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Gerunds and Infinitives

a presentation teaching when to use a gerund and when to use an infinitive
by

Bruce McCoy

on 16 March 2011

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Transcript of Gerunds and Infinitives

Gerunds and Infinitives 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:
Swimming is fun.
An object:
I like sleeping.
Or after a preposition:
I'm excited about traveling. Preposition! 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.

That's a verb! That's an object! That's an adjective! Shows WHY you went! Ok, that was a lot of information. Let's look at that in more detail. First, let's look at gerunds. We said that you can use a gerund as a subject. That means that when you when you want to take a verb and make it the subject of a sentence, you should change it into a gerund. Let's try. (Study) grammar hurts my brain. Studying grammar hurts my brain. "Hurts" is the verb, right? WHAT hurts your brain? Studying. Studying is the subject, so we need to use
a gerund, not an infinitive. Let's try some more. (eat) ice cream is nice.
(listen) to your teacher is important.
(be) late makes your teacher mad. Eating ice cream is nice.
Listening to your teacher is important.
Being late makes your teacher mad. Let's try some more. My favorite hobby is (take) photos.
I didn't finish (write) my essay.
I enjoyed (get) in trouble in high school. We also said that you can use a gerund as an object. Remember, objects are really nouns, not verbs. Let's try some objects. My dad quit (smoke). Subject Verb Object My dad quit smoking. Smoking is the object,
so use a gerund My favorite hobby is taking photos.
I didn't finish writing my essay.
I enjoyed getting in trouble in high school. These are objects,
so use a gerund. Here are some verbs that normally take gerunds as objects. Memorize them! enjoy talking finish working quit chatting mind doing postpone talking put off writing keep working discuss going go shopping recommend visiting avoid finishing miss seeing imagine buying The last way that we use gerunds is after a prepositon. What's a preposition? A prepostion is a short word that tells where, why, or how. Let's try some more. First, find the prepositions. Then change the verbs. I'm tired of (listen) to you.
You need to focus on (drive) right now.
She doesn't believe in (come) on time. I'm tired of listening to you.
You need to focus on driving right now.
She doesn't believe in coming on time. Ok, those were gerunds. Now let's look at infinitives. The first way that we use infinitives is after a verb. They want (leave) class early. They want to leave class early. Verb Infinitive Let's try some more. I'm happy I chose (go) to university.
She needs (get) up earlier.
He promised (buy) me an iPhone. I'm happy I chose to go to university.
She needs to get up earlier.
He promised to buy me an iPhone. Verbs Here is a list of verbs that take infinitives after them. Memorize them! choose to decide to deserve to expect to forget to hope to know how to learn to need to offer to plan to promise to refuse to seem to start to want to wish to agree to I told her to be quiet. I asked my little sister (change) the channel.
My mom wants me (get) married after I graduate.
The accident taught my uncle (drive) more slowly. Let's try some more. Find the objects first, then change the verbs to infinitive. We also use infinitives after an object.
Find the object in this sentence. Let's try some more.
Find the adjectives first, then change the verbs to infinitives We also use infintives after an adjective. Adjectives are words that describe a noun, like "big," "good," "happy," or "excited."
Find the adjective in this sentence. I'm sad to see you leave. He was surprised (see) a lion on campus.
I'm lucky (have) such a good teacher.
My little brother was afraid (touch) the snake. Khalid went to the mall to buy a phone. I called my dad (ask) for some money.
She woke up early (write) her essay.
My brother cried and screamed (get) some candy. Let's try some more. The last way that we use infinitives is to show purpose. Purpose means the reason why you do something. I told her to be quiet. object infinitive verb I asked my little sister to change the channel.
My mom wants me to get married after I graduate.
The accident taught my uncle to drive more slowly. Infinitives objects I'm sad to see you leave. adjective infinitive He was surprised to see a lion on campus.
I'm lucky to have such a good teacher.
My little brother was afraid to touch the snake. adjective infinitive Find the preposition in the next sentence. A preposition is a short word that tells you where, why, or how.

Examples: in, at, on, over, into, to, with, about, for, of, against, around, after, before, until, etc… I'm thinking about buying a motorcycle. I'm thinking about buying a motorcycle. preposition gerund Why did Khalid go to the mall? To buy a phone. That is the reason, or the purpose for going. For a purpose, you use the infinitive. I called my dad to ask for some money.
She stayed up late to write her essay.
My brother cried and screamed to get some candy. Why did you call? Why did she stay up? Why did he scream? Ok, those are all the rules. Can you remember them? Let's see! Use a gerund or infinitive in the sentences, and decide why you are using it. Aisha’s teacher was disappointed (see) her skipping class. Aisha’s teacher was disappointed to see her skipping class. that's an adjective, so use an infinitive. (eat) french fries in class is messy. Eating french fries in class is messy. This is the subject, so use a gerund My sister is always worried about
(catch) a cold. My sister is always worried about
catching a cold. This is a preposition, so use a gerund I really can't afford (buy) a new car right now. I really can't afford to buy a new car right now. This is a verb that always has an infinitive after it. Did you memorize the list? My dad told me (quit) complaining. My dad told me to quit complaining. There is an object before, so use an infinitive. I want to finish (talk) about gerunds and infinitives. I want to finish talking about gerunds and infinitives. Finish is a verb that uses gerunds as objects. Did you memorize the list? I went to my teacher's office (ask) about gerunds and infinitves. I went to my teacher's office to ask about gerunds and infinitves. Why did you go? "To ask" is the purpose, so use infinitive. There's a bigger list at this website:
http://www.englishpage.com/gerunds/gerund_list.htm There's a bigger list at this website:
http://www.englishpage.com/gerunds/infinitive_list.htm That's it for the presentation, but now you need to practice. This website has great explanations and a lot of practice activities: http://www.englishpage.com/gerunds/index.htm
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