- General rules:
– We use the gerund (-ing):
a) when the gerund is the object or part of the subject of a clause:
Exercising every morning is the best way to keep fit!
b) after prepositions and phrasal verbs:
We are really looking forward to hearing from you.
c) after certain verbs (next section):
We should really avoid driving through the city centre in the rush hour.
– We use the infinitive (to + base):
a) after the verb to be + some adjectives (+ noun):
I am happy to give you a hand with your homework.
She is a rather amusing person to spend time with.
b) in constructions with too and enough:
He spoke too quickly for anyone to understand.
I didn’t have enough money to buy the house.
c) to express purpose:
I decided to go to England to learn English.
d) after certain verbs (next section):
I expect to get good grades this year.
- List of verbs:
1) Verbs & expressions followed by –ing or to + infinitive WITHOUT a change in meaning
can(‘t) bear – hate – like – love – prefer – begin – continue – intend – plan – propose – can(‘t) stand – start
I can’t bear to watch / watching horror movies.
I love to go / going to McDonanld’s on Saturdays.
2) Verbs & expressions followed by –ing or to + infinitive WITH a change in meaning
forget – need* – remember – try – go on – mean – regret- stop – want* – require**
* need/want/require + v-ing = passive meaning
** require s.o. to + infinitive
I forgot to get some bread on my way home. (something you had to do)
I’ll never forget visiting Disney Land when I was a kid. (a memory you have)
3) Verbs & expressions followed by -ing:
appreciate – avoid – contemplate – delay – deny – detest – dislike – endure – enjoy – escape – excuse – face – fancy – finish – involve – mention – mind – miss – postpone – practice – resent – risk – suggest
it’s no good – it’s no use – feel like – spend time – waste time – it’s worth – there’s no point – can’t help
It’s no good studying everything by heart. It’s far more important to understand things.
He denied stealing the computer. In fact, he accused one of his colleagues.
4) Verbs & expressions followed by to + infinitive
can’t afford – agree – appear – arrange – attempt – ask – choose – dare – decide – demand – deserve – expect – fail – grow – hasten – happen – hope – hurry – learn – long – manage – neglect – offer – pay – plan – pledge – pretend – promise – refuse – resolve – seek – seem – struggle – swear – threaten – vow – wish
He couldn’t even afford to buy a pair of shoes after his business went bust.
She offered to pay for dinner, but Mike refused to let her.
5) Verbs followed by the bare infinitive (without to)
feel s.o. – have s.o. – hear s.o.* – let s.o. – make s.o. – see s.o.*
All modals except ought to
I heard you come into the room late last night.
My parents will never let me go out on a weekday.
You should wait and see which way the wind blows.
* Can also be followed by -ing form:
I heard you arrive/arriving late.
I saw you talk / talking to her yesterday. What did she want?
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