One of the difficulties of the English language is that some verbs are followed by the gerund (ex : doing) and others are followed by the infinitive (ex : to do). Other verbs, however, can be followed by both.
Generally speaking we can use the following rules:
Verb + gerund
1. I enjoy playing 2. I denied stealing
Often we use the gerund for an action that happens before or at the same time as the action of the main verb.
1. I enjoy myself at the time of playing. 2. I deny having stolen anything before.
Verb + infinitive
1. I decided to visit my uncle 2. I want to go out
Often we use the infinitive for actions that follow the action of the main verb.
1. Visiting my uncle was an action of my decision. It comes after. 2. What I want (now) is to go out (after/later)
These rules are helpful but DO NOT always explain all uses of gerunds and infinitives.
Verbs that can be followed by a gerund (ex: doing) 1- After verbs that express likes/dislikes :
∑ don't mind
∑ can't stand
∑ can't bear
Example:" I like playing soccer but I hate boxing."
2- After certain other verbs, such as :
∑ go (in go swimming)
∑ waste time/money
∑ keep (on)
∑ can't help
∑ can't stand
Example:" I suggest going to the theater."
3- After prepositions :
interested in ... instead of ... good at ... before ... after ...
Example: "I am interested in collecting stamps." "After playing football I drank an orange juice".
4- After certain expressions :
it's no use ... it's no good ... there's no point in ... I can't help... I don't mind... I can't stand/bear...
Example:" It's no use convincing him to revise his lessons. He's so stubborn."
Verbs that can be followed by an infinitive ( ex : to do)
1- After verbs that refer to a future event:
∑ be determined
∑ would like
∑ would hate
∑ would love
Example:" I want to finish my work early.
2- After certain other verbs, such as:
Example: "She refused to forgive him."
3- After adjectives :
"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."
4- After "too" & "enough":
too difficult easy enough
"It's too difficult to convince him to be helpful." " But it's easy enough to fool him to get what you want."
would: I would like to go to the cinema
Verbs that can be followed by both an infinitive and a gerund:
ü Some verbs can be followed by either a gerund or an infinitive. Here are some examples: DO NOT CHANGE THEIR MEANING.
∑ "I started smoking when I was young." "I started to smoke when I left the office."
ü VERBS CAN BE FOLLOWED BY EITHER GERUND OR INFINITIVE BUT DO CHANGE THEIR MEANING
∑ stop+ing= (dejar un hábito) I stopped smoking
∑ stop+to= dejar de hacer algo para hacer otra cosa: I stopped to have lunch) (Paré para comer)
∑ remember+ing= (recordar algo que se hizo en el pasado (I remember buying the tickets)(Recuerdo haber comprado las entradas)
∑ remember+to= (acordarse de hacer algo en el futuro) (Remember to bring you Pau Exam on Monday)
∑ forget+ing= Iíll never forget seeing the Big Ben for the first time( Imposibilidad de olvidar algo que ha ocurrido en el pasado) Se emplea normalmente en frases negativas.
∑ Forget+ to= (olvidarse de hacer algo). I forget to do my homework
Choose the correct form of the verbs (infinitive or gerund)
1. I am keen on(work)______________ in the computer industry.
2. Amy decided (visit)__________a doctor.
3. Leila enjoys(READ)_________________ love stories.
4. Do you intend(learn)____________ Italian or English?
5. Do you mind(help)__________ me wash the dishes?
6. Alan asked(talk)___________ to the boss.
7. I can't help (laugh)_________when I watch Mr Been.
8. If Sara keeps (calm)____________ to work late, she'll have problems with the boss.
9. Liza hates(study)_____________ Maths.
10. Are you interested in(visit)___________ in Africa ?