What is the way Complex Object shall be constructed if words that express desire/intention are used as predicate and infinitive Verb is in passive?

a) I prefer it to be done.

b) I prefer it done.

c) I want shoes to be polished.

d) I want shoes polished.

Which out of two variants correct?

Appreciate your help!


1 Answer 1


Both are correct. To be can be elided or included in such examples. The choice will depend on preference and context.

For example, idiomatically: The criminals wanted him dead. would never take to be.

But to be is more likely in: The artist wanted his paintings to be seen by the public.

  • Ronald Sole, thank you!
    – IRINA
    Commented Aug 17, 2021 at 13:27
  • Ronald, l think "want him to be dead" is not something wrong, neither is "want them all arrested". Nor is "want her seen by a private doctor". But yes in your last example it is more common to use "to be". @Irina I believe it depends on what the verb licences or allow. Commented Aug 18, 2021 at 0:25

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