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Thread: catenatives verbs

  1. #1
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    catenatives verbs

    Hi there.
    Could anyone explain me please how do I use catenative verbs?
    I mean when should I use an infinitive and when a gerund? Is there some rule or do I just need to learn by rote which catenative verbs are usially followed by an infinitive, which ones are followed by a gerund, etc. ?

    Thanks. =)
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    Re: catenatives verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by blacky
    Hi there.
    Could anyone explain me please how do I use catenative verbs?
    I mean when should I use an infinitive and when a gerund? Is there some rule or do I just need to learn by rote which catenative verbs are usially followed by an infinitive, which ones are followed by a gerund, etc. ?

    Thanks. =)
    I am sorry I can't give you a comprehensive answer, but here are some suggestions:

    If a verb can take both a gerund and an infinitive as its object, there is often a difference in meaning:
    "Try to open the window" usually means "Try and see if you can open it or not"
    "Try opening the window" usually means "Open the window and see if opening it helps" (for example, if the room is stuffy).

    In some cases, both forms are almost or completely identical in meaning, e.g. "I like <doing something>" and "I like <to do something>"

    There are some verbs that can be followed only by a gerund or an infinitive. For example, you can say "I wanted to avoid going there", but not "I wanted to avoid to go there."

    However, I don't think there is a rule explaining how to find out if a specific verb can take both of those forms, or only one of them, or neither.

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    Re: catenatives verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by translationsnmru
    I am sorry I can't give you a comprehensive answer, but here are some suggestions:

    If a verb can take both a gerund and an infinitive as its object, there is often a difference in meaning:
    "Try to open the window" usually means "Try and see if you can open it or not"
    "Try opening the window" usually means "Open the window and see if opening it helps" (for example, if the room is stuffy).

    In some cases, both forms are almost or completely identical in meaning, e.g. "I like <doing something>" and "I like <to do something>"

    There are some verbs that can be followed only by a gerund or an infinitive. For example, you can say "I wanted to avoid going there", but not "I wanted to avoid to go there."

    However, I don't think there is a rule explaining how to find out if a specific verb can take both of those forms, or only one of them, or neither.
    Thanks, I guess I got it.
    So do I just need to remember which verbs may take infinitives as its object and other ones I can use with gerunds as its object?
    How did you learn?
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    Re: catenatives verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by blacky
    So do I just need to remember which verbs may take infinitives as its object and other ones I can use with gerunds as its object?
    Not quite that simple . Some verbs cannot be used as catenative verbs at all, and some other ones can take both gerunds and infinitives as their objects. So, I guess, you basically have to memorize how each verb is used.

    Quote Originally Posted by blacky
    How did you learn?
    I am not saying that this is the best way, but here is how I was doing it:
    1) Reading a lot of in English. And I mean a lot. When you keep seeing certain speech pattern over and over again, you start picking them up naturally.
    2) Watching films and TV shows in English. In the present-day world, it may be a better way to learn a language naturally than reading. However, when I started learning English, a VCR was a rare thing in the Soviet Union, and the Internet was a thing of a rather distant future. So I was stuck with just reading.
    Of course, both of the above methods require that you have a workable knowledge of grammar and a decent vocabulary.
    3) Whenever I look up a new word in a dictionary, I always pay attention to additional information, such as examples illustrating its use and any grammatical info. Very often, I also make up a few sentences of my own following the examples found in the dictionary entry.
    4) All those grammar exercises I did when studying English also count for something. You know, those which ask you to fill in the blanks in sentences, etc. You have to use correct forms, and if you are not sure, you look the answer up, so when you meet the same word again, you will probably know how to use it. The trick is to do A LOT of such exercises, if you have the patience for it

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    Re: catenatives verbs

    Here's a good article on this subject:

    http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix: ... tive_verbs

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