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I want to know, is there any difference between "stop + v.(ing)" and "stopped to + v.". These are example sentences.

I stop working for a month. vs I stopped to work for a month.
I stop watching movies. vs I stopped to watch movies.
I stop cooking for a year. vs I stopped to cook.

I read “I like to do (be) something” vs “I like doing (being) something” but I still don't understand what is the difference or when and how to use them.

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For future reference, questions like this should probably be posted at ell.stackexchange.com –  Doc Jan 3 at 15:51
    
Why are you comparing past tense forms to present tense forms? –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 21 at 8:31

2 Answers 2

up vote 17 down vote accepted

Both are correct, but they have very different meanings.

I stopped working means I once worked, and now no longer do. I stopped to work means that I once was doing something (unspecified, based on context), and I ceased from doing it so that I could work. The infinitive (to work) here has the meaning of in order to work and so that I could work.

So I stopped cooking means I once cooked, and no longer do, but I stopped to cook means I stopped [doing something] so that I was then able to cook.

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They cannot be both correct because OP's original sentence is "I stop working for a month." which is ungrammatical. –  Mari-Lou A Aug 20 at 8:44
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I stop working isn't ungrammatical, just unusual. There are some contexts it works: Every summer I stop working for a month to work on my tan. –  curiousdannii Aug 20 at 9:26
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@curiousdannii "I stop working for a month" vs. "I stopped to work for a month" is an error, or a typo whichever you prefer. –  Mari-Lou A Aug 20 at 11:41

The first sentences here, I think, are meant to be in the past simple, not the present:

  • I stopped working.
  • I stopped watching movies.
  • I stopped cooking.

All these sentences mean that I was doing some activity, working, watching or cooking at some point in the past, and then I finished doing it. In these cases, the verb stop is taking another verb as its complement. This verb must be in the -ing form.

The second sentence in each of the Original Poster's examples uses the verb stop without a complement. Because the verb stopped doesn't have a complement, we don't know what activity was happening. We don't know what I stopped doing. The I stopped part of the sentence is the same as just saying:

  • I stopped.

The second parts of these sentences use infinitives of purpose. We use infinitives of purpose to explain why someone does, did, or is going to do something:

  • I go to the gym to stay fit.
  • I went to the bar to get a drink.
  • I'm flying to Paris to visit my sister.

Why did I go to the gym? To stay fit.

In the Original Poster's example sentences, we don't know what I was doing, but we know why I stopped doing it:

  • to work for a month
  • to watch movies
  • to cook

These infinitives are not complements of the verb stop. The are adjuncts (or 'adverbials') which explain why I stopped doing whatever I was doing. They provide extra information.

Hope this helps

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