Verb Patterns Lessons One: Verb + Infinitive

Lesson one is going to look at lots of different verbs that take the infinitive. Remember, it is the first verb that dictates the pattern of the second verb.

Verbs + Infinitive

The following verbs all use this pattern: want, hope, expect, decide, agree, learn, manage, ask, choose, plan, seem, refuse, offer.

It doesn’t matter what tense the first verb is, the second verb is always in the infinitive.

Here are some examples:

  • I wanted to go to Paris when I was younger.
  • I’ve wanted to see that movie for ages.
  • I hoped to see them in Paris when I was there but I didn’t have time.
  • We can’t expect to sell it at that price.


The following is a conversation using the verbs + infinitive format: (Meet Beth and David)

Beth: So, I’ve finally decided to sell my house and move to Switzerland. I’ve wanted to live there all my life and now is the right time.

David: I was expecting you to do this to be honest.

Beth: Yeah, I’m ready. My boyfriend is planning to move there too within a few months, and my friend who lives in Switzerland now has agreed to pick me up from the airport and help to find me a place to live.

David: Well, you definitely seem to have everything planned.



Use the correct form of the correct verb in the following: want, manage, ask, learn, seem, refuse, offer.

1. He’s __________ to speak good Chinese very quickly.

2. He __________ to finish it by tomorrow but I doubt he will.

3. I have __________ a lot in this course, I recommend it to everyone.

4. He __________ me to do it for him. I think he’s being lazy.

5. Did they __________ to sell their car yesterday?

6. I __________ to do it. There is no way I’m going to do that.

7. You __________ to be very tired today, did you sleep okay last night?


1. learned.

2. wants.

3. learned.

4. asked.

5. manage.

6. refuse.

7. seem.

-> Verb + Gerund