Verbs complementation: what can follow a verb?

Different verbs can be followed by different kinds of word and structure. There are no simple rules regarding this. For each word it is necessary to learn what kind of structures can follow it.

Verbs that can be followed by both infinitives and gerunds (-ing forms)

Some verbs can be followed by either infinitives or gerunds of other verbs. Here is a list of them.

Advise, allow, can’t bear, begin, continue, forbid, forget, go, go on, hate, hear, intend, like, love, permit, prefer, propose, regret, remember, see, start, stop, try and watch.

Verbs that can be followed by infinitives

Some verbs, on the other hand, are followed by infinitives.  Here is a list of verbs that can be followed by infinitives.

Afford, agree, appear, arrange, ask, attempt, can’t bear, beg, begin, care, choose, consent, continue, dare, decide, expect, fail, forget, go on, happen, hate, help, hesitate, hope, intend, learn, like, love, manage, mean, neglect, offer, prefer, prepare, pretend, promise, propose, refuse, regret, remember, seem, start, swear, trouble, try, want and wish.

Verbs that can be followed by –ing forms

There are also verbs that are normally followed by –ing forms (gerunds). Here is a list of them.

Admit, appreciate, avoid, burst out crying/laughing, consider, contemplate, delay, deny, detest, dislike, endure, enjoy, escape, excuse, face, fancy, feel like, finish, forgive, give up, can’t help, imagine, involve, keep (on), leave off, mention, mind, miss, postpone, practise, put off, resent, resist, risk, can’t stand, suggest and understand

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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