Verb patterns

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Verb patterns

write and learnVerb patterns, do you know what I mean when I say verb patterns? Well, a verb pattern is the structure a verb follows, the one you have to know to be able to use that particular verb. Today we’ll see mind, let, allow, make and want.



First, ‘mind’ means ‘importar’.

RULES (verb pattern):

1. Mind + ing

Would you mind opening the window, please? I’m hot.

2. Do you mind if…? 

Do you mind if I open the window? I’m hot.

Common mistake: Would you mind open the window, please? I’m hot.

Phrases with mind:

  • I don’t mind: no me importa, no pasa nada
  • Mind your own business= métete en tus asuntos

Example: Why don’t you just mind your own business? (por qué no te metes en lo tuyo y me dejas tranquilo/a)

  • Make up your mind = decídete

Example: Are you coming with me? Make up your mind!

  • To have something in mind = tener algo en mente

Example: What do you have in mind? (qué tienes en mente?)

  • Change your mind = cambiar de opinión

Example: Don’t change your mind about this matter,please.

  • Speak your mind = decir lo lo que piensas

Example: You can speak your mind, but you also have to back up your words by action.

  • Mind your head = cuidado con la cabeza (que te das)

mind the gapEn el metro (cuidado con el hueco)


Let and allow are the same in meaning, but their structure is different. You have to pay attention to it, as it is a subtle difference!


1. Let + somebody + infinitive (without to)

Example: let me x know if you are coming as soon as possible (x means nothing here, no to)

2. Allow + somebody + to + infinitive


Mum, am I allowed to play a computer game now? (British children ask this question meaning: me dejas…? Puedo…?)

You are not allowed to smoke in here, only on the balcony.

Remember! The pronunciation of “allow” = /əˈlaʊ/

And remember as well: let – let – let = Irregular verb, the three forms are the same!


Make + somebody + infinitive (without -to) = llevar a una persona a hacer algo


You make me smile = me haces sonreir

I make my students speak English in class.

Common mistakeI let my children to go to school on their own


make – made – made = irregular verb

Another thing about “make”: when it is used in the passive, then we need -to. Example: I was made to speak English in class (my teacher made me speak). “Was made” is a passive.


1. want + to infinitive

Example: I want to go to the dentist next week.

2. want + somebody + to + infinitive

Example: I want you to pass your English exam: quiero que tú apruebes tu examen de inglés.

In this case, we have a subject (I) and and second person, somebody (you). This is the structura en English, whereas in Spanish, we use a subjunctive (apruebes).

Common mistakeI want that you pass your English exam

I want that… is not possible in English!

EXERCISE: translate the following sentences:

  1. Quiero que mi hija aprenda inglés
  2. No quiero que tú llegues tarde a casa
  3. ¿Quieres escuchar música conmigo?
  4. No quiero que me esperes
  5. Juan quiere aprender un segundo idioma


  1. Quiero que mi hija aprenda inglés = I want my daughter to learn English
  2. No quiero que tú llegues tarde a casa = I don’t want you to arrive home late
  3. ¿Quieres escuchar música conmigo? = Do you want to listen to music with me?
  4. No quiero que me esperes = I don’t want you to wait for me
  5. Juan quiere aprender un segundo idioma = John wants to learn a second language. Remember the -s for 3ª person singular.

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