Many non-auxiliary verbs can be followed by infinitives.
- It is going to rain.
- I don’t want to see him again.
- I expect to start in the evening.
- Your hair needs to be cut.
- The roof needs to be repaired.
Common verbs that can be followed by infinitives are:
Afford, agree, appear, arrange, ask, attempt, beg, begin, care, choose, consent, continue, dare, decide, expect, fail, forget, happen, hate, help, hesitate, hope, intend, learn, like, love, manage, mean, neglect, offer, prefer, prepare, pretend, promise, propose, refuse, regret, remember, seem, start, trouble, try, want, wish.
Some of these verbs can be followed by object + infinitive.
- I want him to study medicine.
- I expect them to reach in time.
- He asked me to leave.
Some of these verbs can also be followed by –ing forms. Compare:
- She loves knitting sweaters.
- She loves to knit sweaters.
Sometimes there is a difference of meaning.
- She loves singing. (A general statement about her likes.)
- She loves to sing this song with me. (A more definite statement about a particular occasion)
- You must remember writing to her six months ago. (Here the gerund refers to an action that happened in the past.)
- You must remember to write to her tomorrow. (Here the infinitive refers to an action that is going to take place in the future.)