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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #105721: Infinitive after verbs expressing will power ...
Infinitive after verbs expressing will power ...
It's very tiring and exasperating for teachers to see this structure being always (or at least, very, very frequently ...) 'ill-treated' by students. Learners who haven't yet understood that they shouldn't translate their own language into English, insist on building 'want' with a subordinate introduced by *'that', just as they do in their mother tongues ...
Indeed, even at an advanced level, we can still find * I want that my parents let me go out at night! in students' essays or exams ...and it's a pity !
I promise , the repetition of the structure, learning it really, and a systematic and rehashing training to this unusual construction will help you get rid of this annoying mistake ...
Clearly, the corresponding structures in French and English, (as well as those of many other languages, I've checked ! ) have so little in common that simple reproduction is bound to fail !
1) Let's start from the beginning : If the verb 'want' has 'one only subject' (without the intervention of 'a second person') you already have to remember that 'WANT' is immediately followed by an infinitive.
ex : I want to help you.
ex : My father doesn't want to buy a new car.
ex : Do you want to answer, please?
2) It becomes more 'complicated' still, when another person (a second one) is introduced as a direct 'object', a 'complement' to the verb !
Ex : I want him to do his homework ; My mother doesn't want my father to buy a new car !
The word which is separating the 2 verbs is the subject of the second verb (he - my father) but takes the form of a complement ( 'him' and not 'he'!)
ex : My parents want us to tidy up our room. ('us'and not 'we')
In English, 'the infinitive' MUST BE USED, to the exclusion of all subordinate clauses, after the verbs expressing willpower and a refusal : ( WANT, hate, like, love, prefer, wish ...).
'Getting rid of the bad reflex' of putting a subordinate clause after WANT has proved to be so difficult and demanding, (like giving up an addiction ), that I've prefered to study only the verbs expressing willpower and appreciation here ; the other categories of verbs will be studied in a complementary lesson, once the bases are understood and have become automatic. I think you have 'enough on your plate' just now ! Enjoy !
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