Thursday, June 4, 2015

Gerund, Infinitive or EITHER?

I wrote a post about this topic two years ago, but I didn't use examples.  Here you will find examples for each verb.

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 (like go).  You must have either (like going) or (like to go).

Ex. I like go going to the beach on the weekends.
Ex. I like go to go to the beach on the weekends.

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.

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