Passives: verbs with object + infinitive

February 29, 2012pdf

Verbs with object + infinitive

Many verbs can be followed by object + infinitive.

Study the following sentences.

  • He asked me to call the doctor.
  • I believe him to be honest.
  • She requested me to help her.
  • He told me not to come back.
  • We know him to be a criminal.

In most cases these structures can be made passive.

  • I was asked to call the doctor. (Passive)
  • He is believed to be honest.
  • I was requested to help her.
  • I was told not to come back.
  • He is known to be a criminal.

In active structures, the verbs hear, see, make and help are followed by object + infinitive without to. In passive structures, to-infinitives are used.

  • I heard her sing a song. (NOT I heard her to sing a song.)
  • She was heard to sing a song. (NOT She was heard sing a song.)
  • I saw him get out of the train. (NOT I saw him to get out of the train.)
  • He was seen to get out of the train. (NOT He was seen get out of the train.)
  • They made him drink the milk.
  • He was made to drink the milk.
  • She helped me lift the box.
  • I was helped to lift the box.
  • They made her repeat the whole story.
  • She was made to repeat the whole story.
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