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Verb patterns and structures - III

Subject + verb + question word + infinitive

In this structure we use question word + infinitive as direct object.

  • I don’t know where to turn for help.
  • We must find out what to do next.
  • Let us decide when to start.
  • Have you been told where to stay?
  • I don’t know how to stop it.
  • We must remember where to turn off the main road.
  • Do you know what to look for?

Note that it is wrong to use ‘What to do?’ as a question. You must say ‘What shall we do?’ or ‘What is to be done?’

The question word + infinitive can be changed into a noun clause.

  • I don’t know where to turn for help. (= I don’t know where I should turn for help. )
  • We must find out what to do next. (= We must find out what we should do next. )
  • Let us decide when to start. (= Let us decide when we should start. )
Subject + verb + indirect object + question word + infinitive
  • I will show you how to manage it.
  • Could you tell me where to find a good hotel?
  • Someone should teach you how to behave.
  • A good dictionary tells you how to pronounce words.
  • Please direct me how to get there.
Have (or get) + object + past participle

Getting something done by somebody else is expressed by the structure have (or get) + object + past participle.

  • I must have my shoes mended. (OR I must get my shoes mended.)
  • We got our house designed by a famous architect.
  • She has had her photographs taken.
  • She got her son trained as a mechanic.
The… the… with comparative adjectives

Comparison and contrast are expressed by the use of the … the …with comparative adjectives in parallel clauses. This structure is used to show proportionate increase or decrease.

  • The less I see him the more I like him.
  • The more he reads the less he understands.
  • The older we grow the wiser we become.
  • The richer one grows the greater one’s worries.
  • The higher you climb the colder it gets.

Sections In This Article

Verb patterns - I
Verb patterns - II
Verb patterns - III
Verb patterns - IV
Verb patterns - V
Conversational structures

Grammar worksheets

Transitive and intransitive verbs worksheet 1
Transitive or intransitive verbs worksheet 2


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