CC2 nonfinite (infinitival) complement with no overt subject

Intervention outline

You will need:


2 sets of oval – hexagon – rectangle shapes

Blue/red pens

Toys/matching object or pictures of  these, e.g.  cat – fish, dog – bone, boy – ice –cream.


App settings: Turn on tense arrows / use custom rectangle


Machine generated alternative text:


Intervention steps:


  1. Show one of the ‘ovals’, e.g. cat and the 3 rectangles. Ask the child what the cat wants, e.g. food.
  2. Lay out the sentence oval – hexagon – rectangle as shown, below. Place the cat in the oval, the bone in the rectangle and write ‘wants’ on the blue verb line/arrow.

the cat 
the fish


Repeat with the other 2 ovals, e.g. The dog wants the bone. The boy wants the ice cream. Ask what does each subject wants. Make sure the child answers using just the noun phrase in the rectangle.


  1. Now ask the child what the subjects want to do with their food.  Establish they want to eat it .


Lay out another set of oval – hexagon – rectangle shapes. Move the cat to this oval, write wants on the blue verb line/arrow, write to eat on the blue line in this rectangle and move  the fish to the rectangle :


to eat the fish


Say this sentence together. Ask the child what the cat wants to do. Help the child to produce (he) wants to eat the fish in response. Explain the blue words in the rectangle tell us what they want to do.


Repeat with the other 2 subjects  I.e. the dog wants to eat the bone. The boy wants to eat the ice-cream.


  1. Now ask the child if there is anything else these subjects want to do, e.g. play, go for a walk, have a nap. Use these responses to build sentences using these responses. Using the sentence template help the child to generate lots of wants to verb examples.  Do not  code the clause inside the rectangle once the child recognises the difference between the rectangles in steps 2 and 3. Show how some rectangles can have lots of info and others will just have the verb, e.g.


to sleep 
to play in the garden


Ask about the child what they want to do when they get home/after the session. Help them to change the oval to ‘I’ and ‘wants’ to ‘want’ and create rectangles to show what they want to do.


  1. Repeat steps 3-4  with the verb ‘hope’ – show how this works in the same way/means almost the same as ‘wants to X’. Suggest that what the subjects want may or may not be possible but hopefully it will.


  1. Repeat steps 3-4 with the verbs ‘like’ & ‘prefer’. Explain the subtle difference in meaning as you practise making sentences using the same sentence pattern.


  1. Repeat steps 3-4 with the verb ‘need’. Explain this means the same as has to/must but uses this sentence pattern.



  1. Mix and match these verb constructions in short narratives, e.g. about what the cat likes to get up to when his owner goes out, e.g. “First, the cat likes to annoy the fish. Then he wants to watch the traffic. After that, he needs to go outside. In the end, he hopes to get some food.”

Additional Resources