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Gerunds and Infinitives

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Gerunds and Infinitives. Part II. Infinitive of purpose : in order to. In order to is used to express purpose. It answers the question “WHY?” In order is often omitted. He came here in order to study English WHY? He came here to study English.

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infinitive of purpose in order to
Infinitive of purpose: in orderto

In order to is used to express purpose. It answers the question “WHY?” In order is often omitted.

He came here in order to study English

WHY?

He came here to study English

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To express purpose, use (in order) to, not for, with a verb*

INCORRECT: He came here for studying English

INCORRECT: He came here for to study English

INCORRECT: He came here for study English

For can be used to express purpose, but it is a preposition and is followed by a noun object.

I went to the store for some bread.

I went to the store to boy some bread.

To express purpose, use (in order) to, not for, with a verb*

INCORRECT: He came here for studying English

INCORRECT: He came here for to study English

INCORRECT: He came here for study English

For can be used to express purpose, but it is a preposition and is followed by a noun object.

I went to the store for some bread.

I went to the store to boy some bread.

exception
*Exception

The phrase be used for expresses the typical or general purpose of a thing. In this case, the preposition for is followed by a gerund:

A saw is used for cutting wood

A saw is used to cut wood

However, to talk about a particular thing and a particular situation

be used+ an infinitive

is used

A chain saw was used to cut(NOT for cutting) down the old oak tree

adjectives followed by infinitives
Adjectives followed by infinitives

Certain adjectives can be immediately followed by infinitives, as in examples. In general, these adjectives describe a person (or persons), not a thing.

Many of these adjectives describe a person´s feelings or attitudes

We were sorry to hear the bad news

I was surprised to see Tim at the meeting

common adjectives followed by infinitives
Common Adjectives followed by infinitives

* The expressions with asterisks are usually followed by infinitive phrases with verbs such as see, learn, discover, find out, hear.

using infinitives with too and enough
Using Infinitives with TOO and ENOUGH

In the speaker’s mind, the use of too implies a negative result.

In: That box is too heavy for Bob to lift =TOO HEAVY= It is impossible for Bob to lift that box

In: That box is very heavy, but Bob can lift it=VERY HEAVY= It is possible but difficult for Bob to lift that box

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Enough follows an adjective:

I am strong enough to lift that box. I can lift it.

Usually enough precedes a noun:

I have enough strength to lift that box.

English, it may follow a noun:

I have strength enough to lift that box.

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Past Infinitive: to have + past participle

The event expressed by a past infinitive or past gerund happened before the time of the main verb.

In The rain seems to have stopped

=

The rain seems now to have stopped a few minutes ago *

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Past Gerund: having + past participle

I appreciate having had the opportunity to meet the king

=

I met the king yesterday. I appreciate now having the opportunity to meet the king yesterday*

Past Gerund: having + past participle

I appreciate having had the opportunity to meet the king

=

I met the king yesterday. I appreciate now having the opportunity to meet the king yesterday*

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Passive Infinitive: to be + past participle

In I did not expect to be invited to his party

=

To be invited is passive. The understood by-phrase is “by him”; I did not expect to be invited by him.

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Past-Passive Infinitive: to have been + past participle

In Nadia is fortunate to have been given a scholarship

=

Nadia was given a scholarship last month by her government. She is fortunate. Nadia is fortunate now to have been given a scholarship last month by her government.

Passive Gerund: being + past participle

In I appreciated being invited to your home

=

Being invited is passive. The understood by-phrase is “by you”: I appreciated being invited by you

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Past-Passive Infinitive: to have been + past participle

In Nadia is fortunate to have been given a scholarship

=

Nadia was given a scholarship last month by her government. She is fortunate. Nadia is fortunate now to have been given a scholarship last month by her government.

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Past-Passive Gerund-having been + past participle

In I appreciate having been told the news

=

I was told the news yesterday by someone. I appreciate that. I appreciate now having been told the news yesterday by someone.

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Using Gerunds or Passive Infinitives following NEED

Usually an infinitive follows need, as:

I need to borrow some money

John needs to be told the truth

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In certain circumstances, a gerund may follow need. In this case, the gerund carries a passive meaning. Usually the situations involve fixing or improving something.

The house needs painting

The house needs to be painted

using a possessive to modify a gerund
Using a possessive to modify a Gerund

english, a possessive adjective is used to modify a gerund as in the first example. Also the object form of a pronoun is frequently used as in the second example.

We came to class late. Mr. Lee complained about that fact

  • Formal: Mr. Lee complained about our coming to class late.*
  • Informal: Mr. Lee complained about us coming to class late.

In formal

Example:

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In very formal English, a possessive noun is used to modify a gerund. The possessive form is often not used in informal English

Formal: Mr. Lee complained about Mary’s coming to class late.

Informal: Mr. Lee complained about Mary coming to class late.

*Coming to class late occurred before Mr. Lee complained, so a past Gerund is also possible: Mr. Lee complained about our having come to class late.

Example

using verbs of perception
Using verbs of perception

Certain verbs of perception are followed by either the simple form* or the –ingform** of a verb. There is often little difference in meaning between the two forms, except the –ingform usually gives the idea of “while.” In: I saw my friend while she was running down the street.

  • I saw my friend run down the street.
  • I saw my friend running down the street .
  • I heard the rain fall on the roof.
  • I heard the rain falling on the roof.

Example

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Sometimes (not always) there is a clear difference between using the simple form or the –ing form. The use of the –ing form gives the idea that an activity is already in progress when it is perceived.

  • When I walked into the apartment, I heard my roommate I heard my roommate singing in the shower.
  • I heard a famous opera star sing at the concert last night.

EXAMPLE

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Verbs of perception followed by the simple form or the –ING form

Notes!!

*

The simple form of a verb = the infinitive form without “to.”

I saw my friend to run down the street.

The –ingform refers to the present participle

INCORRECT:

**

using the simple form after let and help
Using the simple form after Let and Help

Let is followed by the simple form of a verb, not an infinitive.

My father lets me to drive his car.

  • I let my friend borrow my bicycle.
  • Let’s go to a movie.

Incorrect

Correct

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Help is often followed by the simple form of the verb.

  • My brother helped me washed my car.
  • My brother helped to wash my car.

EXAMPLE

using causative verbs make have and get
Using causative verbs: Make, have and get

Make, have, and get can be used to express the idea that “X” causes “Y” to do something. When they are used as causative verbs, their meanings are similar but not identical.

  • I made my brother carry my suitcase.
  • I had my brother carry my suitcase.
  • I got my brother to carry my suitcase.
  • X makes Y do something (Simple form)
  • X has Y do something (Simple form)
  • X gets Y to do something (Infinitive)

Example

Forms

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Causative make is followed by the simple form of a verb, not an infinitive. (Incorrect: She made him to clean his room). Make gives the idea that “X” forces “Y” to do something.

  • Mrs. Lee made her son clean his room.
  • Sad movies make me cry.

Example

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Causative have is followed by the simple form of a verb, not a infinitive (Incorrect: I had him to repair the leak). Have gives the idea that “X” request “Y” to do something.

  • I had the plumber repair the leak.
  • Jane had the waiter bring her some tea.

Example

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Example

Causative get is followed by an infinitive. Get gives the idea the “X” persuades “Y” to do something.

  • The students got the teacher to dismiss class early
  • Sebastian got his friends to play soccer with him after school
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The past participle is used after have and get to give passive meaning. In this case, there is usually little or no difference in meaning between have and get.

  • I had my watch repaired (by someone).
  • I got my watch repaired (by someone).

Example

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