Verb patterns


Senior Member
UK now living in Spain. English
The verbs that can be followed directly by another verb in either "to inf." or "-ing", such as Like, Stop, Try, Offer, Promise, Regret, and so on. Is there a special term for those verbs?
Thanks in advance for your help.
  • Can you give an example of what you mean? I thought I understood as follows:
    I like dancing. I like to dance.

    I don't see how that works for all the examples you have given though, for example 'I promise to try. I promise trying.'
    Hi Lora44. Not exactly what I meant. Not all verbs can be followed directly by another verb, only some. I wondered if that group of verbs has a collective name? The examples were to try to show that I mean all those verbs whether they are followed by either the "to" form or the "-ing" form or both.
    Ah ok, I see, sorry for the confusion.

    I'm afraid I don't know a name for these verbs, just descriptions:

    Verbs followed by a gerund
    Verbs followed by an infinitive
    Thanx anyway. I suspect that there is a term, but we just don't use it much. (If at all!)
    These are known as gerunds and infinitives and are known as "verbals". They are formed from verbs but function as different parts of speech. A gerund acts as a noun: eating, walking. etc. An infinitive is made by adding "to" to the plain present 1st person form of the verb, e.g. to eat, to walk, and can function as nouns, adjectives or adverbs. They often function as the direct object of a true verb: "I want to give you a present" or (in this case the object of a preposition) "He was arrested for stealing a watch".

    I'm only able to touch upon the usage of these verbal forms, but hopefully this gives you an idea of how they are based on verbs, but not used as verbs.