Verbs Taking “to+v” or “v+ing” as Their Complements: A Cognitive Grammar Account

Deliang Wang


This paper intends to explain why some verbs take “to+v” as their complements while others take “v+ing” within the framework of Cognitive Grammar developed by Ronald Langacker. It is proposed that infinitives and present participles are perceived in different ways. They both lie on a continuum marked by a noun and a verb at two ends which can follow a matrix verb. However, the infinitive is more like a verb which profiles a process happening in the future, while the present participle is more like a noun which profiles a thing popping up as an immediate scope during the process of the matrix verb. Finally, two criteria are put forward to explain the reasons why verbs take “to +v” or “v+ing” as their complements. And more specific classifications and explanations about this construction are provided.  

Full Text:



Copyright (c)

International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email:

Copyright © Macrothink Institute ISSN 1948-5425

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.