Have you ever tried to memorise the following list of verbs to know when you should use TO and when the ending ING?
Honestly, I have never been able to commit the list to memory. And even when I thought that I know the verbs I was not really sure which form follows them. And my students had the same problem.
So I have written a post on verb patterns. But it did not work. The division of the verbs was too complicated.
And when I started to be desperate I read a short comment under a post on verb patterns. There the author described his simple rule which worked in nearly 100% cases.
The rule goes like this: “If the first verb happens before the second verb, use TO. If the second verb happens at the same time or before the first verb use the ending -ING with the second verb. For example: I want to go out. (First I want and then I will go out) She stopped smoking. (First she smoked and then she stopped.) He agreed to do it. (First he agreed and then he did it)”
Simple, isn’t it? However, you have to be careful as the rule does not work for the verbs suggest, pretend and fail.
Below you can see the idea in a mind map and lower you can test it in several games.
Verb patterns – mind map[/su_heading] [su_spacer] The mind map contains a graphical explanation of the rule.
Verb patterns – games[/su_heading] [su_spacer] Well, once you think you understand the rules, it is time to put them into a test. The first game is called penalty and your task is to choose the correct verb and then try to score a goal. GOOD LUCK.
In the second game, you should complete the quiz and if you succeed you can play the game Rock, Paper, Scissors.
My pre-intermediate students are confused by all the different verb patterns. So the last two weeks I spent designing a mind map that would help them. It is in no way a comprehensive description of the grammar, but I feel quite happy about it. Looking for some rules I discovered that the pattern verb + to + verb is much more common than verb + verb-ing.
So my advice to my students is: “If in doubt, use TO + verb.” I hope this mind map will help you understand the verb patterns too.
To practise the verb patterns you can try the following games.
The first game is called Penalty Shootout. Your task is to choose the correct answer and then score a goal. To be able to play the game, you need to download the file and then open it in Acrobat Reader by Adobe.
To practise the verb patterns you can play the following game. Its name is En Garde. Your task is to choose the correct answer and then stop the target as close to the centre as possible. Hopefully, you will be faster and more accurate then your opponent. The game is in Flash and will play only if you download the file and open it in Acrobat Reader by Adobe.
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