Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. My name is Alisha. In this lesson, I'm going to talk about catenative verbs. Let's get started.
First, let's begin. What is a catenative verb? There are two points I want to introduce first. First, a catenative verb is a verb that can chain to other verbs. We can connect a second verb to this first catenary verb. When we use catenative verbs, the verb after the catenative verb can take two forms. First, it can take the infinitive form. That means "to," plus the verb. Or it can take the infinitive form without "to." I'll show you some examples later. The second form it can take is the gerund form. That's the "-ing" ending form of the verb. We use catenative native verb plus infinitive, or catenative verb plus gerund when we make these sentences. It's like the verb that we begin with, and then our chaining verbs come after that. The first verb is the catenative verb.
Let's take a look at some example sentences then. First one, "She should stop smoking." Here, my catenative verb is in red. "Stop" is my catenative verb. It connects to "smoking." "Smoking" ends in the "-ing" form here, "smoking." This is the connecting verb. We start here. We connect it here with this "-ing" form. Another example with the "-ing" form, the gerund form, "Please start writing." "Start" is my catenative verb. It chains to the next thing. "Writing" is the second verb, the verb we used to follow it. This is in the "-ing" form.
Let's look at two more examples that use the infinitive form. Here, "We want to build a house." Here's my catenative verb, the first verb here. Then I follow it with "to build." To and build together here, this is the infinitive form. I need to use "to" here. "We want to build a house." Second, "He needs to buy a suit." My catenative verb is "need." I've got this "s" here. I need to conjugate the verb because my subject is he. "He needs to buy a suit." Depending on the sentence, we need to choose the infinitive form or the gerund form. I marked this example though with this mark because this is an example of some situations where using the gerund form or the infinitive form can actually change the meaning of the sentence.
If, for example, I said, "She should stop to smoke," it means she should stop her activities to smoke, like to smoke a cigarette. This sentence means she should stop smoking. That means that she should stop the activity of smoking in her life altogether. Be aware that there are some cases where gerund and infinitive have different meanings. There aren't so many, but there are some. Try to keep this in mind, and this is something that you need to remember as you read and as you listen, based on context really.
Okay. Now, I want to continue to a more in-depth topic, a little bit deeper into this subject. Complex catenative. Complex catenative verbs, these are catenative verbs that take an object. I have some example sentences here. Again, the catenative verb is in red, and the object is in blue. Here, "Will you help me clean the room?" My catenative verb here is "help." My object is "me." And then my linking verb is "clean." "Clean" here, you'll notice there's no "to." This is an example, like I mentioned here, where sometimes we don't use "to" before the infinitive. We don't use it in this case. It's just a plain infinitive. "Will you help me clean the room?" Here's my catenative. I chained it to "clean" with an object. This is a complex catenative.
Another example. "They asked us to move our bags." Here is my verb, my catenative verb, "asked," past tense in this case. My object, "us." We were the receiving party. "They asked us to move our bags." Here, I have the infinitive form again "to move." In this case, I have the "to" included here. Okay. Some more examples. "She wants them to take photos." Here's my catenative verb, "want." In this case, "wants" because my subject is she. And my object, "them." "To take," again, I have the infinitive form here. "She wants them to take photos." Finally, "He took me to apply for a loan." Again, my catenative verb, "took," past tense, object, "me," and I have the infinitive form again, "to apply for a loan."
You will see these different types of catenative verb-related structures. Complex catenative refers to these patterns that have objects. When do we use this kind of thing? We use it actually a lot in speech, especially when we're just talking casually like about things we need to do. We can make long sentences by chaining verbs together in this way. Here's a quick example. "We went to get a rental car to help our friends move to a new apartment." This maybe is a little bit awkward, but it's something that a native speaker might say. We just say everything really quickly. But let's break this sentence down. "We went," here's my past tense, "We went to get." Here's a catenative verb right here. "We went to get a rental car." My linking verb here is in the infinitive form, "to help." Here's another catenative verb. In this case, it's complex. "To help our friends." Who did we help we? "We helped our friends move." Here's my linking verb, "Move to a new apartment."
We can chain a lot of ideas together with something like this. Native speakers as well, when we're speaking quickly, maybe we don't make perfect sentences or we don't make complete sentences, but we use this kind of speaking, we use this kind of verb linking to make longer ideas and longer sentences. I hope that this helps you as you think about how to put verbs together. If you want some more information on catenative verbs, I would recommend checking, just doing a Google search to see some lists and some more example sentences of catenative verbs, because there are quite a few, but we just put them together depending on the situation, depending on what we want to communicate as with any other grammar point.
I hope that you get some practice with this and pay attention to this when you're reading to see common types of pairings that use this kind of grammar. I hope that this was helpful for you. Of course if you have any questions or comments, or if you want to practice making example sentences with catenative verbs, please feel free to do so in the comments section of this video. Thanks very much for watching this lesson and I will see you again soon. Bye!

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