gerunds and infinitives n.
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Gerunds and Infinitives. Gerunds and infinitives can function as: NOUNS ( subjects, objects, subject complements) As subjects, they take a singular verb. Only Gerunds can be object of the preposition.

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Gerunds and infinitivescan function as:NOUNS(subjects, objects, subject complements) As subjects, they take a singular verb. Only Gerunds can be object of the preposition.


To form gerunds, usethe base form + ing(don’t’ forget the rules for spelling of ing form of verbs)I enjoy learning EnglishTo form negative gerunds, use not + gerundNot speaking English well is my biggest problem in this country.

gerunds used as objects

Gerunds used as objects

He enjoys working with children.

verbs that take only gerunds




















Verbs that take only Gerunds
gerunds used as object of the preposition

Gerunds used as object of the preposition

I am thinking abouttaking the children to Mexico.

common preposition combinations followed by gerunds
Common preposition combinations followed by gerunds
  • Be excited about, complain about, talk about, think about, worry about
  • Apologize for, blame for, famous for
  • Believe in, interested in, succeed in
  • Take care of, instead of, be accused of
  • Insist on, count on, concentrate on
  • Keep from, prevent from, profit from
  • In addition to, look forward to, be used to

By + gerundYou get good grades by studying hard.go + gerundRecreational activities: camping, dancing,sightseeing, swimming, skiing, fishing, jogging,I willgo fishingwith you tomorrow.

some expressions are used with gerunds

Some expressions are used with gerunds

Be busy, can’t help, have fun,

it’s no use, it’s not worth


To form infinitives useto + base form of the verbI want to danceTo form negative infinitives useNot + infinitiveHe decided not to go to the party.

infinitives in the subject position

Infinitives in the subject position

To live in the United States is my dream

It is my dream to live in the United States.

verbs that take infinitives
Verb + infinitives – agree, appear, decide

hope, intend, learn, offer, plan, seem, tend, wait, can afford

Verb + Noun phrase + infinitive – cause, convince, force, invite, order, persuade, remind, tell, trust, warn, advise, encourage

Verbs that come directly after the infinitive or have a noun phrase – ask, beg, choose, expect, need, want, would like, promise

Verbs that take infinitives
adjectives followed by infinitives

Adjectives followed by infinitives

Afraid, amazed, anxious, ashamed, careful, delighted, eager, fortunate, glad, happy, lucky, pleased, ready, sad, sorry,

infinitive of purpose

Infinitive of purpose

In order to

I came here in order to learn.


Infinitive with too and enoughtoo + adjective or adverb + infinitiveShe is too young to vote.Adjective or adverb + enough + infinitiveThey are old enough to vote.


Gerunds often follow verbs that indicate that an action is happening or has happened.The action expressed by the verb comes at the same time or after the action expressed by the gerund.We enjoy going to concerts. (you can only enjoy things you are doing or have done – not things you haven’t done yet.)


Infinitives often follow verbs that indicate that an action will or could happen.The action expressed by the verb comes before the action expressed by the infinitive.We hope to go to the concert.(You can hope for things that could happennot things that have already happened)


Verbs that are followed by a noun phrase + infinitivecan also be followed by a gerund.The gerund makes it general and the infinitive make specific the person indicated.Theyallow smokingin this building.Theyallowed me to smokein thehouse.

Some verbs can be followed by both gerund or infinitive with no change in meaning.Begin, hate, like,start, love, prefer, continue

Some verbs although they can be used after both gerunds and infinitives have a difference in meaning. rememberforgetregretstoptryget


Verbs of perception:infinitives: from start to finishGerunds: in progressI heard the children cry.I saw your friends walking in the park.


When a specific performer of the gerund action needs to be indicated, a possessive noun or a possessive determiner is used.I really appreciate Karen’s/herwriting that letter for me.Peter’s/his coming late really annoys me.


Your neglecting your teeth will cause an earlier return to the dentist.Their denying the allegation was understandable.I didn’t like the dog’s barking all night.


When an infinitive functions as a subject or a subject complement, any stated subject of the infinitive should be preceded by for. If a pronoun follows for, it must be in object form.When the subject of a gerund is stated, it takes the possessive form.


For people to see is a wonderful gift.Her desire was for them to take a trip around the worldThey hoped for her to be able to attend the concert.


Infinitives can occur in the progressive but gerunds cannot.To be doingIt is used to indicate an activity in progress or ongoingShe had hoped to be working


Both gerunds and infinitives can occur in the perfect formhaving doneto have doneIt is used to indicate that the activity is in the pastWe appreciate having heard her sing.We’re fortunate to have heard her sing


Havemakeletare causative verbs. They cause someone to do something.They are always followed by a noun phrase + base form of verb.Do not use an infinitive after these verbs.She made mefall.

She madeher daughtergo to the party.She lethimtake the camera.She hadmeprepare breakfast yesterday.
After causative verbs:getconvincepersuadeuse the infinitiveShe got me to work.She convinced me to work.

Sense-perception verbs:hear, listen tofeel, smell, seewatch, observe, noticeare followed by either a noun phrase + base or –ing form with only a slight difference in meaning.


Helpcan take an infinitive or base form.It can occur with or without a noun phrase.I helpedthem carrythe boxes.I helpedthem to clean upafter theparty.


perfect infinitive: to have movedprogressive infinitive: to be workingperfect progressive infinitive:to have been playingpassive: to be seenperfect passive: to have been chosen

perfect gerund having moved passive gerund being done perfect passive gerund having been selected
Perfect gerund: having movedpassive gerund: being doneperfect passive gerund: having been selected