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Concourse 2

Catenative verbs

chain

The verb catenate (which has its origins in the Latin catena, a chain) may be defined as join together in a series.
You may be familiar with the term catenation as it is used in the analysis of connected speech where it refers to how sounds are linked.  That is not the concern here but the concepts are analogous.

There is a range of verbs in English which can be followed by a non-finite form in a chain of meanings.
That non-finite may be the to-infinitive or a gerund, the -ing form.  A few verbs also catenate with the bare infinitive.
Here's an example of a catenated structure:
    I agreed to try making more effort
in which the main, finite verb is agree and its complement consists of a clause with two non-finite verb forms: to try, making.
How verbs catenate and the associated grammar are a source of considerable error for learners of English for two reasons:

  1. It is not easy to predict which non-finite structures will follow a verb.
  2. Other languages do things differently and not all have anything similar to the English non-finite forms.  Even those that do will not usually have a choice of forms to pick from.

(If you are wondering, the verb is pronounced /ˈkæ.tɪ.neɪt/, the adjective is /ˈkæ.ˌtɪ.nət.ɪv/ or /kəˈti:.nə.tɪv/ (your choice) and the noun is pronounced /ˌkæ.tɪ.ˈneɪ.ʃən/.)

This area is closely connected to the concept of colligation.  Verbs which catenate in the same way such as, for example:
    She determined to work hard
    They chose to work hard
    We decided to work hard

are said to form colligates insofar as they are primed (Hoey 2003) to take on certain syntactical structures, in this case the to-infinitive.
The whole of what follows is an effort to identify colligates: words which function syntactically in the same ways.


not

What catenative verbs are not

Unfortunately, there is a good deal of confusion concerning what qualifies as a catenative structure.  There are websites, unnamed here, the authors of which assume that any clause which contains more than one verb is an example of catenation.  That's unhelpful because it is careless, sloppy and vague and leads to poor classroom focus.

Before we consider what sorts of structures are involved, we need to make clear what are not, sensu stricto, catenative verbs.

None of the following is an example of catenative verb use for the reasons given:

Another issue is that modal auxiliary verbs, which are often followed by the bare infinitive non-finite form or even the to-infinitive are not usually considered examples of catenation.  So, for example:
    I must go now
    She should arrive soon

    I have to start somewhere
etc. are not considered here.
However, there is a grey area when we come to consider semi-modal auxiliary verbs such as dare, need and used.
When these verbs are used as full modal auxiliaries as in, for example:
    I dared not ask again
    I need not tell you
    Used he to work here?

they are not considered examples of catenation but when they are used as full lexical verbs in, for example:
    I didn't dare to ask
    I don't need to do that
    Did he used to work here?

they may be considered examples of catenation but will not be included here as the marginal modal auxiliary verbs are dealt with elsewhere on this site (linked below in the list of related guides at the end).

Finally, we need to consider prepositional verbs and phrasal prepositional verbs, some of which catenate as in, for example:
    She went on talking
    I put off meeting him
    Her time was taken up with caring for her children

All these are examples of catenating multi-word verbs but, because adverb particles and prepositions are always following by the -ing form, they will not intrude on the following analysis.


6

Six issues

The problem facing learners (and teachers who are concerned not to confuse learners) is that there are six possibilities to consider in terms of what verb form may follow the main verb in a clause.  Here they are with examples of each and each will be considered in a section in this guide.

  1. Verbs followed by the non-finite to-infinitive.  For example:
        She hoped to help
  2. Verbs followed by the non-finite -ing form (also called a gerund).  For example:
        She avoided meeting me
  3. Verbs followed by to plus the -ing form.  For example:
        They looked forward to staying at the house
  4. Verbs followed by the bare infinitive.  For example:
        She helped make the proposal
  5. Verbs followed by the to-infinitive or the -ing form with no change in meaning.  For example:
        They started to work
        They started working
  6. Verbs followed by the to-infinitive or the -ing form with a change in meaning.  For example:
        I regret to say that he can't be here
        I regret saying that he can't be here

Nearly all verbs which naturally catenate fall into one of the first two categories so they are the ones which should receive the most focus, especially at early stages of learning.
We can include the verbs in point 5. at any stage because it really doesn't matter which form the learner selects.

The following contains some long lists.  If you want them as a PDF document, there is a link at the end.


2

Do we call it a gerund or an -ing form?

A difficulty we shall encounter here is the function of the verb.  In some analyses, people prefer to use the term -ing form to describe the catenating verb in many of the examples below.  In others, the term gerund is freely used.
Technically, a gerund may be defined as a verb form which functions as a noun, but that is slightly misleading because there is a cline between the use of a word as a verb and its use as a noun derived from the verb so, for example:
    He is flying to Scotland tomorrow
is clearly the use of flying as a verb.
and in:
    Is flying cheaper?
the use of flying is much more like a noun because it can be modified by the adjective cheaper.  It cannot, however, be preceded by an adjective or made plural as most nouns can.  It is also rare to see it modified by a determiner so both:
    the flying
and
    the excellent flying
are vanishingly rare and
    *her flyings
is plain wrong.
However, in:
    The beautiful furnishings in the house
the word furnishings is clearly a noun because it is modified by the definite article and the adjective beautiful as well as being made plural in the normal way.  It is, nevertheless, also derived by adding the suffix -ing to the verb furnish.
Almost any verb can be used with the -ing form in some way.  The question is to see whether the word is acting more as a verb or more as a noun.  It is not always an easy choice.

This issue will soon become apparent when we consider the difference between, for example:
    I was not permitted to smoke in the room by the hotel
and
    The hotel did not permit smoking in the room
In the first case, we have a catenative structure with permit followed by the infinitive with to and that is analogous to, for example:
    The hotel did not permit me to smoke in the room
In the second case, the form is analogous to:
    The hotel did not permit pets in the room
and that is evidence that we are dealing with a verb, permit, and its direct-object noun, pets.  If pets is clearly a noun then, by analogy, we should also consider smoking a noun in the same environment.  But pets is a plural and there is no plural of smoking.

Another noun-like quality of -ing forms is their ability to act as classifiers, a grammatical role usually considered the domain of nouns.  For example, just as we can have
    a pet passport
we can also have
    a flying lesson
    a smoking area
    furnishing department
and so on.

The upshot of all this is that it is not always enough simply to state that such and such a verb is followed by the gerund or an infinitive.  We have to make a decision about whether the -ing form is really a verb or actually a noun derived from a verb acting as the subject or object of another verb.
One more example will help to show the difference.  In:
    I hope to fly early tomorrow
we have a case of verb catenation with the verbs hope and fly linked together.  So, therefore:
    *I hope flying early tomorrow
is malformed and unacceptable.
However, in:
    I hope flying will not be too expensive
we have a gerund form of the verb acting as part of the object of the verb hope and that is not a case of catenation.

For this reason, we distinguish below between a noun formed from a verb and a verb with the -ing ending.  The term gerund will be confined to those examples in which the insertion of a noun is possible without a change in meaning of the verb so, for example:
    I hate swimming
and
    Swimming is enjoyable
both contain gerunds and can be replaced with other nouns not derived from verbs so we can also have:
    I hate fish
and
    Fish tastes awful
by analogy.
In other cases, the use of the term -ing form will usually be preferred.


agree

Verbs followed by the to-infinitive

agree to cooperate  

In nearly all cases, the use of the to-infinitive signals that the event represented by the main verb takes place before that represented by the following verb(s).  In other words, the use is prospective rather than retrospective.  This is not an absolute rule but is certainly the way to bet.
For example, if one says:
    I agreed to come
then the agreeing clearly precedes the coming.
This rule of thumb applies even when the following action is unfulfilled as in, e.g.:
    I declined to go with them
because even here, the declining precedes the not going.

problem

Difficulties with the to-infinitive

stop to check the map  

There are two issues to consider:

  1. The first issue with the use of a to-infinitive after a verb is distinguishing it from the so-called infinitive of purpose, i.e., the to which forms part of a prepositional phrase linking a verb to a non-finite phrase and signifying cause or purpose.  The analysis in the guide generally avoids the use of the term infinitive of purpose because it is slightly misleading.
    Essentially, the use of to is sometimes simply a shorthand for in order to, for example in
        I came to help
        He stopped to think
        She interrupted to ask a question

    all the instances of to can be replaced by another causal marker so we allow:
        She came so that she could help
        He stopped because he wanted to think
        She interrupted in order to ask a question

    so these are not, in this analysis, examples of catenation proper.
    However, in:
        I expected to be asked
        She thought to congratulate her
        They hoped to win

    we do have real catenation because in none of these cases is it possible to replace the to with the alternatives suggested above.
    We cannot have
        *I expected so that I would be asked
        *She thought because she wanted to congratulate her
        *They hoped in order to win
  2. Secondly, in the list that follows, it is usually possible to replace the second verb with a noun of any kind providing the verb itself can be or must be used transitively.  In these cases, a gerund derived from a verb is sometimes a possible alternative because it acts as the direct object of the verb itself.  Where this is possible, it is noted.

The following are the most common of these verbs with some notes where necessary.

Verb Example Notes
afford We can afford to buy the car Almost invariably with can.  This verb takes a noun as a direct object but not a gerund so we allow:
    We can afford a new car
but not
    We can afford going on holiday
agree They agreed to differ In AmE usage, this verb is transitive and that is becoming common in BrE, too so we allow also:
    We agreed the plan.
However, like afford, a gerund as the object is not allowed.
aim We aim to take a winter holiday
allow I allowed him to go The verb let takes the bare infinitive (see below).
This verb allows a gerund as the direct object, e.g.:
Do they allow fishing here?
appear She appeared to agree This verb is also copular as in, e.g., She appeared agreeable.
apply They applied to leave
arrange They arranged to arrive early This verb is transitive and often followed by a gerund as the object as in, e.g.
    The hotel arranged parking for us.
ask John asked to leave
attempt She attempted to interrupt Compare try (below) which varies in meaning.
beg I beg to differ Formal use.
begin It began to rain Also possible with the -ing form with no change in meaning.
care Would you care to dance? This verb is nearly always used in the negative or in questions only: i.e., non-assertive uses.
cease I ceased to argue The verb stop catenates with an -ing form.  With the infinitive, the interpretation of stop plus to is in order to.  This is not the case here and
    I ceased to look at the map
does not mean the same as
    I stopped to look at the map
We allow an -ing form with this verb e.g.:
    I ceased arguing
chance I chanced to meet him in the hotel bar Formal use.
choose I chose to stay silent This verb is transitive and often followed by a gerund as the object as in, e.g.
    We chose flying over taking the train
condescend They condescended to talk to me
consent Do you consent to pay the money? This verb is transitive and may be followed by a gerund as the object as in, e.g.
    We consented to his practising the piano in the evenings
contrive He contrived to get lost somehow Compare manage.
decide We decided to go
decline I decline to comment
demand I demand to be heard
deserve She deserves to win This verb is transitive and may be followed by a gerund as the object as in, e.g.
    She deserved congratulating
Here the subject of the sentence is not doing the congratulating so the gerund form is acceptable.
determine I determined to go This is a formal use.  Frequently the participle adjective is used as in, e.g.,
    I am determined to go.
encourage She encouraged me to ask The verb is also used before a noun derived from the verb (a gerund) so, e.g.:
    She doesn't encourage smoking in the hotel.
The verb is always transitive so split from the next by the direct object (see below).
endeavour I endeavoured to help Compare try which can also be followed by the -ing form.  This verb cannot.
elect She elected to stay
expect Mary expected to fail This verb is transitive and may be followed by a gerund as the object as in, e.g.
    She
expected travelling would be difficult at the weekend
fail Mary failed to win
forbid I have forbidden him to come This also works with the gerund in, e.g.
    I forbid smoking here
(see encourage, above).
Again, the verb is always transitive so split from the next by the direct object (see below for the passive use).
happen I happened to see her This is also considered a marginal modal auxiliary verb.
hasten I hasten to add This is now almost confined to the set expression with to add or to say.
help I helped to finish the work The bare infinitive can also be used as in, e.g.
    Can you help finish?
See also below for can't help plus the gerund.
hesitate I hesitate to complain
hope I hope to see you there
intend I intend to see him today More rarely, this verb is followed by an -ing form with no change in meaning.
learn I learnt to swim at school
long I long to see her again
manage They managed to arrive on time
move I move to adjourn A rare and formal meaning.
neglect I neglected to tell her This verb is transitive and may be followed by a gerund as the object as in, e.g.
    She neglected watching the children
omit I omitted to explain clearly This verb is transitive and often followed by a gerund or noun phrase such as:
    I omitted painting the doors.
offer I offered to help
plan I planned to go Compare intend and mean.
prepare I prepared to travel
pretend They pretended to work
proceed I proceeded to start at once Formal use.
promise I promise to help
refuse I refuse to help
resolve I resolved to wait
seek I sought to explain
seem She seemed to be happy Compare appear.
strive I strove to understand Formal.
struggle The company struggles to survive
swear Mary swore to tell the truth
tend They tend to stay up late This is also considered a marginal modal auxiliary verb.
threaten They threatened to sue
trouble Please don't trouble to drive This is almost exclusively used in the negative.
undertake They undertook to act as agents
volunteer John volunteered to help
wait I waited to see what she would say This is sometimes followed by and plus a verb as in, e.g., Wait and see.
want I want to go now  
wish I wish to complain Formal use.  This verb is transitive and may be followed by a gerund as the object as in, e.g.
    She wished flying were possible
would like Would you like to come? By their nature, many structures with would follow this pattern.
The following only catenate in the passive.  In the active form, the object is placed between the verb and the non-finite form.
Almost all the uses are more formal.
allow They were not allowed to come  
ask She was asked to keep it  
call They were called to explain Formal use.
command I was commanded to stay  
compel John was compelled to explain  
destine He was destined to fail  
encourage They were encouraged to come  
entitle I am not entitled to complain  
forbid I was forbidden to enter Actively, this verb is also used with the gerund (see below).
force She was forced to work late  
instruct I was instructed to remain  
intend They were intended to have the money See above for the verb used in a slightly different sense.
invite She was invited to attend  
move I was moved to complain The sense here is different from the example of move above.
order They were ordered to appear  
permit They were permitted to enter  
request You are requested to leave  
require She is required to remain  
teach I was taught to swim  
tell They were told to stay This verb is transitive and may be followed by a gerund as the object as in, e.g.
    She was told staying another day was possible
tempt I was tempted to go  


swimming

Verbs followed by the -ing form or gerund

I enjoy relaxing in the pool  

These verbs consistently, not invariably, refer to past experience or to a retrospective view of events.
For example, if one says:
    She admitted stealing the money
it is clear that the admission follows the theft and in, e.g.:
    I hate standing in a queue
the clear implication is that the speaker has experience of standing in a queue and hates it.  Compare:
    I would hate to hurt his feelings
which is clearly a prospective use and the verb catenates with the infinitive.
This is an unreliable rule of thumb and there are many exceptions.

The other aid to memory is that the majority of verbs used with a gerund can just as easily (often more naturally) be followed by a direct noun object.  As a gerund is often described as a verbal noun, this is unsurprising.
Not listed here are phrasal and prepositional verbs because, with rare exceptions they are always followed by the gerund.

A source of difficulty here is that some transitive verbs normally followed by the to-infinitive can also take a verb with -ing as the direct object so, for example, we see:
    I omitted writing the label on the box
    I offered flying as an alternative to driving
    They permitted smoking in the theatre
    He taught woodworking at the school

and so on.
In these cases we have the -ing form acting only as a noun phrase and all can be replaced with non-verbal nouns.  It is a gerund by the definition we have above.  All these verbs appear in the list above as being followed by the to-infinitive.

Verb Example Notes
acknowledge They acknowledged making the mistake  
admit They admitted stealing the money
advise They advised waiting a little This is a prospective use and breaks the 'rule'.
allow They allow smoking in the lounge This is a prospective use and breaks the 'rule'.
appreciate I appreciate receiving the help
avoid I can't avoid thinking about it Compare the use of help in this meaning.
can't bear I can't bear talking to him Confined to negative use.
complete They have completed repairing the car
consider I considered taking the car This is a prospective use and breaks the 'rule'.
delay We should not delay opening
deny I deny taking the money
detest I detest queuing for things Arguably, with all three of these verbs the -ing form is a gerund and can be replaced by any other noun so we can have:
    I detest avocado
    I dislike bananas
    She enjoys her food
but in, e.g.:
    I dislike to argue with him
we have a catenative structure.
dislike She dislikes arguing with people
enjoy They enjoy learning French
entail The work entails rewriting the program This is a prospective use and breaks the 'rule'.
escape He escaped being called up
fancy I fancy seeing a film This is a prospective use and breaks the 'rule' although it is arguably premised on seeing films before.
finish They have finished painting the house
forbid We forbid smoking here But note, We forbid you to smoke.  Arguably, this is not a verbal use of smoking but a noun derived from the verb.  Compare, for example:
    John's persistent smoking irritated her
hate I hate teaching This is a gerund use.  For hate + to-infinitives, see below.
can't help I can't help thinking about it Confined to the negative use.
imagine I can't imagine living with her
imply It implies spending even more money This is a prospective use and breaks the 'rule'.
involve It involves travelling to Russia This is a prospective use and breaks the 'rule'.
keep He keeps arguing with me
mind I don't mind waiting Usually used on the negative or, + would, in questions. 
miss I miss working with them
permit They don't permit gambling in this state Again, this is arguably a use of a noun derived from the verb so the verb appears in the list followed by the to-infinitive, above.
practise She is practising playing the piano
prohibit The law prohibits drinking and driving Again, this is arguably a use of a noun derived from the verb.  Compare permit, forbid etc.
quit I have quit smoking Mostly AmE usage.
recall I recall seeing him Compare remember.
recommend I recommend asking her This is a prospective use and breaks the 'rule'.
regret I regret asking her See below for the meaning with a to-infinitive.
require I do not require telling twice
resent I resent waiting in the cold
resist I can't resist laughing at her
resume We resumed working at 5
risk He risked losing everything
see I can see knowing for certain is better
(can't) stand I can't stand walking in the wind This is almost solely used in the negative and with the modal auxiliary verb.
suggest I suggest waiting a little
tolerate I can tolerate working with them
understand We understand getting the right price is vital
want The window wants cleaning BrE usage.


error

Verbs followed by the either an -ing form or to-infinitive with no (or very little) change in meaning

I started making mistakes
when I began to get tired
 

There are a few verbs which can be followed by either the to-infinitive or an -ing form with no change in meaning.  Sometimes one form is more common and that is noted here.

  • intend
    I intend going
    I intend to go

    (The second is preferred.)
  • start
    I started to walk
    I started walking

    (Neither is strongly preferred.)
  • bear
    I can't bear to listen to rap music
    I can't bear listening to rap music

    (The second is usually preferred.)
  • begin
    It began to snow
    It began snowing

    (The first is preferred.)
  • bother
    She didn't bother telling me
    She didn't bother to tell me

    (Neither is strongly preferred.)
  • continue
    He continued to complain
    He continued complaining

    (Neither is strongly preferred.)
  • like
    I like swimming
    I like to swim

    (The first is preferred and the second sometimes refers to a specific type of action.  E.g., I like to swim after breakfast)
  • prefer
    I prefer working at home
    I prefer to work at home

    (Neither is strongly preferred.)

pills

Verbs followed by the either an -ing form or to-infinitive with a change in meaning

try taking a painkiller or
try to eat something
 

A few polysemous verbs vary in meaning depending on whether they are followed by an -ing form or a to-infinitive.  It is here that the prospective - retrospective 'rule' comes into its own.

  • remember
    I remember posting the letter
    I remembered to post the letter

    (The first means that the remembering came after the act of posting; the second means that the remembering came before the act of posting.)
  • forget
    I forgot meeting him
    I forgot to meet him

    (The first means that the forgetting came after the meeting; the second means that the forgetting came first so the meeting did not happen.)
  • regret
    I regret to tell you that you are wrong
    I regret telling you that you are wrong

    (The first introduces the act of telling; the second looks back on it with regret.)
  • mean
    I mean to talk to her
    It means travelling to London

    (The first means intend; the second means involves.)
  • try
    Try opening a window
    Try to open a window

    (The first is a suggestion to see if an action improves things; the second anticipates that the act will be difficult or impossible.)
  • propose
    I propose to go to America
    I propose going to America

    (The first means intend; the second means suggest.)
  • hate
    I hate to be a bother
    I hate being a bother

    (The first of these is prospective and means something like I'm sorry; the second is retrospective and being is a gerund.)

speaking

Verbs followed by to and an -ing form

He is accustomed to speaking to groups  

A few verbs are followed by to plus an -ing form.  They may alternatively simply be analysed as the use of a gerund after the preposition to (as is entirely normal) in the same way that we have a gerund following prepositional verbs such as:
    I depend on receiving the money
    He can't conceive of arriving late
    They complained about eating so early
etc.
In the following list, object to and commit to may certainly be analysed in that way.
This is almost the complete list (we think):

  • be used
        I am used to working late at the office
  • be accustomed
        I am accustomed to walking in the snow
  • be up
        Are you up to eating something?
  • feel up
        Do you feel up to walking to town after lunch?
  • look forward
        I look forward to meeting her mother
  • object
        I object to waiting for you in the rain
  • take
        I took to playing golf when I retired
  • be averse
        I am averse to eating in smoky restaurants
  • be opposed
        I am opposed to taking risks with my money
  • be committed
        She is committed to helping them

tree

Verbs followed by a bare infinitive

A few verbs can catenate with the bare infinitive although in one case (help) the to-infinitive is also possible.  Here's the list:

  • let
        Don't let go!
  • make
        I can make do with almost no money
  • hear
        I hear tell he's quite rich
  • help
        Please help repair the table

    (Please help to repair the table is also possible but synonyms of help are not so
        *I assisted / aided repair the table
    are not available.)
jump

Coordinated verbs and ellipsis of and

go jump in the lake  

The verbs come and go are often, it is averred, followed by the bare infinitive as in, e.g.:
    Come have a drink
    Go take a seat at the front
    Please come sit by me
    You should go see

etc.
However, these are not cases of simple catenation because they are, in fact, examples of the ellipsis of a conjunction.  All these examples are, in the full form:
    Come and have a drink
    Go and take a seat at the front
    Please come and sit by me
    You should go and see

The reason for excluding these forms from cases of true catenation is that the senses of the two verbs are not connected, they are simply coordinated and could be expressed in separate sentences.  We can equally well have, therefore:
    Please come in.  Have a drink
    Go to the front and sit down
    Come over here and you'll be able to sit down by me
    You should go so that you can see

The other part of explanation is that these two verbs do not, in reality, catenate at all in the sense of the lists above.  Both are used with coordination expressions signifying purpose or causality.  We can, therefore, rephrase all the examples as:
    Come so that you can have a drink
    Go with the aim of taking a seat at the front
    Please come in order to sit by me
    You should go so you can see


teacher

Teaching the forms

Teaching in this area is undeniably challenging especially when one considers that many languages do not share the characteristics of English either having no infinitive form at all (like Greek) or, like French and many others, having only a single form of the non-finite with no distinction between, e.g., to smoke and smoking in that sense.
Learners whose first language only has one non-finite form to choose will often select the infinitive so we hear errors such as:
    *I dislike to do that
or they may settle on the -ing form as their sole choice and say:
    *I expected for going
There are some possible ways to help:

Aiding noticing of chunks:
Whenever a text is used, for whatever purpose, it is useful if learners can be helped to notice chunks of language which they can commit to memory and there are some obvious examples in the lists above:
    look forward to seeing
    beg to differ
    chance to meet
    happen to see

etc.
It is also worth taking the time to check whether a verb is catenative and what usually follows it.  That way, verbs which are followed by the to-infinitive can be taught with to included in the chunk so, instead of teaching
    arrange, choose, deserve, expect
as single words, teaching
    arrange to, choose to, deserve to, expect to
helps considerably.
This is similar to the ways in which one might approach phrasal and prepositional verbs.
The danger with this approach is, however, that many of these verbs are transitive and take a direct object so learning them as chunks can lead to error such as:
    *I arranged to a holiday
They may also be followed by a nominalised clause and, again, there is no place for to in such constructions and the approach may produce error, for example:
    *I expect to she will be there.
Awareness-raising of the rule of thumb
We saw above that the to-infinitive generally is prospective in nature so, for example:
    I want to go
    I intend to go
    I plan to go
    I arranged to go
    I determined to go
    I chose to go
    I decided to go
    I expected to go
    I hoped to go
    I forgot to go

all refer to the future after the main verb.
The -ing, gerund form, is often used with verbs that refer to past experience or to past events so, for example:
    I forget talking to her
    I regret upsetting her
    I deny taking it
    I hate waiting in queues
    I loathe eating out
    I dislike swimming
    I recall seeing the film

all refer to the speaker's past experience or to events that precede the main verb.
This is by no means an infallible rule and there are numerous exceptions but it takes some of the guessing out of the equation.
Awareness-raising of synonymy and antonymy
Verbs which are synonymous (or nearly so) or antonymous will often share characteristics regarding catenation so, for example:
    hate, love, like, loathe, enjoy, detest, adore
are all followed by the -ing form
and
    intend, mean, plan, arrange, promise, swear, long, hope
and
    compel, command, instruct, force, order, encourage, forbid, permit
are all followed by the to-infinitive.
If a new verb is encountered and the meaning is similar to one already known, it is often helpful to know that it is likely to catenate in the same way.
Not being too technical
We saw above that true catenative verbs abut each other in sequences with no intervening object so while, e.g.:
    I compelled him to stay
is not, technically, catenative because the object breaks the chain
    He was compelled to stay
is catenative because the verbs follow in sequence.
However, for teaching purposes, whether there is an intervening object or not makes no difference to the basic structure of the clause and can be ignored.
Nevertheless, when an intervening object is involved, especially if it is a long one, we need to alert learners so that they can notice the basic structure in for example:
    She asked my brother, my two sisters and myself to come to her party.
    She can't stand the neighbours and their friends continually having parties.
Using -ing form, noun formed from a verb or gerund
We saw above that there are times when verbs will combine with a gerund or with an infinitive depending on how the following word is seen.  As a noun in, for example:
    She forbade smoking in the room
or
    He was forbidden to smoke in the room
In cases such as these, it may be better to tell learners that we have a noun in the first example, formed from the verb and a verb proper in the second.


Related guides
PDF document this is a downloadable file of the lists in this guide
infinitive: essentials a simple guide in the initial training section
semi-modal auxiliary verbs for uses of verbs such as dare, used and need and some marginal modal auxiliary verbs
infinitives a more detailed guide in the in-service section
finite and non-finite forms a guide to the difference
multi-word verbs for more about transitive and non-transitive uses of prepositional verbs
gerund and infinitive a basic guide in the initial plus section with some other teaching ideas and an example text
colligation a guide to how colligating words share structural characteristics in general


References:
Chalker, S, 1984, Current English Grammar, London: Macmillan
Hoey, M, 2003, What's in a word?, Macmillan, MED Magazine, Issue 10, August 2003
McLeod, D, n.d., Practising English, Ramsgate, UK: Home Language International