It can be difficult to know when to use infinitives and gerunds. Here we have for you a simple explanation of rules to follow for understanding the difference between them.

Verbs that can be followed by an infinitive


After verbs that generally refer to a future event


The government aims to reduce illiteracy rates

After adjectives

  • be determined
  • be disappointed
  • be glad
  • be happy
  • be pleased


"I'm glad to know that you passed the exam." "I'm pleased to meet you." "I'm disappointed to hear that you flunked maths."

After "too" & "enough"

too difficult




  • "It's too difficult to convince him to be helpful."
  • " But it's easy enough to fool him to get what you want."


More Examples:

  • Verb + Infinitive
  • We can't afford to buy a new car.
  • She agreed to help him.
  • He arranged to stay at a hotel.
  • He attempted to join them.
  • He chose to stay at home.
  • She consented to marry him.
  • They decided to go to the movies.
  • He deserves to be punished.
  • He demanded to speak to Mrs.Lynch
  • They endeavor to provide the best possible service
  • They expected to arrive early.
  • He failed to convince him.
  • They happened to be at the theatre when we met them.
  • She helped me to do the exercise.
  • I hope to join you as soon as possible.
  • She intends to write an autobiography.
  • He learned to play the guitar when he was young.
  • He managed to do his homework without his mother's help.
  • I need to find a job.
  • He offers to help us.
  • He plans to follow a career as an engineer.
  • The child pretended to be asleep.
  • He proceeded to show us how to use the machine.
  • She promised to come on time.
  • She refused to forgive him.
  • He seemed to be unhappy.
  • I swear to tell the truth.
  • He threatened to reveal her secret.
  • He always volunteers to help the needy.
  • I want to finish my work early.
  • He would hate to lose.
  • He would like to drink a cup of tea.
  • I would love to meet you.

Verbs commonly followed by a gerund

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