English for B2 Students/Unit 9

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I want to be a scientist[edit]

Aim of this lesson: Identify and use verb patterns. Verb patterns describe the form of verb which follows the first verb. The second verb can be in the infinitive, gerund or bare infinitive (without 'to'). Also you will learn to talk about jobs: job titles and routines.

Speaking about jobs[edit]

Work with a partner, if you can, and ask/answer these questions. If you're on your own you should think about these questions and write your answers instead.

  • Do you work or study?
  • How long have you been working / studying? (note. use the Present Perfect when answering this question)
  • What job did you want to do when you were 10 years old?
  • Are there any jobs you would hate doing? Why? (note. use the 2nd Conditional when answering this question)
  • In your job, what do you enjoy doing?

Grammar - Verb Patterns[edit]

In English when we use two verbs together we have to decide what form the second verb should take. We can choose between infinitive (to eat), gerund (eating) or infinitive without to (eat). The form of the second verb depends on the first verb. This table shows some common verbs and the form that the second verb should take.

Albert Einstein, Vienna, 1921

English for B2 students Grammar • Unit 9
Verb Patterns Flag of the United Kingdom.png

Verb + Infinitive Verb + Gerund Verb + Infinitive (-to)
want like must
decide hate should
would like love can
forget suggest will
choose enjoy may
  • Some verbs like start, begin and prefer can be followed by gerun or infinitive without any change in meaning.
  • Remember if followed by an infinitive suggests something that you shouldn't forget (Please remember to close the window). Remember followed by a gerund is used to talk about a past event that you still remember (I remember closing the window [yesterday]).
  • Don't forget that many of these verbs can usually be followed by a noun instead of a verb.

Examples of Verb Patterns[edit]

  • Roger suggested going to the cinema (suggest + ing)
  • What do you want to eat? (want + infinitive)
  • I'm sorry but I must go now. (must + infinitive without 'to')
  • She hates swimming at 12:00pm ( hate + ing )

Vocabulary - Jobs[edit]

Look at the table below. Do you know the correct definitions for these jobs? Click on the 'show' button on the right for the correct answers.

English for B2 students Vocabulary • Unit 9
Jobs - Rearrange the Definitions Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Job Definition
farmer works with numbers and financial accounts
traffic warden works with animals and plants.
air traffic controller works with people and criminals in court.
plumber works with water and toilets.
lawyer works on the street and looks at parked cars.
accountant works at an airport directing planes
English for B2 students Vocabulary • Unit 9
Jobs - Correct Answers Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Job Definition
farmer works with animals and plants.
traffic warden works on the street and looks at parked cars.
air traffic controller works at an airport directing planes.
plumber works with water and toilets.
lawyer works with people and criminals in court.
accountant works with numbers and financial accounts

Exercises[edit]

Try these questions to see if you know your verb patterns and vocabulary about jobs. The answers can be found here.

Complete the following sentences using the correct modal verb:

  1. When I am older I would like to live / living in the USA.
  2. Have you decided what to buy / buying / buy yet?
  3. It's a secret. You mustn't to tell / telling / tell anybody!
  4. I suggest to go / going / go to the seaside at the weekend.
  5. Please don't forget to close / closing / close the window before you leave.

Grammar Reference[edit]

For further information about verb patterns and the use of infinitive, gerund or bare infinitive see Using Verbs Together.


Graduation hat.svg English for B2 students

AimsUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5Unit 6Test 1

Unit 7Unit 8Unit 9Unit 10Unit 11Unit 12Test 2