Infinitive or –ing ? Choose the right form !
The basics Easy rules you CAN ALWAYS remember …
The VERB + -ING form is used: 1. After prepositions: The company is looking intoexpanding their operations in the Middle East.
And… 2. As a subject or object of a sentence: Financing the arts is an expensive form of publicity. The company directors fixed breaking into the Japanese market as their main objective.
& 3. After while, before, after and when After completing his studies, he got a job in a bank. When implementing a new project, it’s important to keep to budget.
& 4. After certain verbs including: Admit, appreciate, avoid, celebrate, consider, contemplate, delay, deny, dislike, enjoy, face, fancy, finish, imagine, involve, keep, mention, mind, miss, postpone, practise, report, resent, resist, risk, suggest Ex.: They postponed launching their special offer until after the holiday season.
Do you need to memorize the list ? • Notnecessarily…..these are verbsthat are oftenfollowedbyanobject, or a preposition…. • Forexample, you….. • …practiseplayinga musical instrument • …reportseeinga personstealing a car • …resentsomeoneinsultingyou. • …suggestseeing a doctor
We use the infinitive… 1. To express purpose: The purpose of this meeting is to discusspossible strategies for the launching of our new product. They sold the land to finance the building of a new factory.
& 2. After adjectives The Fine Arts Festival indicated that they would be delightedto acceptour sponsorship 3. After too and enough. It’s too far to walk. It’s too far in the future to decide yet. The offer is not high enough for us to accept.
& 4. As a formal way to talk about something that will happen in the future : President Obama is to visit Italy next April. Volkswagen are to open a new factory in Romania next month.
& 5. After certain verbs, including: afford, agree, aim, appear, arrange, ask, attempt, choose, dare, decide, demand, deserve, expect, fail, happen, help, hesitate, hope, intend, learn, manage, mean, neglect, offer, plan, prepare, pretend, promise, prove, refuse, seem, tend, threaten, volunteer, wait, want, wish
For example: Don’t hesitate to contact me if you require assistance. He seemed to be very sure he was right. He demanded to see the director immediately. She appeared to be confused. I arranged to meet my sister for lunch.
Complete these sentences using the correct form of the verb in brackets: • 1. ……(GO) into business involves ….(TAKE) a certain amount of risk. • 2. That production is not cost-effective enough …..(CONTINUE) with it: we risk ….. (GO) bankrupt unless we modify it. • 3. He was quick …..(SPOT) the mistake in the accounts, and without even …..(RUN) them through the computer.
…. • 4. ….(DISCOURAGE) their workers from …. (GO) on strike, FIAT has been threatening …. (CLOSE) its Italian operations. • 5. Do you happen …(KNOW) if Mr. Woodward is considering …. (VISIT) Zurich during his European trip ? • 6. Could you arrange …. (HOLD) the meeting after …. (COMPLETE) the proposal .
VERB COMBINATIONS We know that verbs are often followed by other verbs: I enjoy reading. I didn’t choose to dothis job. You deserve to geta promotion. She denies cheatingon the test. But how can we know whether the 2nd verb is a to-infinitive or ends with –ing ?
VERB + VERB+ing • The –ing verb focuses on: • an action or state BEFORE the action of the first verb: • She admitted taking a bribe. • She finished doing her homework an hour ago. • Now that he is in prison, he misses seeing his wife and children.
b. the activity itself: I hate working the night shift. She recommends selling the shares now.
Some common verbs followed by –ing involve: Saying and thinking(admit, consider, deny) Liking and disliking(dislike, enjoy, not mind) Phrasal verbs(carry on, give up, put off, look forward to....) Phrases withcan’t(can’t bear, can’t stand, can’t help) It’s not worth..... / It’s no use / no good.... Other common verbs: avoid, delay, finish, involve, keep, miss, postpone, practice, risk
admit appreciatecontemplate hive up involve deny enjoy consider carry on mean look forward to remember justify can’t stand mind anticipate resent warrant detest recollect risk recommend delay dislike/hate like/love jeopardise suggest put off avoid miss
We use MIND +-ing in negative and interrogative sentences. Do you mind waiting a moment ? GO and COME + –ing are used for sports and outdoor activities: I often go skiing in the winter. Do you want to come shopping with me ?
1. Travelling doesn’t bother me as long as there are no delays. (mind) I don’t.....____________________________ 2. He was late so I didn’t see him. (miss) He was late so ....._____________________ 3. Why on earth did you spend so much money on clothes. (justify) How can you ..... _____________________ 4. In my job I have to meet many people. (involve) My job ... ____________________________
VERB + to-INFINITIVE The to-infinitive form focuses on: a) a purpose (to explain why we do something): I’m calling to find outif you stock spare parts. She intends to complainabout her marks.
b) a future situation: They are planning to launch a takeover bid. I’ve arranged to see the sales rep tomorrow. I expect to see them in Rome next week.
c) The infinitive is used after a question word: Can you show me how to get on the Internet on this computer ? Some common verbs followed by to-infinitive forms are: Intend attempt promise plan guarantee mean try undertake arrange offer want hope forget seem fail wish expect remember appear neglect claim pretend
1. We will provide a 24-hour-a-day hotline. (undertake) We.....___________________________ 2. Send them the samples they requested—don’t forget, will you ? (remember) Please ....________________________ 3. I anticipate receiving an answer soon (expect) I ..... ______________________________ 4. I have every intention of complaining. (intend) I fully ... _________________________
VERB + OBJECT + to-infinitive When we want to talk about two actions performed by different people or things, the verbs are separated by an object: He didn’t want me to attend the meeting. (NOT: He didn’t want that I attend...) They don’t allow you to smoke at work. (NOT: They don’t allow that...) A laptop enables people to work on a plane. (NOT: A laptop enables that...)
Some common verbs used with an object + to-infinitive are: advise allow ask cause challenge choose defy enable encourage expect forbid force help inspire instruct intend invite lead leave mean oblige order pay permit persuade prefer programme recruit remind teach tell train trust urge use warn
VERB + OBJECT + VERB +ing Some verbs are used with an object + a second verb ending in –ing: Her comment set me (to) thinking . Outsourcing would save you (from) spending money on permanent staff.
Some common verbs used this way are: catch describe discover feel find hear imagine keep leave like listen to notice observe prevent (from) save see send set show watch
VERBS of PERCEPTION The choice of –ing or the infinitive without to depends on the meaning: -ing when not all of the action is seen or heard: I sawa manstealing some clothes from a shop. I heard a door banging repeatedly. He watched the crowd leaving the stadium. Infinitive, if all of the action is seen or heard: I saw a man steal some clothes from a store. He watched the crowd leave the stadium. I heard a door bang once and then nothing.
VERB + INFINITIVE without TO: A few verbs used in second position do not take to. These are let, make and have (in the sense of ‘cause to happen’). We let them to have a 10% discount. Don’t make me to laugh. Could you have the secretary to bring us coffee, please ?
VERB + IT + OBJECT CLAUSE: When the object of a verb is a clause, to+infinitive or –ing structure, we use IT after the verb to introduce the clause: I find it impossible to understandtheir culture. The government regard it as unnecessary to raisetaxation. She feels it is necessary to send a copy to absolutely everyone.
CORRECT THE ERRORS IN THESE SENTENCES: I find impossible to work with him. They made us to work extremely hard in my previous job. She never let me to take any decisions Could you have Mr. Clarke to prepare some statistics ? She’s finding difficult to get used to her new job.
VERB + for + to-INFINITIVE Some verbs are followed by the preposition FOR and its object, then an infinitive: He arranged for his secretary to drivehim to the airport. I waited for him to get back in touch. They called for the union to reconsiderits strike.
These verbs can be used in this way: Appeal apply arrange ask call Opt pay plead vote wait Wish yearn
VERB + possessive + verb + ing It’s possible to introduce a possessive pronoun or genitive between the first and second verb. ‘Please forgive me for asking’ INFORMAL ‘Please forgive my asking’ FORMAL That would entail our making a concession. This will save our wasting time. They have suggested his going to the symposium. He’s looking forward to our visit.
SPECIAL CASES: Certain verbs can be followed either by an infinitive or another verb +ing, but the choice leads to a change in meaning: REMEMBER / FORGET: + ing for PAST MEMORIES (the action happens before remembering) + to infinitive for actions someone is/was supposed to do.
I will never forget meeting Bill Gates. (=always remember meeting) I sometimes forget to wear my seatbelt. (=don’t remember to wear) She remembered to turn her headlights off. (=didn’t forget) She remembers turning off her headlights. (=has a clear memory of)
MEAN + ing = when one thing results in/ requires another MEAN + to infinitive = an intention I mean to see her later this week. (Intend to) I could get a better job but it would mean moving. (=involve)
STOP + -ing = when we end an action STOP + to infinitive = to give the reason for stopping We stopped buyingfrom that supplier. (=ceased) He stopped to have a drinkon the way home. (in order to)
GO ON + ing = continue something GO ON + to infinitive = when we move on to something else. They went on tradingeven though they were nearly bankrupt. (=did the same thing) After leaving IBM he went on to starthis own company. (=did something new)
TRY + -ing = when we do something and then see what happens TRY + to infinitive = we make an effort but don’t necessarily suceed Why don’t you try giving the staff greater autonomy ? (=experiment and see what happens) He tried to learn Russian but gave up. (=attempted/made the effort)
REGRET + ing = am sorry about something in the past REGRET + to infinitive = to give bad news I regret sayingno to the job in Paris. I regret to inform youthat we are unable to....
VERBS OF PERCEPTION: see, watch, feel, hear, listen to, notice: • If we see or hear only part of the action, or it continues, we use –ing • If we see or hear the whole action from beginning to end we use the infinitive:
Compare: I saw her giving the presentation I saw her give the presentation. I heard the machine make a strange noise. I heard the machine making a strange noise.
VERBS WITH LITTLE CHANGE IN MEANING (infinitive or –ing) BEGIN, CONTINUE, INTEND, START In the 2nd quarter, when the market beganto godown, we began sellingstock to minimize our losses.
N.B. We usually DO NOT use two –ing forms together: It was starting to get dark NOT It was starting getting dark.
LIKE /LOVE /HATE /PREFER + to infinitive = a good/bad idea LIKE /LOVE /HATE / PREFER + -ing form = shows your feelings I like to domy taxes early, but I don’t like doing them.