Complex Catenative Construction
When a catenative verb has an object, the object usually comes between the catenative verb and second verb, creating a more complex construction, like this:
- I want him to study harder.
(Because this destroys the "verb chain", some linguists do not consider this construction to be catenative. We include it here because many linguists DO consider it to be catenative.)
The verb following a [catenative verb + object] can be in one of the following forms:
- infinitive (eat, to eat)
- -ing (eating)
- past participle (eaten)
Options for complex catenative construction are shown in the table below:
|complex construction||catenative verb||←object
|to||I want||him||to play|
|-ing||He hates||his wife||drinking|
|past participle||We had||Ati||nominated|
Notice that the object of the catenative verb effectively functions as the subject of the second verb.
verb + object + infinitive
feel, have, hear, help, let, make, notice, observe, see, smell, watch
- We heard you say [that] you loved her
- Will you help me wash the car?
- We didn't watch the sun set
allow, ask, assist, beg, bother, bribe, can bear, cause, challenge, charge, choose, command, compel, condemn, count on, dare, defy, depend on, direct, drive, empower, enable, encourage, entitle, expect, force, get, hate, help, impel, implore, incite, instruct, intend, invite, lead, leave, like, love, mean, need, oblige, order, persuade, prefer, press, rely on, remind, request, require, sentence, teach, tell, trouble, trust, urge, want, warn, wish [mostly with second verb to be]: assume, believe, consider, declare, discover, fancy, feel, find, imagine, judge, know, observe, presume, prove, report, represent, reveal, see, sow, suppose, think, understand
- Do they allow us to wear shoes? / [passive] Are we allowed to wear shoes?
- They told Sue to leave / [passive] Sue was told to leave
- We believed him to be honest
verb + object + -ing
(dis)approve of, advocate, anticipate, appreciate, be/get used to, begrudge, can help, can stand, catch, consider, contemplate, count on, depend on, detest, discover, dislike, enjoy, (it) entail, excuse, (can) face, fancy, favour, feel, find, forgive, hate, hear, imagine, insist on, involve, justify, keep, leave, like, look forward to, love, mention, mind, necessitate, need, notice, object to, observe, pardon, perceive, picture, prevent, rely on, report, resent, resign oneself to, resist, represent, reveal, risk, save, see, send, set, show, smell, stop, suggest, tolerate, watch
- We caught him stealing money / [passive] He was caught stealing money
- They found Bob lying on the floor / [passive] Bob was found lying on the floor
- He heard a bird singing
verb + object + past participle
discover, fancy, feel, find, get, hate, have, hear, imagine, keep, leave, like, love, make, need, picture, prefer, report, see, show, want
- They discovered the ship deserted
- He got the car fixed
- Did you hear my name called?
- They caught the guard letting his friends eat the leftovers
- They heard him claiming to have landed on the moon
- English Catenative Verbs (Wiktionary)
- Rodney Huddleston, Geoffrey K Pullum, A Student's Introduction to English Grammar (Cambridge University Press, 2005)
- Bas Aarts, Sylvia Chalker, Edmund Weiner, The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar (Oxford University Press, 2014)