose…etc.


- ‘I’ll take you to town.’ (direct speech)

- She offered to take me to town. (reported speech: not She offered me to take…)

- ‘The theater will be built next to the town hall. (direct speech)

- They propose to build the theater next to the town hall. (reported speech: not They propose them to build...)

NOTE: Ask is used without an object when we ask someone’s permission to allow us to do something.

Example: I asked to see his identification before I let him into the house.

3) Verb + that-clause/to-infinitive clause

After some verbs we can use a that-clause instead of a to-infinitive clause. Other verbs like this include agree, demand, expect, guarantee, hope, promise, propose, request, vow, claim…etc.


- He claimed to be innocent. or

- He claimed that he was innocent.

4) Verb + that-clause (not verb + to-infinitive clause)

After verbs such as advise, insist, order, say and suggest we use a that-clause but not a to-infinitive clause. Notice that advise and order can be used with object + to-infinitive clause.


- The team captain said that I had to play in goal. (not…said to play…)

- There were cheers when he suggested that we went home early. (not…suggested to go…)

NOTE: However, in informal spoken English we can use say with a to-infinitive clause.

Example: Tim said to put the box on the table.

5) Verb + to-infinitive clause (not verb + that-clause)

After some verbs we use a to-infinitive clause but not a that-clause. Other verbs like this include long, offer, plan, refuse, volunteer, intend, want…etc.


- Carolyn intends to return to Dublin after a year in Canada. (not…intend that…)

- The children wanted to come with us to the cinema. (not…wanted that…)

NOTE: When we report what someone has suggested doing, either what they should do themselves, or what someone else should do, we use a reporting clause with advise, propose, recommend, or suggest followed by an ing-clause.


- The government proposed closing a number of primary schools.

- The lecturer recommended reading a number of books before the exam.