A gerund is a ‘noun’ made from a verb by adding “-ing”. An infinitive is the “to” form of the verb. It might be complicated to remember which verbs are followed by an infinitive form and which by a gerund form. Here are some tips to help you.
We use gerund form:
- As a subject of a sentence:
Smoking is a bad habit.
- After the verbs: enjoy, stop, start, avoid, finish, admit, consider, deny…
She considered moving to a bigger flat.
- After prepositions:
I am interested in writing.
- After certain phrases such as: it’s no use, it’s worth, it’s no good, …
It’s no use shouting, they can’t hear you.
Note: some verbs can be followed by either gerund or infinitive without change in their meaning:
I like staying up late on Saturdays.
I like to stay up late on Saturdays.
But some verbs can be followed by either gerund or infinitive but with a change in their meaning:
He remembered to send an email. (he remembered an email and sent it).
He remembered sending an email (he remembered the act of sending an email).
We use an infinitive form:
- As a subject at the beginning of a sentence:
To speak a foreign language requires a lot of work.
- After the verbs: help, learn, manage, happen, fail, arrange, agree, choose,…
I helped my mother to tidy up the garden.
- After verbs that refer to future events such as: want, promise, hope, intend, would like…
I would like to study French.
- After adjectives: glad, disappointed, pleased,…
I am disappointed to hear that you didn’t pass your exam.
- Please tell them to stop _____________ (make) noise.
- I would like __________ (learn) English well.
- Mery always helps me _________ (do) my homework.
- I am glad ________ (meet) you.
- It’s worth _________ (see) Paris.
- Sarah wanted ___________ (learn) to drive ever since she was a little girl.
(Answers: 1. making, 2. to learn, 3. to do, 4. to meet, 5. seeing, 6. to learn)