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Unread Jan 20th, 2014, 11:01 am
susan53 susan53 is offline
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Default Re: list of verbs like 'to want'?

I can't find one. Probably because, unfortunately, it's not that simple. There's a list of verbs which take infinitive and/or gerund constructions here, but the situation is much more complex than it seems. A couple of examples to show what I mean :

a) Recommend

recommend can be used intransitively, and followed by either a gerund or a that clause :
We recommend cutting costs by at least 15%
We recommend that you cut costs by at least 15%.

If an "empty it" construction is used in the passive, then the that construction is the only one possible :
It is recommended that you cut costs by 15%

Alternatively, recommend can be used transitively and then a to + infinitive construction must be used : We recommended them to cut costs by at least 15%

b) Seem

If a "real" subject is used, the to + infinitive construction must be used : He doesn't seem to be very keen on the idea.
but if an "empty it" construction is used, then (as with recommend) seem must be followed by a that clause: It doesn't seem that he's very keen on the idea.

So there's more to consider than "just" the verb. The question has to be : In syntactic context XXX, does the verb take a gerund, to + inf, or a that clause, or is more than one of these alternatives possible?

It's this sort of complication that, unfortunately, makes them so difficult and why, I suspect, no-one has tried to create a comprehensive list.
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Last edited by susan53 : Jan 20th, 2014 at 12:38 pm.
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