Verbs followed by to infinitive

A. As an object (following directly the verb)

Verb Meaning Example
afford (a) have enough money for
(b) do something without damage
Can you afford to buy a new bicycle?
I can't afford to neglect my work.
agree consent
be willing
He agreed to accompany us to the theatre.
aim intend
direct one's efforts toward a purpose
They aim to please their customers.
appear seem; look as if He appears to want to leave.
arrange make plans in advance; make preparations I arranged to meet them at three this afternoon.
be bound (a) be certain; destined; obliged; (b) be determined He is bound to win; he is by far the most talented. He is bound to go, and nothing can stop him.
care like; be willing or desirous {interrog. and neg. only) Would you care to have dinner with me? I don't care to go there.
choose decide; determine; elect If he chooses to resign, let him do so.
claim assert; state as a fact He claimed to be the best tennis player in the school.
consent agree; give permission He consented to let me go.
decide make up one's mind; resolve She decided not to go.
decline say "no" to; refuse politely She declined to discuss her report with the newspapermen.
demand ask for firmly and sharply The policeman demanded to know where he lived.
drive cause or force someone to do something, especially something unpleasant He was driven to steal by hunger.
endeavor make an effort; try You must endeavor to do better.
fail not do; not succeed; omit; neglect She failed to understand its real significance.
have be required or forced to; must [probability] Do you have to go now? He has to be kidding. (AmE)
hope desire and expect We hope to see you soon.
is should; must Is John to remain here, too?
learn gain skill in You must learn to swim.
long want very much; desire earnestly I long to see her again.
offer present for acceptance or refusal The government offered to give us financial help.
ought (a) should; must; (b) be probable that something will happen You ought to obey your parents. Prices ought to come down soon.
plan prepare in advance for something; intend We are planning to visit Europe this summer.
pledge make a solemn promise or agreement He pledged never to come back until he had found her.
pretend act as if something not real is real, or vice versa They pretended not to see us.
proceed begin and continue a course of action As soon as he came in he proceeded to tell us all his troubles.
profess claim I don't profess to be an expert on the subject.
promise (a) agree to do or not do something; (b) give reason to expect I promise not to be late. It promises to be warm this afternoon.
refuse say "no" to; reject She refused to help us.
resolve make up one's mind; decide; determine That night he resolved to leave for London.
seek attempt to do something They sought to change my mind, but I said no.
seem appear to be; give the impression of being or doing The old building was not much better than a shed, and no one else seemed to want it.
strive try hard; work hard; make a great effort He strives to succeed.
swear take an oath The witness must swear to tell the truth.
think intend or plan to do something; imagine or expect They think to influence the voters.
threaten warn that one will do harm, depending on certain conditions He threatened to fire her.
undertake agree; promise; make oneself responsible He undertook to finish the job by Friday.
volunteer offer one's services without being asked He volunteered to get some information.

B. As object complement {following a noun or pronoun object)

Verb Meaning Sentence
believe suppose; regard something as true He believed his friend to have been wronged.
cause lead to; bring about; produce a result The vibration during the operation caused the nuts to loosen.
encourage give hope, courage, or confidence to They encouraged the children to paint pictures.
forbid not allow; prohibit I forbid you to use that word.
force make a resisting person or thing do something They forced us to leave the house.
invite ask politely to come; encourage I invited her to go for a walk. The cool water of the lake invited us to swim.
judge give an opinion about someone or something I judged him to be about 50.
know have information in the mind I have never known her to tell a lie.
persuade cause to do something by reasoning, arguing, begging, etc. We persuaded him to try again.
prompt cause or urge a person to do something What prompted him to be so generous?
remind tell someone to remember to do something; make someone remember to do something Please remind me to write tomorrow. The sight of the clock reminded me to leave at once.
show give evidence of; make clear; cause to be seen; reveal The facts show him to be honest.
suppose believe Most people supposed him to be innocent.
tell warn; advise; command I told you not to print that story, and now look what's happened.
trust believe in the honesty and reliability of You can't trust him to do anything right.
understand accept or interpret in a certain way I understood him to say that he would wait for us.
urge request earnestly; try to persuade The salesman urged me to buy the car.
warn inform in advance of possible danger or consequences We warned them not to go skating on such thin ice.

C. As (1) object {directly following the verb) or (2) object complement (following a noun or pronoun object) These verbs may have different meanings in the two cases.

Verb Meaning Sentence
ask (1) request to be allowed
(2) invite
She is asking to see you.
He asked me to dine with him.
beg (1) take the liberty of saying or doing something
(2) ask earnestly
I beg to point out that your facts are incorrect.
He begged her to remain at home.
dare (1) be brave enough to
(2) challenge
Young people should dare to think, dare to speak, and dare to act.
Tom dared me to jump over the stream.
desire wish or want very much (1) We always desire to live in peace with our neighbours.
(2) I desire you to go at once.
determine (1) form a firm intention in the mind; decide
(2) cause to decide
She determined to go at once.
What determined you to accept the offer?
elect (1) choose; decide
(2) choose someone by voting
He elected to become a doctor.
We elected her to represent us.
expect (1) think or believe that something will happen
(2) require
I expect to succeed. The officer expected his men to fight well in the coming battle.
prepare make or get ready (1) Turning, he prepared to go upstairs.
(2) The nurse is preparing the child to go to (the) hospital.
presume (1) dare to do something which one has no right to do
(2) take something as true without proof; take for granted; suppose
She presumed to tell her employer how the work should be done.
From the way they talked I presumed them to be married.
prove (1) turn out to be
(2) show beyond doubt to be true
It will prove to be false.
I can prove it to be false.
trouble (1) cause oneself inconvenience (often in negative sentences)
(2) ask someone to do something inconvenient
Don't trouble to write when I'm gone.
Can I trouble you to shut the door?