THE GERUND • It can be used as • the subject of a sentence: Swimming is Dorothy’s favourite sport. • The object of a sentence: The most important thing is learning. • Also, after all prepositions, including adj+prep phrases and verb pattern ending in a preposition: • I’m tired of not having a garden. • I’m looking forward to seeing them. • After phrasal verbs: He went on peeling the potatoes. • After common expressions such as: It’s not worth, waste/spend time, burst out. • After certain verbs, including most verbs of liking and disliking.
Verbs usually followed by a gerund admit face miss avoid fancy postpone consider feel like practise contemplate finish put off delay forgive recollect deny give up resent detest can’t help resist dislike imagine risk dread involve can’t face enjoy leave off can’t stand escape mention suggest excuse mind understand
THE INFINITIVE • It is used after certain verbs such as ought to, used to, have to and be able to. • They can be used as subjects and complements of a sentence. However, gerunds sound more like normal, spoken English whereas infinitives sound more abstract. • To learn is important. • The most important thing is to learn. • Infinitive without to after most modal verbs: would rather, had better and also, let,*make, *see, *hear, *feel, watch, notice, *help (informally). • I saw her take the money. *only in active sentences
In common structures such as to be + adj+ to+ inf or obj + to + inf. • It is difficult to understand what you mean. • It was nice to see you. • I want you to enjoy yourselves. • Notice also: • I have work to do. • Nobody is to blame. • The house is to let. • The man asked me how to get to the airport.
Verbs usually followed by an infinitive want attempt dare would like intend afford would prefer plan tend wught hope teach have expect learn be able arrange appear manage seem fail decide pretend
Verbs which can be used with either gerund or infinitive but with different meanings • remember, forget, regret doing: a past action or state. • remember, forget, regret to do: information to be remembered or passed on. e.g. I regret to inform you… I’ll never forget seeing the World Cup Final. • stop doing: stop doing the same action. • stop to do: the current activity is stopped and a new one started. e.g. He decided to stop smoking. He stopped to light his cigarette. • try doing: use a technique in order to achieve something. • try to do: attempt something, usually unsuccessfully. e.g. Try soaking it in salt water to loosen the stain. He tried to persuade her to go with him.