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Gerunds and Infinitives

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Bachita Ramos

on 20 September 2013

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Transcript of Gerunds and Infinitives

Verbs with Gerund and Infinitive
In an English sentence, sometimes you need to use a gerund, and sometimes you need to use an infinitive. But what does that mean???

A gerund is a verb+ing. It works like a noun, not a verb.

It can be used as a subject:

grammar hurts my brain.

An object:
I like

Or after a preposition:
I'm excited about
An infinitive is to+base form of verb. The tense never changes (you can't make it past or future).

You use it after a verb:
They want to go home.

After an object:
I told her to call me.

After an adjective:
I'm happy to see you.

Or to show purpose:
I went to the mall to buy some shoes.
Generally speaking we can use the following rules:
Verb + gerund
Often we use the gerund for an action that happens before or at the same time as the action of the main verb.
I enjoy myself at the time of playing.
I deny having stolen anything before.
Verb + infinitive
Often we use the infinitive for actions that follow the action of the main verb.

Visiting my uncle was an action of my decision. It comes after.


What I want is to go out
Gerunds can be made negative by adding "not."

He enjoys
not working.

The best thing for your health is

not smoking.

Infinitives can be made negative by adding "not.

I decided

not to go.

The most important thing is

not to give up.

There are many "go + gerund" expressions used for adventure sports and individual recreational activities
go swimming
every weekend.
Would you ever
go skydiving

Gerunds are used after prepositions. Most commonly, these are "verb + preposition" combinations.


They admitted to committing the crime.

These verbs can be followed by either a gerund or an infinitive:
begin, continue, like, hate, love, prefer, start, etc.
They began dancing and singing.
These verbs must be followed by a gerund:
appreciate, avoid, dislike, enjoy, keep, miss, quit, etc.
Do you dislike doing homework or just avoid handing it in?
These verbs must be followed by an infinitive:
ask, decide, encourage, expect, hope, intend, learn, plan, seem, tell, want, etc.
He asked her to marry him, and she decided to accept.
These 4 verbs are usually followed by pronoun + the base form of a verb:

make, have, let, and help.
Adnan makes me like the class and has me enjoy Accounting.
too + adjective/adverb + infinitive:

•The television is too expensive to buy.
•Fiona ran too slowly to win the race.
•We arrived too late to see the beginning of the movie.

adjective/adverb + enough + infinitive

•She is tall enough to reach the book on the shelf.
•Brian was smart enough to enter college at the age of 12.
•Linda runs quickly enough to win the race.

enough + noun(s) + infinitive

•He has enough money to buy his own car.
•Cheryl owns enough books to start her own library!
•Diane needs enough time to finish writing her book.

Certain expressions are followed by "ING" forms.

•He had fun fishing.
•They had difficulty finding a parking place.
•She spent her time practicing the piano.

Verbs which indicate location can often be followed by "ING" forms. This pattern is VERB OF LOCATION + LOCATION + VERB+ING.

•Sarah stood at the corner waiting for Tom.
•Melissa lay in bed thinking about her future.
•Don clung to the side of the cliff looking down.
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