As I’m sure you know, with some verbs we use a gerund and with others we use to-infinitive. For those of you wishing to expand your knowledge of these two areas of English grammar, here are a few harder examples for you to enjoy.
A few verbs allow you to use either, for example: love, hate, and like.
- I’m loving it. You’re going to love it.
- I could see he was hating every minute of it. She was going to hate him once he told her the truth.
With a verb like ‘begin’ you must take into account the tense. E.g.
- Present simple = I began feeding the cats at 5pm and finished at about 5:45pm. (began + gerund)
- Present tense = I’m beginning to think the cats no longer enjoy dry cat food. (begin as gerund + to-infinitive)
The verb stop differs in meaning if it’s gerund or -to infinitive.
If it’s the former, a gerund, then it is discussing a process:
- Stop messing about and help me.
- Stop lying to everyone!
- Stop smoking.
If it is a stop + -to infinitive then it’s meaning is ‘in order to do something‘:
- The policeman stopped to catch his breath.
- I’ll stop to pick you up outside at 4pm sharp.
- We stopped to wish you a happy birthday.
With the verbs forget and remember + gerund = forget you’ve done something in the past e.g.
- I’m always forgetting where I left the keys.
- She can’t be blamed for not remembering if no one told her in the first place.
With forget and remember + -to infinitive = something to do with the future e.g.
- Before you leave for school you need to remember to feed the cat.
- Don’t forget to feed the cat before you go to school.
There are verbs which can give a passive/active twist e.g. need + gerund = passive
- The dishes need washing. (need + -ing = passive)
- That new cat needs vaccinating. (need + -ing = passive)
- The dog needs walking. (need + -ing = passive)
And need + -to infinitive = active
- You need to wash the dishes. (need + -to infinitive = active)
- I need to vaccinate the cat. (need + -to infinitive = active)
- The kids need to walk the dog. (need + -to infinitive = active)
So there you are with a few little examples of more advanced uses for gerunds and -to infinitives. Enjoy and remember to add several examples of your own under mine to help cement the concepts.
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