Sometimes in a sentence, one verb follows another. For example, I want to buy an electric car. The first verb is ‘want’, the second verb is ‘buy’.
In sentences like this, there are different possible patterns. For example:
(a) I want to buy an electric car.
(b) I hate driving.
In sentence A, the first verb is followed by an infinitive.
In sentence B, the first verb is followed by a gerund (-ing) form.
The verb patterns are dependent upon the first verb. There are several different types of pattern. When you learn a new verb, you need to learn the verb pattern. Unfortunately, some verbs have more than one possible pattern! Sometimes, if a verb has two patterns, each pattern can have a different meaning or use.
Here are examples of some of the patterns:
Verb + to + verb:
|These verbs all use this pattern: want, hope, decide, agree.I want to work with Dr. Laver.
Tim hopes to leave the stockroom soon.
Helen decided to go out with Michal.
Alice might agree to change wards.
Verb + verb + ing:
|These verbs all use this pattern: enjoy, mind, consider.I enjoy working on the emergency ward.
Alice doesn’t mind working with children.
Tim is considering changing his job.
Verb + preposition + verb +ing
|These verbs all use this pattern: specialise, think.He specialises in helping children.
Michal is thinking about cooking dinner.
Verb + object + verb:
|These verbs all use this pattern: let, make.Dad let me keep the cat.
She made me say sorry.
Verbs with two patterns and different meanings:
|These verbs have two possible patterns, and there is a difference in meaning between the patterns: like, hate, regret.I like to swim every day = I think it is a good idea to do this
I like swimming every day = I enjoy the activity. It gives me pleasure
I hate to tell you this = I am sorry to tell you this
I hate flying = I do not like this activity
I regret to tell you this – I am sorry to tell you this
I regret leaving London – I left London in the past, and I am sorry that I did that
about pregnancy and childbirth specialise (v):
to study or work in depth in a particular area or subject