He notes that ‘He began to talk about the matter” means almost the same as “he began talking about the matter” and concludes, wrongly, that “he stopped to talk about the matter” means the same as “he stopped talking about the matter”. Such misapprehensions are natural. The ordinary grammar book and dictionary usually fall to supply adequate information on such points. The patterns below, with the numerical indications supplied with the verb entries (thus VP 1, 10, 18, 21, 23), do give guidance.
There are variations of these patterns. These are described in detail in A Guide to Patterns and Usage in English, pp 15-82.
Summary verb Patterns
Patterns 1 to 19 indicate what are usually called transitive uses of verbs. Patterns 20 to 25 indicate what are usually called intransitive uses.
The term conjunctive is used in this list for interrogative adverbs and pronouns (how, what, when, where, who, whom, whose, why) and the conjunctions whether and if (when this is used for whether) when they introduce dependent clauses or infinitive phrases.
VP 1 Vb x Direct Object
VP 2 Vb x (not) to x Infinitive, etc.
VP 3 Vb x Noun or Pronoun x (not) to x Infinitive, etc.
VP 4 Vb x Noun or Pronoun x (to be) x compleroem
VP 5 Vb x Noun or Pronoun x Infinitive, etc.
VP 6 Vb x Noun or Pronoun x Present Participle
VP 7 Vb x Object x Adjective
VP 8 Vb x Object x Noun
VP 9 Vb x Object x Past Participle
VP 10 Vb x Object x Adverb or Adverbial Phrase, etc
VP 11 Vb x that-clause
VP 12 Vb x Noun or Pronoun x that-clause
VP 13 Vb x Conjunctive x to x Infinitive, etc.
VP 14 Vb x Noun or Pronoun x Conjunctive x to x Infinitive, etc
VP 15 Vb x Conjunctive x Clause
VP 16 Vb x Noun or Pronoun x Conjunctive x clause
VP 17 Vb x Gerund, etc.
VP 18 Vb x Direct Object x Preposition x Prepositional Object
VP 19 Vb x Indirect Object x Direct Object
VP 20 Vb x (for) x Complement of Distance, Time, Price, etc
VP 21 Vb x alone
VP 22 Vb x Predicative
VP 23 Vb x Adverbial Adjunct