Gerunds and Infinitives in English Grammar


Gerunds and Infinitives in English Grammar

FAQ:

  • What are gerunds and infinitives?
    What is a gerund example?
    What is the difference between a gerund and an infinitive?
    What is the difference between a gerund a participle and an infinitive?
    What is an example of an infinitive?
    What is the function of an infinitive in a sentence?
    What is the participle in a sentence?
    What is the use of a gerund?
    What is the difference between a gerund and a participle?

Gerunds and Infinitives

Gerunds


Gerund can 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, use the base form + ing
I enjoy learning English

To form negative gerunds, use not + gerund
Not speaking English well is my biggest problem in this country.

  1. Gerunds used as subject of the sentence.
    Dancing is fun.
    Drinking water is good for health.
    2.  Gerunds used as objects
    He enjoys working with children.

    3.  Gerunds used as object of the preposition
    I am thinking about taking the children to   Mexico.

    4.  By + gerund
    You get good grades by studying hard.

  2. Go + gerund- Recreational activities: camping, dancing, sightseeing, swimming, skiing, fishing, jogging,
    I will go fishing with you tomorrow.
  3. Do + a lot of + Gerund

Jenny did a lot of ridding when she was in     college.

They will be doing a lot of traveling next         month.

  1. Would rather/sooner & prefer/would prefer

Jenny prefers reading to writing.

  1. As object of a transitive verb

            We cannot bear eating rotten stuff.

            They began laughing.

Gerunds and Infinitives in English Grammar

Common preposition combinations followed by gerunds

  • Be excited about, complain about, talk about, think about, worry about
  • Apologize for, blame for
  • Believe in, interested in, succeed in
  • Take care of, instead of, be accused of
  • Insist on
  • Keep from, prevent from
  • In addition to, look forward to, be used to

By + gerund
You get good grades by studying hard.

go + gerund
Recreational activities:
camping, dancing, sightseeing, swimming, skiing, fishing, jogging,
I will go fishing with you tomorrow.


Some expressions are used with gerunds
Be busy, can’t help, have fun,
it’s no use, it’s not worth.

 

Verbs that take only Gerunds

  • Appreciate
  • Avoid
  • Delay
  • Deny
  • Discuss
  • Dislike
  • Enjoy
  • Excuse
  • Finish
  • understand
  • Keep
  • Mention
  • Mind
  • Postpone
  • Quit
  • Recall
  • Recommend
  • Resent
  • suggest
Gerunds and Infinitives in English Grammar

Infinitives


To form infinitives use
to + base form of the verb
I want to dance

To form negative infinitives use
Not + infinitive
He decided not to go the party.

 

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

 

Infinitive of purpose

In order to

I came here in order to learn.

Infinitive with too and enough
too + adjective or adverb + infinitive
She is too young to vote.

Adjective or adverb + enough + infinitive
They are old enough to vote.

Adjectives followed by infinitives

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

 

Gerunds often follow verbs that indicate that an action is happening or has happened.

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.

We hope to go to the concert.
(You can hope for things that could happen not things that have already happened)

 

Verbs that are followed by
a noun phrase + infinitive
can also be followed by a gerund.

The gerund makes it general and the infinitive make specific the person indicated.

They allow smoking in this building.
They allowed me to smoke in the house.

 

Some verbs can be followed by both gerund or infinitive with no change in meaning.

Begin, hate, like, start, love, prefer, continue

I like cooking.
I like to cook.

She started losing weight
She started to lose weight.

 

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

Remember, forget, regret, stop, try, get

She stopped smoking.
She stopped to smoke.

They forgot buying bread.
They forgot to buy bread.

 

 

When a specific performer of the gerund action needs to be indicated, a possessive noun or a possessive determiner is used.

I really appreciate Kiran’s/him writing  that letter for me.

Peter’s/his coming late really annoys me.

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.

 

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 world

They hoped for her to be able to attend the concert.

 

Infinitives can occur in the progressive but gerunds cannot.
To be doing

It is used to indicate an activity in progress or ongoing
She had hoped to be working

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.

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