Two Verbs Together
1. Putting two verbs side by side
Sometimes you need to put two verbs next to each other.
This is most common when the first verb is ‘like’, ‘have’, ‘need’, ‘want’, or ‘start’ (or similar verbs, such as ‘love’, ‘hate’, ‘begin’, etc.).
|verb 1||verb 2||example sentence|
|like||dance||I like dancing.|
|have||go||We have to go to the meeting.|
|need||clean||The table needs cleaning.|
|want||swim||She wants to swim.|
Putting verbs next to each other can happen in two different ways:
- (verb 1) + to (verb 2)
- (verb 1) + (verb 2) ing
2. (Verb 1) + to (verb 2)
The most common way to put verbs next to each other is:
- (verb 1) + to (verb 2)
This simply means that the second verb is in the infinitive form (i.e. uses ‘to’).
3. Examples of (verb 1) + infinitive
|I like to go swimming.||Julius and I prefer to watch the football at the pub.|
|She doesn’t want to go to school tomorrow.||You have to do your homework before 9 o’clock.|
|Lex and Tim need to find Dr. Grant.||The boys need to pay their tuition.|
4. (Verb 1) + (verb 2) ing
After some verbs, the second verb can use …ing.
In this case, the verb is acting like a noun.
This type of noun-style verb is called a gerund.
5. Examples of (verb 1) + gerund
|I like dancing.||We started walking at 6am.|
|You should stop smoking.||The staff will finish working late tonight.|
|They hate playing computer games.||Denise prefers reading to watching TV.|
6. When to use infinitives and when to use gerunds
Some verb 1s can be followed by infinitives or gerunds:
|love||I love to sing.||I love singing.|
|like||She likes to eat.||She likes eating.|
|hate||They hate to speak on the phone.||They hate speaking on the phone.|
|prefer||We prefer to win rather than to lose.||We prefer winning rather than losing.|
|start||You started to snore.||You started snoring.|
|continue||Please continue to talk.||Please continue talking.|
Some verbs can only be followed by gerunds.
|enjoy||I enjoy playing basketball.|
|detest||She detests sitting in coffee shops.|
|consider||We considered going to the zoo.|
|avoid||Why are you avoiding having a shower?|
|finish||What time will you finish jogging?|
|suggest||Annie suggests listening to your father.|
|put off||She put off revising until the night before the exam.|
|practice||I practice playing the violin every evening.|
|mind||I don’t mind waiting for you.|
|miss||Henry misses having a swimming pool.|
|feel like||I feel like getting drunk.|
|forgive||We forgave you crashing the car, but this is too much.|
Other verbs generally use the infinitive, including the common verbs want, need, and have.
|want||I want to sleep now.|
|need||You need to stop listening to her.|
|have||They have to buy a new TV.|