Verb patterns

verb + ing, verb + infinitive, verb + that clause

Random Idea English
The tables show the main patterns used for over 400 of the most common verbs when one verb follows another. They also list verbs which can commonly be followed by a that clause, as well as one or two other patterns.
  • verb + to-infinitive
    • verb + to-infinitive
    • verb + obj + to-infinitive
    • Verb + obj + bare infinitive
  • verb + -ing form
    • verb + -ing form
    • verb + obj (or possessive) + -ing form
    • verb + obj + -ing form
  • verb + to-infinitive or -ing form
    • with no difference in meaning
    • with little difference in meaning
    • with a difference in meaning
  • infinitive variations
    • verb + for + obj + to-infinitive
    • verb + infinitive / perfect infinitive
    • verb + bare infinitive
  • verbs that take a that clause
    • verb + that + clause
    • verb + obj + that + clause
    • verb + that + obj + (should) + bare infinitive
  • verbs that can take a wh-word + to-infinitive or clause
    • verb + wh-word + to-infinitive / clause
    • verb + verb + obj + wh-word + to-infinitive / clause
    • verb + whether + to-infinitive / clause
  • constructions with prepositions
    • verb + preposition + -ing
    • verb + preposition + subj + -ing
    • verb + obj + preposition + -ing
Update 4/1/2015 - I've added a couple of extra categories :
  • Verb + object + to be sth (to have done sth)
  • Verb + object + sb/sth (object complement)
  • Verb + two objects - indirect object + direct object
You can also look at individual verbs to see the different ways they can be used.

Related quizzes

You can practise verb patterns with some quizzes here
Select a verb from the list on the left and see how it is used


These lists have been compiled from various sources: from the following books and from the links below



Heather Jackson said...

Growing up speaking English as my native language, I don't often consider the grammatical structure and use of my words. This is a great article to outline and list verbs. It is only when trying to speak another language that I consider these things.

Umesh Jalan said...

A verb is a word that describes an action or occurrence or indicates a state of being.Know about the types of verbs with examples. @

Arman Siddiqui said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cicci Igwe said...

Can you add this verb pattern "it + verb + sb + to/that" please? Thanks

Vamshi Krishna said...

Thanks for sharing the information very useful for Campus Placements and keep updating us, Please........ said...

This is really constructive list of verb in detail. You are really well specially for those who face some difficulties in understanding the verb pattern. Could you please also work on kinds of verb.