Getting verb patterns right can sometimes be tricky. A verb followed by another verb is a very common feature of English. These combinations of verbs can sometimes cause problems because the form the second verb takes can vary. So, for example, compare these two simple sentences:
- I like getting to work early.
- I want to complete my MBA this month.
The form of the second verb is different in each sentence. In the first, ‘like’ is followed by -ing (getting) and in the second, ‘want’ is followed by the full infinitive (to compete).
In the quick quiz below, you can practise some of these verb patterns, and in the explanations that follow, you can see some of the reasons behind the different form the second verb takes. Lastly, there are some tips for learning more about this important area of English grammar.
Use the quiz to learn both some useful language for talking about jobs and practise making correct verb patterns.
- Complete the descriptions of jobs with the correct infinitive (e.g. ‘do’ or ‘to do’) or gerund (e.g. ‘doing’) forms of the verbs in brackets.
- Make a note of any problem areas you may have so that you can use the information in the explanations to work on them.
Click on ‘Explanations’ and make a note of the collocations (verb + noun combinations) and the verb patterns.
- Collocation: organize events
His main duty is organizing events and conferences.
Verb pattern: Here ‘organising’ is acting as a noun.
- Collocation: answer emails
Their daily tasks involve answering emails.
Verb pattern: The verb ‘involve’ is always followed by the gerund (also known as the ‘-ing’ form).
- Collocation: attend meetings
She has to attend several meetings a day.
Verb pattern: Here the verb ‘has’ expresses obligation and is followed by the full infinitive (i.e. the infinitive including ‘to’).
- Collocation: report to somebody/report something to somebody
I must report all the figures to our boss.
Verb pattern: Here ‘must’ expresses strong obligation and is followed by the bare infinitive (i.e. the infinitive without ‘to’).
- Collocation: meet visitors
Meeting customers is a big part of my job.
Verb pattern: Here the verb ‘meeting customers’ is acting as a noun and is the ‘subject’ of the verb ‘is’.
- Collocation: advise somebody on something
She needs to advise clients on quality standards.
Verb pattern: The verb ‘need’ is always followed by the full infinitive (e.g. ‘to advise’).
- Collocation: produce a budget
He suggested producing a new budget every quarter.
Verb pattern: The verb ‘suggest’ is always followed by the -ing form.
- Collocation: do the accounts = prepare the company figures
He is responsible for doing the company accounts.
Verb pattern: As with all prepositions ‘for’ is followed by the -ing form.
Use these links to learn more about this important area of English grammar.
If you enjoy working offline with a book, Business Grammar Builder provides good explanations, exercises and tests for these and a wide range of other B2 level grammar points. You can view the book on Amazon by clicking on this image below: