Infinitive Vs. Gerund
Infinitive Vs. Gerund
Infinitive Vs. Gerund
Infinitive with to is used:
To express purposes or intentions:
e.g.: She went to bring some food./ He bought some paints to
paint the house.
2. After certain verbs (agree, appear, decide, expect, hope, plan,
refuse, ask, begin, care, demand, deserve, happen, would
e.g.: I don’t care to participate in this game.
3. After adjectives that describe feelings (happy, sad, glad,
pleased, excited…) express “un”willingness (willing, eager,
reluctant, hesitant, motivated…), refer to characters (clever,
kind, nice,…) and the adjectives (un)lucky and (un)fortunate.
e.g.: We’re sad to hear about his death.
It’s nice of you to help my son.
4. With too and enough:
e.g.: I have too many books to carry.
She’s old enough to drive.
I have enough food to eat.
5. With only to express unexpected events:
e.g.: We’ve shopped for three hours only to buy one
6. After adj. in these patterns:
a. it+ be+ adj.+inf. e.g.: It’s good to see you.
b. it+ be+ adj.+ for+ n./pro.+ inf.
e.g.: It’s hard for me to solve this problem.
7. After be+ first,second,last,…
e.g.: Muna was the last one to attend the
8. With question words after the verbs: explain,
decide, ask, learn, want to know…
e.g.: she decided when to travel.
I want to know how to cook rice.
9. In the expressions to tell you the truth, to be
honest, to sum up, to begin,start, end with,…
• Infinitive without to is used (bare infinitive):
1. After modal verbs (can, could, may, might, must, will,
e.g.: I must leave now.
2. After verb to do (do, does, did):
e.g.: I don’t think so.
3. After the verbs feel, hear, see, notice, watch, make,
e.g.: Let her go with you.
4. After would rather and had better:
e.g.: I'd rather swim in the pool than go down to the
The uses of –ing form:
As a subject:
e.g.: Smoking here is prohibited.
2. After certain verbs (enjoy, admit, appreciate, can't stand / help /
bear, deny, avoid, mind, understand , imagine, consider, deny,
fancy, continue, suggest, practise, save, prevent, miss, quit,
spend, waste, lose, general preferences with (love, hate, like,
dislike, prefer, enjoy,…) , incomplete actions with (hear, listen
to, notice, see, watch, feel)
e.g.: I always avoid talking to her.
She spends a lot of time chatting with her friends.
Mary hates laughing in public places.
I heard her talking about you. (part of it) BUT
I heard her talk about you. (all of it)
3. After prepositions (in, on, at,..) and to in the
expressions( look forward to, be used to, in
addition to, object to, prefer)
e.g.: I’m tired of arguing./ We’re used to
playing outside./ I prefer reading to writing.
4. After expressions like (be busy, it’s no use, it’s
‘no’ good, it’s ‘not’ worth, the use of, can’t help,
have difficulty ‘in’, have trouble,…
e.g.: It’s worth suffering.
The Differences in Meaning between the To-inf. and Gerund
Some verbs can be followed be either a gerund or an
infinitive BUT the meaning is different.
STOP: He stopped smoking for health reasons.
He stopped to rest for a few minutes.
TRY: She can’t find a job. She tried looking in the newspaper
but in vain.
She tried to climb the tree.
REGRET: I regretted being late to the interview.
WE regret to tell you your position at the company is being
MEAN: If you take that job in Amman, it will mean taking two
I mean to finish this task by tomorrow.
FORGET: She forgot reading the book when she was a kid.
She forget to read the book.
REMEMBER: I remember turning off the lights.
I remember to turn off the lights.
He stopped smoking for health reasons. (quit or finish doing
He stopped to rest for a few minutes. (in order to)
She can’t find a job. She tried looking in the newspaper but in
vain. (to try or experiment to see if sth works.)
She tried to climb the tree, but she couldn’t even get off the
ground. ( you want to do sth but don’t succeed.)
I regretted being late to the interview. (sorry about)
We regret to tell you that your position at the company is being
eliminated. (sorry to)
If you take that job in Amman, it will mean travelling for two
hours daily. (expresses the result of an action/what will be.)
I mean to finish this task by tomorrow. (intention/plan.)
She forgot reading the book when she was a kid. (not to
remember you have done sth; she read the book but has
She forgot to read the book. ( not to remember to do sth; she
didn’t read it.)
I remember turning off the lights. (not to forget what you’ve
done; you’ve turned them off.)
I remember to turn off the lights. (not to forget what to do; you
will turn them off.)
Complete the following sentences with (inf. with to,
bare inf. Or gerund)
1. I prefer_________(walk) to the supermarket than
2. She agreed _________(come) and
_________(help) us ________(buy) dresses for the
3. Mike is obsessed with_______ (use) the computer.
4. This movie makes me _______(cry).
5. I’m lucky _______ (have) a friend like you.
6. I have to quit __________(bite) my nails.
7. He’s not used to _________(study) at night.
8. She’s learnt how __________(read).
9. I’d better ____________(sleep).
10. _________(be) honest, I don’t like her.
Study the following pairs of sentences
and write the meaning of the underlined
1. a. He remembers to lock the door.
b. He remembers locking the door.
2. a. Being a teacher means having a
lot of challenge.
b. Sorry. I didn’t mean to hurt you.
3. a. I stopped talking to her.
b. I stopped to talk to her.