In English when we use two verbs together, the second must be an infinitive, a gerund or sometimes, we can use either an infinitive or gerund.
But, wait!...What IS a gerund?A gerund is a verb+ing. (walking, going, doing, seeing...)
And WHAT is an infinitive?An infinitive is to+the simple verb. (to walk, to go, to do, to see...)
And what about using both with the same verb?Like is an example of a verb in which you can use either the infinitive or the gerund:
Ex. She likes to swim at night.
Ex. She likes swimming at night.
Remember: You can never have two simple verbs next to one another (
Ex. I like
Ex. I like
Here is a short list of verbs that you can ONLY use with GERUNDS...
- don't mind: My Dad doesn't mind ironing; in fact, he likes it!
- enjoy: He enjoys staying home and watching a movie on Friday nights.
- keep: Keep going until you reach the stop sign, and then turn left!
- miss: I miss watching the sunset in San Diego.
- practice: We practice playing the piano on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- recommend: She recommends going to bed early.
- understand: They understood quitting early, as it was the only option.
Here is a short list of verbs that you can ONLY use with INFINITIVES...
- agree: He wouldn't agree to work under our conditions.
- choose: She chose to do the right thing.
- decide: My sister decided to study Economics.
- learn: My students learned to speak English very well.
- need: I need to buy more laundry detergent.
- promise: He promised to buy more laundry detergent, but then forgot!
- want: I want to wash my clothes.
Here is a short list of verbs that you can use with BOTH GERUNDS & INFINITIVES:
- can't stand: I can't stand leaving/to leave work late.
- continue: The little boy continued to talk/talking during the entire class.
- like: I like to swim/swimming at the cliffs.
- love: I love to get/getting a massage.
- neglect: Her daughter neglected to warn/warning her of the new rules.
- prefer: I prefer to walk/walking instead of driving.
- propose: The teacher proposed to do/doing a project instead of reading the textbook.
Now, remember: after practicing all of these expressions over and over, it will become easier, but in the meantime, use this list as a reference.