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Verb Patterns


Here are some verb patterns. Each pattern is arbitrarily numbered. These patterns apply when two verbs are next to each other in a sentence (v1 + v2). When I use the term “sentence” I mean statements, requests and questions. In some of these patterns there is only v1 not a v1 + v2 pattern.

Pattern 1

This is the most commonly occurring pattern.

Jazmin and Lalo wanted to dance.

v1 = wanted (any tense; affirmative or negative)

v2 = to dance (infinitive)

Pattern 2

Jorge isn’t working.

v1 = isn’t (any tense of “to be”; affirmative or negative)

v2 = present participle

Pattern 3

v1 = (any tense of “to have”; affirmative or negative)

v2 = been (always “been”)

v3 = present participle


He hasn’t been working since the third week of December.


Pattern 4

v1 = If v1 is one of these: avoid, deny, detest, enjoy, hate, like, love, mind, miss, understand. remember, thank you for, sorry for, stop, start, finish, end, to be dissuaded from

v2 = present participle

I hate the smell of cigarettes and marijuana

i.e. I hate smelling cigarettes and marijuana.

Pattern 5

v1 = promise, remind, show, tell, warn (any tense. affirmative or negative)

v1 + SOMEBODY THAT * independent clause.

I promised my children that we would take a trip together.

I didn’t tell my mother that a crazy man threatened me and rammed his car into mine.

Pattern 6

v1 + SOMEBODY + v2

v1 = advise, ask. allow, force, invite, persuade, remind, tell. warn (any tense: affirmative or negative)

v2 = an infinitive


I advise you to get the nicest place that you can afford.



Pattern 7

v1 + (that) + independent clause

v1 = believe, explain, feel, know, realize, see, show, say, sugges,, think


I think that Edwin's faith cannot be extinguished.



NOTE: an infinitive may be affirmative or negative. For example: to be vs not to be; to run vs not to run


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