Catenative verbs, also known as chain verbs, are followed by other verbs to form a chain of two or more verbs. In this lesson, we will discuss them in detail.
What Are Catenative Verbs?
Catenative verbs (also called chain verbs) link with other verbs and form a chain of two or three 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 a catenative structure. Take a look at the example:
Here, 'to improve' is the infinitive of purpose, not a to-infinitive that is 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:
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