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 Gerund and Infinitive-Use

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Mohamed LAHRI

Posts : 125
Join date : 2009-07-27
Age : 30
Location : Zaida-Morocco

PostSubject: Gerund and Infinitive-Use   Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:47 pm

Gerunds and infinitives are forms of verbs that act like nouns.

e.g.:-Ali gave up smoking in 1977.
-He just decided to give up one day.
A gerund is a verb + -ing. An infinitive is to + the verb.
In both the examples above, the gerund and the infinitive are the objects of the verbs in the sentence. However, as noun substitutes, gerunds and infinitives can also be the subject of a sentence.

e.g.:-Smoking is hard habit to give up.
-To give up takes a lot of will power.

This lesson will focus primarily on verbs that precede infinitives and gerunds when they are used as objects in a sentence. Click here for a list of verbs that are followed by gerunds, verbs that are followed by infinitives, and verbs that can be followed by either.

**Some common verbs are always followed by a gerund:

-Jeannie admitted taking the money from the desk.
-The teacher considered calling the police.
-Jeannie said she was so embarrassed that she felt like dying.
-The teacher finally said she would recommend giving Jeannie a light punishment.

**Some verbs are always followed by infinitives.

-The president said he aimed to bring down taxes.
-He asked the Congress to pass a tax reduction bill.
-The president's party consented to lower the taxes.
-However, the opposition [u]refused
to cooperate.
-The president promised to fight for lower taxes in the next term.

Some verbs can be followed by either a gerund or an infinitive.

-Edina's husband, Bob, began taking cooking lessons last month.
-Soon he began to try out all his new creations on her.
-Edina said she likes eating as much as Bob likes to cook.
-She loves to sample his new recipes and she loves not cooking herself.
-However, she told me she regrets eating so much rich food.
-She's going to try eating less of his great food...and, she's going to try not to hurt Bob's feelings!

*A common expression in English is: go + an activity

-We go swimming.
-we go shopping.-we go fishing.
-we go jogging.-we go sightseeing.

**Some verbs have the same meaning when followed by an infinitive or a gerund:

-I like going to the races.
-I like to go to the races.

-I hate going to the dentist.
-I hate to go to the dentist.

-It began raining.
-It began to rain.

However, some verbs have a slightly different meaning when followed by an infinitive as opposed to a gerund.

*remember, forget, stop*
N.B.:The difference is often in the sequence of events.

See what you think about the following pairs of sentences:
-I remembered to feed the dog this morning.(I remembered and then I fed him.)
-I remember feeding him his favorite food.(I fed him and later I remembered the action.)

-I forgot to go to the bank.(I didn't remember and I didn't go to the bank.)
-I forgot going to the bank.(I went to the bank, but later I forgot that I did.)
I stopped to smoke. (I paused what I was doing to have a cigarette.)
-I stopped smoking.(I was a smoker, but now I'm not.)

*One more difference:

You can also use either an infinitive or a gerund after "go on".However, note the difference:

-I told Kamal to stop, but he went on putting his fingers in the soup. (The use of a gerund after go on indicates a continuing or persistent activity.)
-I was very proud of Kamal. We went on to become a famous chef.(The use of an infinitive after go on indicates a noteworthy or notorious future activity.)

The real test for you will be how well you get the feel of when to use infinitives or gerunds. You can get a better understanding of this if you read English novels and other materials critically.
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Gerund and Infinitive-Use
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