APPENDIX I

VERB PATTERNS1

I. Verb Patterns

The verb patterns in this Dictionary supply information concerning syntax. They enable the learner to use verbs in the ways that are in accordance with correct usage. If the learner will spend a few hours studying these verb patterns, he will be able to avoid numerous errors.

One who is learning English as a foreign language is apt to form sentences by analogy. This habit may at times lead him into error. He sees sentences of the type, gPlease tell me the meaningh or gPlease show me the wayh (i. e. with an indirect object followed by a direct object). By analogy he makes the incorrect sentence gPlease explain me the meaningh He sees the sentences gI intend to come,h gI propose to come,h and gI want to come,h and by analogy he makes the sentence gI suggest to comeh (instead of gI suggest that I should comeh). He sees such sentences as gI asked him to come,h gI told him to come,h and gI wanted him to comeh and by analogy he makes the sentences gI propose him to comeh and gI suggested him to comeh (instead of gI proposed [suggested] that he should comeh). He notes that gHe began to talk about the matterh means almost the same as gHe began talking about the matterh and concludes, wrongly, that gHe stopped to talk about the matterh means the same as gHe stopped to talk about the matterh Such misapprehensions are natural. The ordinary grammar-book and dictionary usually fail to supply adequate information on such points. The patterns below, with the numerical indications supplied with the verb entries (thus-P 1, 10, 18, 21, 23), do give guidance.

II. Summary of Verb Patterns

Patterns 1 to 19 indicate what are usually called transitive uses of verbs. Patterns 20 to 25 indicate what are usually called intransitive uses.

P 1... Vb. x Direct Object

P 2... Vb. x (not) to x Infinitive, etc.

P 3... Vb. x Noun or Pronoun x (not) to x Infinitive, etc.

P 4c Vb. x Noun or Pronoun x (to be) x Complement

P 5... Vb. x Noun or Pronoun x Infinitive, etc.

P 6... Vb x Noun or Pronoun x Present Participle

P 7... Vb. x Object x Adjective

P 8... Vb. x Object x Noun

P 9... Vb. x Object x Past Participle

P 10... Vb. x Object x Adverbial

P 11... Vb. x that-clause

P 12... Vb. x Noun or Pronoun x that-clause

P 13... Vb. x Conjunctive x to x Infinitive, etc.

P 14... Vb. x Noun or Pronoun x Conjunctive x to x Infinitive, etc.

P 15... Vb. x Conjunctive x Clause

P 16... Vb. x Noun or Pronoun x Conjunctive x Clause

P 17c Vb. x Gerund, etc

P 18... Vb. x Direct Object x Preposition x Prepositional Object

P 19... Vb. x Indirect Object x Direct Object

P 20... Vb. x (for) x Complement of Distance; Time, Price, etc.

P 21... Vb. alone

P 22... Vb. x Predicative

P 23... Vb. x Adverbial Adjunct

P 24... Vb. x Preposition x Prepositional Object

P 25... Vb. x to x Infinitive

Pattern 1

Verbs marked P 1 may be used with a simple direct object which is a noun, pronoun or determinative. (Cf. P 17 for the use of gerunds.)

Examples:-

Subject x Verb

Direct Object

1

He cut

his finger.

2

We saw

your brother.

3

We have already had

breakfast.

4

He does not like

cold weather.

5

We always do

that.

6

I want

six.

7

We lit

a fire.

8

They were throwing

stones.

9

A baby cannot dress

itself.

10

He laughed

a merry laugh.

11

She dreamed

a curious dream.

12

she smiled

her thanks.

13

I dug

a hole.

Pattern 2

Verbs marked P 2 may be followed by (not) to and an Infinitive. The to x Infinitive is usually regarded as the object of the verb. For examples of intransitive verbs (e. g. be, happen, come) followed by to x Infinitive, see Pattern 25. Cf. P 17B.

Examples:-

Subject x Verbs

(not) x to x Infinitive, etc.

1

He wants

to go.

2

I have promised

to help them.

3

They decided

not to go.

4

Did you remember*

to shut the windows?

5

He agreed

to pay for it.

6

Have you

to go to school today?

7

Would you care

to go for a walk?

8

He pretended

not to see me.

*See remember in P 17A, example 3.

Pattern 3

Verbs marked P 3 may be followed by a noun or pronoun and by (not) to and an infinitive. (Cf. P 10 for sentences in which the to x Infinitive is short for in order to x infinitive.)

Examples:-

Subject x Verb

Noun or Pronoun

(not) to x Infinitive

1

He wants

me

to be early.

2

I asked

him

not to do it.

3

I told

the servant

to open the window.

S

Please help*

me

to carry this box.

5

He likes

his wife

to dress well.

6

Your teacher expects

you

to work hard.

7

I warned

him

not to be late.

8

He allowed

the soldiers

to take him prisoner.

9

They have never known*

him

to behave so badly.

Note the passive construction:-

3. The servant was told to open the window.

4. He was warned not to be late.

* Cf examples 6 and 4 in P 5.

Pattern 4

Verbs marked P 4 may be followed by a noun or pronoun, to be (often omitted), and a complement. Sentences in P 4 may also be constructed in p 11.

Examples:-

Subject x Verb

Noun or Pronoun

(to be)

Complement

1

They believed

him

(to be)

innocent.

2

Do you consider

her

(to be)

honest?

3

I consider

it

(to be)

a shame.

4

Tomfs teacher thinks

him

(to be)

the cleverest boy in the class

5

We proved

him

(to be)

wrong.

Note the passive construction:-

1. He was believed (to be) innocent.

2. Is she considered (to be) honest?

Note the same sentences in P 11.

1. They believed (that he was innocent.

2. Do you consider (that) she is honest?

Pattern 5

Verbs marked p 5 are used in a way similar to that in which verbs marked p 3 are used but with the important difference that to is omitted before the infinitive. (Cf. Allow me to go. Let me go.) Those verbs in this pattern which are called verbs of perception (i. e. verbs of seeing, hearing, etc.) may also be used in p 6.

Examples:-

Subject x Verb

Noun or Pronoun

Infinitive, etc.

1

I made

him

do it.

2

Let

me

go!

3

We must not let

the matter

rest here.

4

They have never known*

him

behave so badly.

5

I will have

him

do the work.

6

Will you help*

me

carry this box?

7

Would you have

me

believe that?

8

I heard

him

come in.

9

We saw

them

go out.

10

They felt

the house

shake.

11

Watch

me

do it.

12

Did anyone notice

the thief

leave the house?

Note the passive construction:-

1. He was made to do it.

4. He has never been known to behave so badly.

9. They were seen to go out.

In examples 8 to 12 p 6 might also be used. gI saw him go outh means gHe went out and I saw himh and gI saw him going outh means gHe was going out when I saw him.h

* Cf. examples 9 and 4 in p 3.

Pattern 6

Verbs marked P 6 may be followed by a noun or a pronoun and a present participle. In the case of verbs of perception P 5 may also be used. (See the note on examples 8 to 12 above.)

Examples:-

Subject x Verb

Noun or Pronoun

Present Participle

1

He kept

me

waiting.

2

I found

him

working at his desk.

3

They left

me

standing outside.

4

I heard

him

giving orders.

5

We watched

the train

leaving the station.

6

Do you feel

the house

shaking?

7

Can you smell

something

burning?

8

I saw

him

running off.

Note the passive construction:-

1. I was kept waiting.

2. He was heard gibing orders.

Pattern 7

Verbs marked P 7 may be followed by an object and an object complement which is all adjective.

Examples:-

Subject x Verb

object

Adjective

1

Donft get

your clothes

dirty.

2

The sun keeps

us

warm.

3

Get

yourself

ready.

4

Donft make

yourself

uneasy.

5

I found

the box

empty.

6

We pointed

the door

green.

7

They set

the prisoners

free.

8

Can you push

the door

open.

9

The cold weather turned

the leaves

red.

10

He wished

himself

dead.

Note the passive construction:-

5. The box was found empty.

6. The door was painted green.

7. The prisoners were set free.

Pattern 8

Verbs marked P8 may be followed by an object and an object complement which is a noun.

Examples:-

Subject x Verb

Object

Noun

1

They elected

him

king.

2

The people crowned

Richard

king.

3

They chose

Mr. Smith

chairman.

4

We call

the dog

gSpot.h

5

They named

their son

Henry.

6

They made

Newton

President of the Royal Society.

7

They called

them

cowards.

Note the passive construction:-

1. He was elected king.

6. Newton was made President of the Royal Society.

Pattern 9

Verbs marked P 9 may be followed by and object and a past participle.

Example:-

Subject x Verb

Object

Past Participle

1

You must get

your hair

cut.

2

Where did you have

them

printed?

3

She had

a new dress

made.

4

Have you ever heard

Italian

spoken

5

His actions made

him

respected.

6

King Charles I had

his head

cut off.

7

The soldier had

two horses

shot under him.

Note that in this Pattern, the action named by the past participle may or may not be in accordance with the will of the subject.

Pattern 10

Verb marked P 10 may be followed by an object and an adverb or an adverb phrase (including adverbial infinitives meaning in order to c). See also the notes on the adverbial particles above.

Examples:-

Subject x Verb

Object

Adverb, Adverb Phrase, etc.

1

Put

it

here.

2

He took

his hat

off.

3

He has given

it

away.

4

Mr. Smith showed

me

to the door.

5

We employed

her

as a cook.

6

They treat

their sister

as if she were only a servant.

7

He brought

his brother

to see me.

8

He took

the medicine

in order to get well.

9

They led

me

to believe that here was no danger.

10

I donft know

her

to speak to.

Note the passive constructions:

4. I was shown to the door. (by Mr. Smith).

6. Their sister is treated as if she were only a servant.

Pattern 11

Verbs marked P 11 may be followed directly by a that-clause.

Subject x Verb

(that) x Clause

1

I hope

(that) you will come.

2

I suppose

(that) you will be there.

3

He explained

that nothing could be done.

4

Do you think

(that) it will rain?

5

He saw

(that) the plan was useless.

6

I suggested

(that) he should leave early.

When a passive construction is used for sentences of this type, it may be used to anticipate the clause.

3. It was explained that nothing could be done.

5. It was seen that the plan was useless.

Note that some verbs (e. g. believe, hope, think, say) it is possible to use so in place of an affirmative clause and not in place a negative clause.

E.g. So I noticed [said, thought, etc.]. I believe so. I hope [think, believe, etc.] not.

When so may be used, examples will be found with the verb entries.

Pattern 12

Verbs marked P 12 may be followed by a noun or pronoun and a that-clause.

Examples:-

Subject x Verb

Noun or Pronoun

(that) x Clause

1

I told

the man

(that) he was mistaken.

2

I warned

you

(that) he would be late

3

We satisfied

ourselves

(that) the plan would work.

4

Please remind

him

(that) He must be here early.

Note the passive construction:-

Has he been told [warned, reminded, etc.] thatc?

Note the use of so in place of a clause (as in P 11).

E. g. I told you so! So I told you!

Pattern 13

Verbs marked p 13 may be followed by the conjunctives (except why) and to and an infinitive.

Examples:-

Subject x Verb

Conjunctive

to x Infinitive, etc.

1

I wonder

how

to do it.

2

I do not know

what

to do.

3

He is learning

how

to swim.

4

She was wondering

which

to buy.

5

Will you find out

how

to get there?

6

You must remember

when

to begin.

7

I do not know

whether

to go or stay.

Pattern 14

Verbs marked P 14 may be followed by a noun or pronoun, a conjunctive (except why), and to and an infinitive.

Examples:-

Subject x Verb

Noun or Pronoun

Con-

junctive

to x Infinitive, etc.

1

We showed

him

how

to do it.

2

Please tell

me

which

to take.

3

Can you advise

me

which

to buy?

4

The patterns show

you

how

to make sentences.

5

Tell

me

whether

to come or not.

6

They told

him

when

to start.

7

Tell

her

what

to do.

Note the passive construction:

1. He was shown how to do it.

6. He was told when to start.

Note that sentences in which this pattern is used may also be constructed in P 16.

E. g. We showed him how he should do it.

Pattern 15

Verbs marked P 15 may be followed by a clause introduced by a conjunctive. If is sometimes used instead of whether.

Examples:-

Subject x Verb

Conjunctive

Clause

1

I wonder

why

he has not come.

2

I wonder

whether

he will come.

3

I do not mind

where

we go.

4

Do you know

who

he is?

5

I do not care

what

you think.

6

Can you suggest

where

this ought to go.

7

Please say

what

you want.

8

Nobody knows

whose

it is.

Pattern 16

Verbs marked P 16 may be followed by a noun or pronoun and a clause introduced by a conjunctive.

Examples:-

Subject x Verb

Noun or Pronoun

Con-

junctive

Clause

1

Tell

me

what

it is.

2

Ask

him

where

he put it.

3

They asked

us

when

we should be back.

4

Can you tell

me

how

high it is?

5

Can you inform

me

when

the train leaves?

6

Please advise

me

whether

the children should climb the mountain.

Pattern 17

Verbs marked P 17 may be followed by a gerund. The pattern is subdivided. In Group A (including compound verbs such as keep on, go on, give up), in those cases were the gerund may be replaced by an infinitive, a change of meaning results. In Group B the gerund may be replaced by an infinitive without change of meaning. In Group C the gerund is equivalent to a passive infinitive.

Examples:-

Group A

Subject x Verb

Gerund, etc.

1

Please stop

talking.

2

He enjoys

playing tennis.

3

I remember

doing it.

4

Please excuse

my being so late.

5

Do you mind

staying a little longer?

6

Do you mind

my staying a little longer?

7

She couldnft help

laughing.

8

He keeps on

coming here.

9

They went on

working.

10

Has it left off

raining yet?

Notes:-

1. Cf. We stopped to talk (i. e. stopped doing something in order to talk).

3. Cf. He never remembers to post my letters (i. e. never remembers he has letters of mine to post). (See P 2.)

5. i. e. Will you please stay a little longer?

6. i. e. Will you please allow me to stay a little longer?

Group B

Subject x Verb

Gerund, etc.

1

He began

talking (= to talk)

2

He likes

swimming (= to swim)

3

I prefer

staying (= to stay) indoors on cold winter evenings.

4

I hate

refusing (= to refuse) every time.

5

He started

Packing (= to pack) his books and clothes.

Group C

Subject x Verb

Gerund (Passive Infinitive)

1

It wants

doing (= to be done).

2

Your work needs

correcting (= to be corrected).

3

That needs

explaining (= to be explained).

Pattern 18

Verbs marked P 18 may be followed by a direct object, a preposition and a prepositional object (which may be a noun, pronoun, gerund or clause). The pattern is subdivided. In Group A the preposition is to or for and sentences in which this pattern is used may also be constructed in P. 19. In Group B various prepositions are used and sentences made according to his pattern cannot be converted into sentences according to P 19.

Examples:-

Group A

Subject x Verb

Direct Object

Prep.

Prepositional Object

1

I gave

the money

to

my friend.

2

They told

the news

to

everybody they met.

3

We showed

the pictures

to

our teachers.

4

I donft lend

my books

to

anybody.

5

He offered

one

to

me.

6

I owe

ten pounds

to

my tailor.

7

Throw

that box

to

me.

8

Bring

that book

to

me.

9

I bought

some books

for

my brother.

10

Please save

one

for

me.

11

Did you leave

any

for

me?

12

She has ordered

a new dress

for

herself.

In P 19 above sentences are as follows:-

1. I gave my friend the money.

6. I owe my tailor ten pounds.

8. Bring me that book.

9. I bought my brother some books.

11. Did you leave me any? etc.

Group B

Subject x Verb

Direct Object

Prep.

Prepositional Object

1

Thank

you

for

your kind help.

2

Ask

him

for

some more.

3

Compare

this

with

that.

4

They punished

him

for

being late.

5

Congratulate

him

on

his success.

6

Donft throw

stones

at

the dog.

7

What prevented

you

from

coming?

8

Add

this

to

what you already have.

9

Protect

us

from

the enemy.

10

I explained

my difficulty

to

him.

This pattern, in this order, is always used when the direct object is a personal pronoun, as in examples 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, and 9 above. In some case, however, the direct object may come at the end of the sentence, the order being Prep. x Prepositional Object x Direct Object instead of Direct Object x Prep. x Prepositional Object. This inversion is often required (a) for clearness of meaning; (b) for emphasis of the direct object.

Examples:-

1. We heard from Jones all about his sisterfs escape. (Inversion is necessary for clearness of meaning. His sisterfs escape from Jones is something quite different.)

2. I explained to everyone in the room that nothing could be done until the following week. (Inversion if necessary for clearness of meaning.)

3. Add the examples I have written on the blackboard to what you already have (or) Add to what you already have the examples I have written on the blackboard. (Either is possible. Inversion makes the direct object more prominent.)

4. Donft throw stones at the dog. Donft throw at the dog anything that might hurt him. (In the second sentence inversion is necessary for clearness; the antecedent dog precedes him.)

Pattern 19

Verbs marked P 19 may be followed by two objects, an indirect and a direct. The pattern is subdivided. In Group A are those verbs which may be used with the preposition to (P 18A). In Group B are those verbs which may be used with the preposition for (also P 18A). In Group C are those verbs which are rarely or never used in P 18. (The few exceptions are noted in the verb entries.)

Examples:-

Group A

Subject x Verb

Indirect Object

Direct Object

1

Have they paid

you

the money?

2

Will you lend

me

five shillings?

3

Our teacher gave

us

an English lesson.

4

I read

him

the letter.

5

Please throw

me

that book.

6

His mother told

him

a story.

7

He handed

me

the book.

8

The pupils wished

their teacher

gGood morningh

9

He denies

her

nothing.

Group B

Subject x Verb

Indirect Object

Direct Object

1

She made

herself

a cup of tea.

2

Her father bought

her

a new dress.

3

Buy

me

one.

4

Did you leave

me

any?

5

She ordered

herself

a new dress.

6

Will you do

me

a favour?

7

Can you spare

me

one?

8

Can you get

me

a copy of that book?

Group C

(rarely or never convertible into P 18)

Subject x Verb

First Object

Second Object

1

I envy

you

your fine garden.

2

Forgive

us

our sins.

3

That will save

me

a great deal of trouble.

4

I struck

him

a heavy blow.

5

He asked

me

a question.

Note that in this case the term direct and indirect object have been avoided. The verb strike, for example, is usually described as taking a gdouble objecth. Ask, in example 5, is sometimes used in P 18B with the preposition of (to ask a question of someone).

Pattern 20

Verbs marked P 20 may be followed by a complement expressing duration, distance, price or weight. The preposition for is used with some of the verbs in this pattern but is often omitted.

Examples:-

Subject x Verb

(for) Complement

1

We walked

(for) five miles.

2

They had come

a long way.

3

The forests stretched

(for) miles and miles.

4

The rain lasted

all day.

5

He may live

(for) many years yet.

6

We waited

(for) two hours.

7

It weighs

five tons.

8

The thermometer went up

ten degrees.

9

It coast

ten shillings.

10

Will you stay

(for) the night?

Pattern 21

Verbs marked P 21 may be used without t a complement. Such verbs are called complete intransitive verbs. Some verbs which are normally used with an object may also be used in this pattern, the object being understood.

Examples:-

Subject

Verb

1

Fire

burns.

2

Birds

fly.

3

We all

breathe, eat and drink.

4

The moon

rose.

5

The sun

was shining.

Pattern 22

Verbs marked P 22 are followed by a predicative word or phrase. The predicative is that part of an ordinary sentence which follows the verb and gives information about the subject of the sentence. The predicative may be an adjective phrase, noun, pronoun, or determinative.

Examples:-

Subject x Verb

Predicative

1

This is

a book.

2

This book is

mine.

3

That will be

plenty.

4

Please get

reedy to start.

5

The weather has become

warmer.

6

The leaves have turned

red.

7

it feels

soft.

8

The plan proved

useless (of no use).

9

The results are

what we expected.

10

His dream come

true.

Pattern 23

Verbs marked P 23 are followed by an adverbial adjunct.

Examples:-

Subject x Verb

Adverbial Adjunct

1

Stand

up!

2

We must turn

back.

3

The sun rises

in the east.

4

We did not go

anywhere.

5

He will come

as soon as he is ready.

6

A chair will not stand

on two legs.

Note that in sentences in which there is used as a formal (preparatory or anticipatory) subject, P 23 is used.

E.g. There is a book on the desk.

Pattern 24

Verbs marked P 24 may be followed by a preposition and a prepositional object (which may be a noun, pronoun, gerund, phrase or clause)

Examples:-

Subject x Verb

Prep.

Prepositional Object

1

He called

on

me.

2

It depends

on

the weather.

3

He succeeded

in

solving the problem.

4

I rely

on

your help.

5

Look

at

the blackboard.

6

He believes

in

getting up early.

7

I should not think

of

doing such a thin.

Pattern 25

Verbs marked P 25 are intransitive verbs which may, in some or all of their semantic varieties, be followed by to and an infinitives. (Cf. P 2 for transitive verbs used in this way.)

The pattern is subdivided. In Group A the infinitive is one of purpose. In Group B the infinitive may be considered to be part of the subject. (Thus:-gShe to notice it happened.h) In Group C the infinitive is one of result. In Group D the infinitive is predicative.

Group A

Subject x Verb

to x Infinitive

1

He come

(in order) to see me.

2

We stopped

to have a rest.

3

I come

to bury Caesar, not praise him.

4

The motor-car has come

to stay.

5

I am waiting

to hear your opinion.

Group B

Subject x Verb

to x Infinitive

1

She happened

to notice it.

2

They seemed

not to notice it.

3

They failed

to hear our call.

4

He appeared

to enjoy the film.

5

I fail

to see any good reason for it.

Group C

Subject x Verb

to x Infinitive

1

How can I get

to know her?

2

How did you come

to know him?

3

Now (that) I come

to think of it, c

4

He come

to see that he was mistaken.

5

He lived

to be ninety.

6

I rejoice

to hear of your success.

Group D

Subject x Verb

to x Infinitive

1

This house is

to let.

2

The worst is still

to come.

3

We are

to start at once.

4

A good result is

not to be expected.

5

They were

to arrive during the morning.

1 Appendix I reproduced upon permission of the compilers and publishers, from the gIdiomatic and Syntactic English Dictionaryh compiled by A. S. Hornby, E. V. Gatenby, and A. H. Wakefield, and published by Kaitakusha, Tokyo, 1942