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Verb patterns and structures

The infinitive is often used after is, am, are, was and were to indicate an agreement or arrangement, to ascertain the wishes or orders of someone else, to express a complaint, protest etc.

  • The Assembly is to meet on the 15th of April.
  • John and Alice are to be married next month.
  • Where are we going to go for our holiday?
  • How long are we to wait like this?
  • When am I to come again?
  • Am I type all those letters?

Be + to-infinitive is also used as a mild form of command.

  • Teacher says you are to learn the poem by heart.
  • The scouts are to wear their uniforms for the parade.
  • Father says you are not to go to the pictures tonight.
Subject + verb + object + infinitive
  • Newton saw the apple fall to the ground.
  • I watched the servant light the fire.
  • We heard her sing a lovely song.
  • They made the child drink the milk.
  • We saw the criminal break open the door.
  • Did you notice anyone come in?
Grammar notes

After certain verbs like bid, watch, see, let, make and hear, infinitives are used without to.

  • They made me wait. (NOT They made me to wait.)
  • He bade me come. (NOT He bade me to come.)
  • I saw her light the lamp. (NOT I saw her to light...)
  • We heard her sing a song. (NOT We heard her to sing...)
  • We watched them play.
  • Let him go.

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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