Grammar Patterns

V n to-inf

Structure I: Verb with Object

V n to-inf
 Verb groupnoun groupto-infinitive clause
Hewould hateherto find out.
Theywould preferthe truthto remain untold.
Verbs with this structure are all concerned with the way someone feels about a situation, action or event, or with what someone wants or wishes to happen.
Treating others as you would like them to treat you is easier said than done.
I'd love her to go into politics or on the stage.
I need you to do something for me.
I wouldn't wish you to view your visit to Paris with any regrets.
In the case of will, the noun group is often a reflexive pronoun. This pattern is V pron-refl to-inf.
Clenching her fists, she willed herself not to cry.
  • desire
  • hate
  • like
  • love
  • need
  • prefer
  • want
  • will
  • wish
  • Structure information: Verb with Object

    The noun group and the to-infinitive clause together form the Object: they cannot be separated from each other. In the first example in the table above, what he would hate is his wife to find out; he would not hate her. With this structure you can ask the question What would he hate?, which makes it clear that his wife to find out is a single grammatical unit. This structure has no passive.

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