Grammatical Patterns
Structural Patterns of Verbs

The list shown here contains the most common ways that verbs operate in English sentences. Verbs used in each pattern can be seen by clicking on the pattern names.

Grammatical Patterns Glossary
VERB + OBJECT
(He left his umbrella.)
(She's walking the dog.)
VERB + ZERO OBJECT
(He left.)
(She's walking.)
VERB + INFINITIVE
(I want to read.)
(They hope to visit soon.)
VERB + somebody/something + INFINITIVE
(I want him to see a doctor.)
VERB + somebody/something + BARE INFINITIVE
(I made him see a doctor.)
(I saw her leave.)
MODAL AUXILIARY + BARE INFINITIVE
(I can finish it tomorrow.)
(It might rain.)
VERB + GERUND
(He denied going there.)
(She enjoys skiing.)
VERB + POSSESSIVE ADJ + GERUND
(I anticipated their doing that.)
VERB + (that) + CLAUSE
(I agree that it's a problem.)
(I think you're right.)
VERB + somebody + (that) + CLAUSE
(I convinced him that the plan wouldn’t work.)
VERB + (that) + SUBJUNCTIVE CLAUSE
(I advised that he be seen by a doctor.)
(She demanded he be released.)
VERB + WH-word/whether/if + CLAUSE
(I know why she left.)
(I dislike how you always forget my birthday.)
(I like when I have the house to myself.)
VERB + somebody + WH-word/whether/if + CLAUSE
(I asked her why she was leaving.)
VERB + WH-word/whether + INFINITIVE
(I considered what to do.)
VERB + somebody + WH-word/whether + INFINITIVE
(I showed them where to sit.)
VERB + OBJECT + OBJECT
(I showed them the painting.)
(They envied him his success.)
VERB + to somebody/something + OBJECT
(I described to them all the places I visited.)
VERB + for somebody/something + INFINITIVE
(They arranged for us to see the museum first.)
VERB + somebody/something + NOUN/ADJECTIVE
(I consider you a friend.)
(I consider her honest.)
VERB + somebody/something + to be + NOUN/ADJECTIVE
(I thought her to be a friend.)
VERB + somebody/something + PRESENT PARTICIPLE
(I watched them parading down the street.)
VERB + it + when + CLAUSE
(I like it when I have the house to myself.)
it + VERB +somebody + that + CLAUSE
(It annoys me that she never says thank you.)
it + VERB + somebody + when + CLAUSE
(It bothers me when I forget things.)
it + VERB + somebody + INFINITIVE
(It pleases me to announce the winners.)
it + VERB + that + CLAUSE
(It chanced that we were there at the same time.)
it + VERB + as if + CLAUSE
(It looks as if our luck has changed.)
it + VERB + INFINITIVE
(It pays to consider all your options.)
it + VERB + WH-word/whether/if + CLAUSE
(It matters what you think.)
there + VERB + NOUN
(There existed a small village up on the mountain.)
there + VERB + to be/INFINITIVE
(There appears to be a problem.)