Did you know that Like, Want, Need have their own rules in English?
Like many verbs in English, Like, Want, and Need have to follow certain rules when being used with a verb. Here is a simple way to remember them:
Noun Full Infinitive Verb-ing
- Like X X X
- Want X X
- Need X X
Following the chart, possible combinations with LIKE:
Like + Noun
- I like pizza
- She likes dogs
- We liked the house a lot.
Like + Full Infinitive (to+verb)
- I like to eat pizza.
- She likes to wash the dogs.
- He liked to cook for me.
Like + Verb-ing
- I like eating pizza.
- She likes washing the dogs.
- He liked cooking for me.
~ Note: Many confuse the “verb-ing” with the Progressive Tense – this is a common mistake with Spanish and Portuguese speakers. Progressive Tense requires the verb “To Be” in order for it to have the Progressive meaning. (subject + to be + verb-ing)
I am eating pizza (at this moment, currently, temporary action)
DOES NOT MEAN THE SAME AS: I like eating pizza (I like to eat pizza.)
Possible combinations with Want:
Want + Noun
- I want a pet reptile for my birthday.
- She wants ice cream
- They wanted pizza instead of sushi.
Want + Full Infinitive (to+verb)
- I want to have a reptile pet.
- She wants to eat ice cream.
- They wanted to buy pizza instead of sushi.
If you say:
I want to eating ice cream – This is INCORRECT. Want + Verb-ing is Incorrect. In order to use Want with a Verb, the Verbs HAS TO BE in Full Infinitive FORM. ALWAYS.
Possible combinations with Need:
Need + Noun
- I need a cup of coffee every morning
- He needs a new notebook for school
- They needed blankets for the cold.
Need + Full Infinitive (to+verb)
- I need to have a cup of coffee every morning.
- He needs to buy a new notebook for school.
- They needed to use blankets for the cold.
The rule is the same for Need.
If you say:
I need to having a cup of coffee every morning – This is INCORRECT. Need + Verb-ing is Incorrect. In order to use Want with a Verb, the Verbs HAS TO BE in Full Infinitive FORM. ALWAYS.
~ Practice writing sentence using the chart. I promise it will make using these verbs a lot easier. Thanks for reading! If you would like to see more posts about verbs that follow gerunds and infinitives, let me know in the comments.