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-   -   list of verbs like 'to want'? (http://www.eslhq.com/forums/esl-forums/english-questions/list-verbs-like-want-68427/)

Laurent55 Nov 27th, 2013 03:09 am

list of verbs like 'to want'?
 
In French, you can say 'I want that sb does sth' whereas in English, you cannot. Where could I find a list of those verbs, verbs which must be followed by an infinitive (other verbs by a gerund) but cannot be followed by a that-clause?
Thank you

susan53 Jan 20th, 2014 11:01 am

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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