Infinitive and Gerund
One of the difficulties of the English language is that some verbs are followed by the gerund (ex : doing) and others are followed by the infinitive (ex : to do). Other verbs, however, can be followed by both
Infinitive and gerund : exercice
Generally speaking we can use the following rules
|Verb+ing||1. I enjoy playing. 2. I denied stealing.||Often we use the gerund for an action that happens before or at the same time as the action of the main verb||1. I enjoy myself at the time of playing. 2. I deny having stolen anything before|
|Verb+infinitive||1. I decided to visit my uncle. 2. I want to go out.||Often we use the infinitive for actions that follow the action of the main verb||1. Visiting my uncle was an action of my decision. It comes after. 2. What I want (now) is to go out (after/later)|
These rules are helpful but DO NOT always explain all uses of gerunds and infinitives.
Verbs that can be followed by a gerund:
1- After verbs that express likes/dislikes :
” I like playing soccer but I hate boxing.”
2- After certain other verbs, such as :
|admit||He admitted cheating on the test.|
|advise||The doctor generally advised drinking low-fat milk.|
|allow||Ireland doesn’t allow smoking in bars.|
|anticipate||I anticipated arriving late.|
|appreciate||I appreciated her helping me.|
|avoid||He avoided talking to her.|
|can’t help||He can’t help talking so loudly.|
|can’t see||I can’t see paying so much money for a car.|
|can’t stand||He can’t stand her smoking in the office.|
|complete||He completed renovating the house.|
|continue||He continued talking.|
|consider||She considered moving to New York.|
|defend||The lawyer defended her making such statements.|
|delay||He delayed doing his taxes.|
|deny||He denied committing the crime.|
|discuss||We discussed working at the company.|
|don’t mind||I don’t mind helping you.|
|encourage||He encourages eating healthy foods.|
|finish||He finished doing his homework.|
|forget||I forgot giving you my book.|
|imagine||He imagines working there one day.|
|involve||The job involves traveling to Japan once a month.|
|keep||She kept interrupting me.|
|mention||He mentioned going to that college.|
|mind||Do you mind waiting here for a few minutes.|
|miss||She misses living near the beach.|
|need||The aquarium needs cleaning.|
|neglect||Sometimes she neglects doing her homework.|
|postpone||He postponed returning to Morocco.|
|practice||She practiced singing the song.|
|propose||I proposed having lunch at the beach.|
|quit||She quit worrying about the problem.|
|recommend||Tony recommended taking the train.|
|regret||She regretted saying that.|
|require||The certificate requires completing two courses.|
|risk||He risked being caught.|
|suggest||They suggested staying at the hotel.|
|tolerate||I tolerated her talking.|
|try||Sam tried opening the lock with a paperclip.|
|understand||I understand his quitting.|
3- After prepositions :
interested in …
instead of …
good at …
“I am interested in collecting stamps.”
“After playing football I drank an orange juice”.
4- After certain expressions :
it’s no use …
it’s no good …
there’s no point in …
I can’t help…
I don’t mind…
I can’t stand/bear…
” It’s no use convincing him to revise his lessons. He’s so stubborn.”
Verbs that can be followed by both an infinitive and a gerund:
Some verbs can be followed by either a gerund or an infinitive. Here are some examples:
“I started learning english when I was young.”
“I started to learn english when I was at the primary school.”
CHOOSE THE RIGHT FORM OF THE VERB
1. I am keen on work/to work/working in the computer industry.
2. Amy decided see/to see/ seeing a doctor.
3. Leila enjoys read/to read/reading love stories.
4. Do you intend learn/to learn/learning Italian or English?
5. Do you mind help/to help/helping me wash the dishes?
6. Alan asked talk/to talk/talking to the boss.
7. I can’t help laugh/to laugh/laughing when I watch Mr Been.
8. If Sara keeps come/to come/coming to work late, she’ll have problems with the boss.
9. Liza hates study/to study/studying Maths.
10. Are you interested in live/to live/living in Africa ?