What Are Catenative Verbs?
Catenative verbs (also known as chain verbs) link with other verbs and form a chain of two or more verbs.
Catenative is derived from the Latin word 'catena.' It means 'chain.'
What Can Follow a Catenative Verb?
Verbs that can follow a catenative verb are:
Take a look at an example:
Theoretically, a large number of catenative verbs can come in one chain.
Catenative Verb Complement: To-infinitives
Most of the catenative verbs can be followed by a to-infinitive, such as:
Take a look at some examples:
Catenative Verb Complement: Bare Infinitives
I learned that you just have to let
I'm coming to help
He didn't have any money so he just had to make
Catenative Verb Complement: Present Participles
Many catenative verbs can be followed by the present participle, such as:
- look forward to
The bullet went
Catenative Verbs + To-infinitive or Present Participle
Some catenative verbs can be followed by the to-infinitive or the present participle. Sometimes there is a change in meaning, sometimes not.
- Verbs with no significant change in meaning:
- Verbs with significant change in meaning:
- go on
Catenative Verb Complement: Past Participles
One catenative verb can be followed by the past participle:
Every verb following another verb cannot automatically be considered a catenative structure. Let's take a look at the example:
Here, 'to improve' is an infinitive of purpose, rather than a to-infinitive that serves as the complement of a catenative verb.
Complex Catenative Structure
If a catenative verb has an object, usually the object comes between the catenative verb and the second verb. It is still considered to be a catenative structure, for example:
In this sentence, the object 'me' is placed between the catenative verb 'wants' and the to-infinitive verb, 'to try'.
Catenative verbs are verbs that work as a chain. They follow each other to make meaningful sentences. Verbs that can follow a catenative verb in the set of verbs are:
- bare infinitives
- present participles
- past participles
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