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English Grammar and Exercises for ESL learners.


GERUND - INFINITIVE


One of the difficulties of the English language is that  some verbs are followed by the gerund (ex : doing) and others are followed by the infinitive (ex : to do)

Below you will find some guidelines and examples to help you.



When do we use the GERUND? (verbs ending in -ing, ex: doing)

After verbs that express likes/dislikes :
like, love, enjoy, dislike, hate, don't mind, can't stand ...

Example : She likes doing crossword puzzles.
He enjoys listening to music in the car.
After certain other verbs such as :
admit, appreciate, avoid, consider, delay, deny, finish,
imagine, involve, keep (on), mention, miss, postpone, suggest ...

Example : Would you consider doing a few extra hours?
Can you image walking such a long distance?.
After prepositions :
worried/nervous/anxious about ...
Example : I'm a bit worried about driving in the snow.
interested in ...
Example : Are you interested in working for us?
instead of ...
Ex: Would you like to walk instead of taking the bus?
fond of ...
Ex: My mother is fond of doing crossword puzzles.
keen on ...
Ex: My dad is keen on watching sports on television.
look forward to ...
Ex:  Our parents are looking forward to seeing us soon.
good at ...
Ex:  Julie is good at making cakes.
before...
Ex: Before leaving the office, please turn off the lights.
after ...
Ex: After tidying the kitchen she went straight to bed.
After certain expressions :
it's no use ...
Ex:  It's no use pleading - I won't change my mind.
it's no good ...
Ex: It's no good shouting at him - he's deaf!
there's no point in ...
Ex: There's no point in cooking food - nobody's hungry!

When do we use the INFINITIVE? (ex : to do)

After verbs that refer to a future event :
want, hope, intend, would like, promise ...
Ex : I would like to do a course in medieval history.
He promised to return the book after reading it.
She hopes to find a job when she graduates.
After certain verbs such as :
afford, agree, arrange, choose, need, fail, happen,
help, learn, manage, offer, refuse, seem ...
Ex : I agree to pay for the damage.
Harry managed to get tickets for the match.

We arranged to go to the party together.
After adjectives:
glad/happy/relieved ...:  (glad to know that ...)
pleased/delighted... :    (pleased to meet you...)
disappointed/sorry... :   (disappointed to hear that ..)
After 'too' and 'enough'
it's too difficult...
Ex : It's too difficult to explain how it happened.
it's easy enough...
Ex : It's easy enough to install. You can do it yourself.


back to verb list