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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:

(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:

Options for complex catenative construction are shown in the table below:

complex construction catenative verb ←object
2nd verb
verb object infinitive bare Let her go
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

bare infinitive
feel, have, hear, help, let, make, notice, observe, see, smell, watch

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

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

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

Theoretically, there is no limit to the number of catenative verbs in the same chain. Look at these examples:
  • They caught the guard letting his friends eat the leftovers
  • They heard him claiming to have landed on the moon