Where can I find a list of verbs like 'to want', which must be followed by an infinitive (other verbs by a gerund), but cannot be followed by a that-clause? I got from your website that there are Exceptional Case Marking verbs and Object (can't remember what…) verbs. Are there others? They are of importance to learners of English, as, in French, for instance, you must say 'I want that he does sth' and you cannot say 'I want him to do'. Thank you

  • This is an instance where a native English speaker, like me, is probably of less help than a person who has learned English as a second language. Problem when you are native is that you know exactly what you can and can't say but often not the reason why or why not! – WS2 Nov 27 '13 at 9:25
  • You can start here, but for the different grammatical structures involved, you may want to look up 'ECM', raising and control verbs here on this site and elsewhere. Though not all treatments seem to agree amongst themselves. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 27 '13 at 9:41
  • Especially so (native English speakers not always being too good at grammar) since English adjectives and past participles do not agree with the noun and the subject or object of the verb, respectively, which means you can get away with not having analysed the sentence grammatically! – user58319 Dec 3 '13 at 13:10
  • The other side of that is that English adjectives and past participles do agree with their respective counterparts, because English hardly inflects verbs and doesn't inflect very much else. Everything agrees with [nearly] everything. – Andrew Leach Dec 3 '13 at 13:25
  • Two reds* houses?! "Commies" in there? – user58319 Dec 3 '13 at 13:29

It was a little bit of a challenge trying to deduce what you are asking for. I found a couple sites, which seemed to be of a bit of help. You're probably not going to find an all-inclusive list. I did find a lot of sites by simply searching on Google for "Verbs that must be followed by an infinitive."

Verbs that can be followed by an object and infinitive
Another site.

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  • 1
    Verbs which can be followed by an infinitive and verbs which must be followed by an infinitive are not the same thing. It is a list of the latter ones I am after: verbs which cannot be followed by a conjugated subordinate clause. – user58319 Dec 10 '13 at 13:02
  • I am looking some more. This might help some, but the word "that" is frequently removed from such clauses, removing much of the difference between them. For example, the next sentence is correct with or without the word "that." He decided [that] he would go to school. I recently edited a novel where I removed hundreds of instances of the word "that." – The Eternal Scribe Dec 10 '13 at 18:05

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