An ELT Glossary : Catenative verbs

Catenative verbs are verbs which are followed directly by another verb, in the bare infinitive, to + infinitive or V+ing form. Catenative literally means "chaining". Some examples :

a) Catenative verb followed by bare infinitive

All modal verbs fall into this category :

He can speak three languages.
You should leave before lunchtime

Lexical verbs following this pattern are rare but include help :

They helped clear up the kitchen

b) Catenative verb followed by to + infinitive

We decided to wait.

He expected to win.
We agreed to lower the price.
I want to see you about something

c) Catenative verb followed by V + ing

She loves reading.

Have you finished eating?
I'd suggest waiting for a while.

Some verbs can be used in more than one of these patterns with no change of meaning - eg help and start

They helped clear up the kitchen.
They helped to clear up the kitchen.

It started raining at about two.
It started to rain at about two.

Further Reading

Downing and Locke, English Grammar - A University Course, Routledge