Which verbs are followed by Complex Object?

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Which verbs are followed by Complex Object?

a. Some transitive verbs are followed by the object (a noun or pronoun in the objective case) with an infinitive attached to it:

Peter wanted Christopher (him) to go to the Board Meeting.

He heard the workers declare that it was a sit-in.

The underwriters made a firm of adjusters (them) value the loss.


b. Complex Object with a to-Infinitive is used after verbs expressing permission, request, intention, order, liking or dislikingsuch as: allow, permit, order, command, compel, force, cause, induce, persuade, request, get, mean, intend, recommend, beg, promise, want, wish, desire, like, hate, etc.

Can you persuade the driver (him) to give us a lift?

They got her to sign the consent form.

Also after verbs of mental perception, such as: expect, know, believe, acknowledge, understand, admit, assume, deny, prove, etc.

We expect the employers (them) to obey the law.

c. Complex Object with a bare Infinitive is used after verbs expressing perception or observation (hear, see, feel, notice, observe, watch).

They watched the Chairman (him) sign the document.

They are followed by a to-infinitive in the passive:

The hi-jackers were seento unload the cargo.

d. Complex Object with a bare Infinitive is used after verbs make, let and have (=make):

She made them sendmoney back to relatives.

Let’s rent space in the cargo compartment of a ship!

They had her signthe consent form.

Let’s purchaseinsurance, shall we?

The negative is:

Let’s not insure our cargo.Or:Don’t let’s(insure our cargo).

They won’t let us sellthe shares.

Make is followed by a to-infinitive in the passive:

Theywere madeto sendmoney back to relatives.

Let is not used in the passive; the forms to be allowed (to be permitted) are used instead.

Wewere allowedto makethe claim.

e. We may use a bare infinitive or a to-infinitive after help and know. The use of a to-infinitive is more formal:

Our partner helped us (to) transportthe goods.

Everyone in the company helped (to) buildan extension.

We do not usually omit to after not.

How can I help Mr. Grant not to worryabout the walk-out?

We use to in the passive:

He was knownto be released/to have been releasedby the gang.

f. When the verbs hear (=to learn), see (=to understand), feel (=believe , experience) express mental perception they cannot be followed by Complex Object, but require an object clause:

I hear (that) you have hadsuccessful talks.

Exercise 2

A. Complete these sentences so that they refer to other people.

Model: I don’t want to speak to the manager. I want Tom to speak to him.


1. He doesn’t expect to explain the role of the City in the economy of southern England. He expects the specialist ____________ .

2. I don’t want to evaluate the contribution of the British financial institutions. I’d like an expert _________ it.

3. You won’t listen to me. How many times do I have to ask you ____?

4. She doesn’t want anyone to know about clouds loom on the horizon. She’d hate anybody _______ .

5. I can’t draw up a special contract myself. I need a lawyer ________ .

6. We can’t provide funds to support this unexpected proposal. Perhaps our partners can help us ____________________ .

B. Rewrite these sentences to begin with the words in italics.


Model: He’d like to remit some money to his “old country”.

He can’t afford it.

He can’t afford to remit some money.


1. The British government must review and carry forward its public expenditure plans in the Public Expenditure Survey. It intends. _______________________

2. He’ll send figures for different spending authorities and for economic categories. He’s offering. _________________.

3. He wants to analyze spendings. He’s just applied. ________________________.

4. The survey? I refuse. ______________________________

5. The exporter didn’t sell directly to a firm in his own country. He failed. _______________________________ .

6. Can you inspect the government expenditures next month? Can you manage _______________________________?

7. The Secretary of State is responsible whether spending is carried out by Central government, local authorities or public corporations.. It offers ______________.

8. He would suffer a complete loss. He couldn’t afford it. ____________ .


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