OF ENABLING AND OBLIGATION IN ENGLISH
Verbs of enablement and obligation, or
often cause problems for students.
In English, they have some rather peculiar structures that may not
to structures in your own language. Here are the basic rules, to help
master these important verbs.
authorise, instruct, invite, leave, oblige, permit,
require, tell, want, etc.:
After these verbs, the second verb is in the infinitive with
N.B. With all these verbs, the subordinate clause must be introduced
by a subject, which is also the object of the main
leave the room.
The man instructed me to
I want you to
know I love you.
for example, we cannot say:
man permitted to
open the doors
All the verbs listed can be easily used in the passive except want.
I told not to do
singer was told
to come down.
He was invited to give
She was forbidden to
I was required to fill
in a form.
They were asked to sit
These verbs are followed by “from”
and an -ing structure.
The word “from” is essential with hinder,
optional with stop
us from starting
is not usually used in the
passive, but hinder
easily accept passive structures:
(from) falling in the hole.
hooligans were prevented
from making trouble.
by the bad weather.
The verb forbid
is followed by a full infinitive with to, just like verbs
of obligation above.
going to forbid
the children to stay out after 9 o'clock.
3. Causative verbs - verbs
With these 3 verbs, the
second verb form is the infinitive without to.
Of these three verbs, only one can be used in the passive, make
He made me sit
you what he saw!
I was made to take
off my skates.
Don’t confuse let
and leave: when followed by an object
and a subsidiary clause, leave means abandon,
get on with his work. (i.e. we went away)
does not mean the
him get on with
his work (i.e. we allowed him to....)
With this verb, the
second verb form is the full infinitive with to.
the people to
read the instructions very carefully.
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