Questions about verbs in their basic (unmarked) forms, such as “be”, “do”, “have”, or “sit”, sometimes introduced by the particle “to” and other times used by itself.

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18
votes
2answers
8k views

When should a verb be followed by a gerund instead of an infinitive?

Some verbs are followed by ing, e.g. I enjoy swimming. We can't say I enjoy to swim. Likewise, some verbs are followed by to, e.g. I decided to make a plan. Which particular verbs are followed by ...
27
votes
10answers
46k views

What is the correct way to use infinitive after the verb “help”: with or without “to”?

What is the correct way to use infinitive after the verb "help": with or without "to"? For example: Please, help me to understand this. or: Please, help me understand this.
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Are split infinitives grammatically incorrect, or are they valid constructs?

Mark's generosity in this crisis seems to more than make up for his earlier stinginess. Should those sentences always be avoided, or are there cases where they are valid?
23
votes
7answers
16k views

Order of “not” with infinitive

This is one thing that keeps bugging me, and maybe there's a direct answer. Grammatically, which one is more correct of these two? Does it make a difference? I tried not to do that. I tried ...
11
votes
4answers
24k views

“I like to do (be) something” vs “I like doing (being) something”

This is what I read in an answer to a previous question: Verbs Followed by Either Gerund or Infinitive Sometimes the meaning changes according to the verb used. <…> (dis)like ...
3
votes
1answer
801 views

Usage of infinitives in this sentence

In my academics I learned that we use infinitives (to + verb 1st form). So I was surprised when someone told me this sentence is incorrect. I am not able to figure it out why this sentence is ...
11
votes
2answers
58k views

How to use “to + V-ing”?

I saw some scenarios that used the structure "to + V-ing", such as the following: Looking forward to hearing. Disposed to using few words. I would like to apply what I learned in school to helping ...
2
votes
1answer
726 views

“Heard me [infinitive]” vs. “heard me [present participle]”

"Heard me [infinitive]" vs. "heard me [present participle]" At that time, you wouldn't have heard me talk about it. At that time, you wouldn't have heard me talking about it. At ...
6
votes
4answers
839 views

Catenatives followed by infinitives and gerunds

What is the difference in meaning when the catenative verb “like” is followed by an infinitive, or by a gerund? For example: Do you like ski jumping? vs. Do you like to ski jump? Also, ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Grammatical complements for “allow”

Are any of these verb phrases grammatical? allows the user of modeling and resolving allows the user to model and resolve Which version of the following sentence is correct/better? ...
2
votes
3answers
531 views

“To do this or do that” or “to do this or *to* do that”?

I saw on the bottom of an email: To change your email preferences or unsubscribe from certain messages, click here. Is that correct or should it be: To change your email preferences or to ...
3
votes
3answers
294 views

Is “to practice volleyball requires stamina” grammatical?

Is the sentence "to practice volleyball requires stamina" grammatically correct? As opposed to the sentence "practicing volleyball requires stamina"? Another example: To ensure safety ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I know when a verb should be followed by a gerund or an infinitive?

A few weeks ago I posted a question about the usage of a verbal in a particular sentence. But now, I have another question on the same topic, gerund. Sometimes I don't know for sure if I need to use ...
4
votes
1answer
809 views

“Help rule out” vs. “help to rule out” [duplicate]

Duplicate of: What is the correct way to use infinitive after the verb “help”: with or without “to”? “Could help avoid” vs. “could help to avoid” “Helping you do ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Past tense and “rather than”

I found myself with a sentence like this, using "accept" in the infinitive form after "rather than": They left the club, rather than accept the terms. But I'm unsure of its grammatical ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Infinitives with “ought not”

Most of the references I can find about the word “ought” indicate that even when negating it, you should use an infinitive: “You ought not to go there.” That sounds quite bad ...
4
votes
4answers
37k views

“Started to work” vs “Started working”

What is the difference between the following: Things started to work again. Things started working again.
9
votes
3answers
3k views

“Important that John bring/brings” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use the subjunctive mood? Given the sentence John brings his lunch to school, is it correct to say It is important that John brings his lunch to ...
4
votes
3answers
497 views

How to remember the difference between: “Can you try to open this jar?” and “Can you try opening this jar?”

I am well aware that a similar question has been asked in the past, namely “Try to save” or “try saving”. However, I am not totally satisfied by the posted answers. My problem is that, every time I ...
8
votes
0answers
408 views

Infinitive without “to”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct way to use infinitive after the verb “help”: with or without “to”? Today I found this headline on bbc.co.uk How one ...
5
votes
6answers
754 views

Why are present participle and infinitive equally acceptable for some verbs, but not others

This question about "started teaching/to teach" made me realise that even though the present participle and infinitive are both acceptable after "started", that's not the case with other superficially ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

“Suggest to go” vs. “suggest going”

I took an English assessment test online and this was my answer: Someone suggested to go for a walk. My answer was wrong and this was the correct sentence: Someone suggested going for a ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

“Feel committed to [gerund/infinitive]”

Does "feel committed to" require an infinitive or gerund complement? For example, which of the following is grammatical? I feel committed to following up on that. I feel committed to follow ...
5
votes
2answers
526 views

Omitting the last “to” in “All {I need to / have to / must} do is (to?) do something” [duplicate]

I remember I learned a structure like the one that this post’s title mentions: All I {need to do | have to do | must do} is do something. But is it correct to use "to do something" after the ...
4
votes
2answers
689 views

The choice between the gerund and the infinitive in a certain construction

I am pretty much sure that for native speakers the issue I am going to bring up might look as an uncalled question as they can easily figure out which form of a verbal part of speech should be used, ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

“I am thinking to invest” or “I am thinking investing”?

Which of the following sentences is correct? I am thinking to invest in stocks. I am thinking investing into stocks.
6
votes
2answers
427 views

“It is fun to write letters” vs. “It is fun writing letters”

Grammatically, "It is fun to write English letters." is correct. But is the following also grammatically correct? It is fun writing English letters.
5
votes
3answers
277 views

'Should've seen it glow' or 'should've seen it glowing'?

Which one of the following is the correct one? I should have seen it glow. I should have seen it glowing. Or are both correct? Would you parse them please?
3
votes
2answers
217 views

Do the -ing and to-infinitive “verbs” that follow catenative verbs always take the grammatical function of “noun”?

I'm wondering whether or not the verb form that follows a catenative verb has the grammatical function of a noun or of a verb, and whether or not it depends on the first catenative verb. "I like to ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

“Would you have liked to have been” vs. “would you have liked to be”

I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in an article titled “No Rest for the Weary” in The New York Times (February 15, 2008). Would you have liked to have been president from ...
2
votes
0answers
105 views

“Helping you do something” or “Helping you to do something”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct way to use infinitive after the verb “help”: with or without “to”? In the phrase "Helping you to master Russian", is it ...
1
vote
5answers
10k views

Difference in meaning: “would have had to be” vs “would have had to have been”

Being a non native speaker, I cannot spot the difference here: He would have had to have been there. He would have had to be there. The only thing that comes to my mind is that in the first case, ...
1
vote
0answers
98 views

Is it correct to say “John helps you talk with people”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct way to use infinitive after the verb "help": with or without "to"? Sorry if this is a stupid question, but English is not my first language. For me ...
0
votes
2answers
577 views

Do I need to add “to” in every clause in a this sentence?

Working in the field helps us to learn how to apply theories to solve real-world problems, to apply […], and to […]. Are the "to" after each comma necessary?
5
votes
4answers
5k views

What is an “infinitive”?

I've heard that a verb usually follows the 'infinitive' but how does one define an 'infinitive'?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Difference between 'decided on' and 'decided to'?

Examples: I have decided on a blue carpet for the bedroom. I have decided to emigrate to Australia. What exactly is the difference between "decided on" and "decided to"? Is the usage simply based on ...
14
votes
4answers
342 views

“Be” as an action rather than a state

I’ve heard, on rare occasion, a subtle differentiation between be as a state (to passively embody) and be as an action (to actively embody). The latter form often occurs in parallel with do to add ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

“I love to [verb]” vs “I love [gerund]” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: Catenatives followed by infinitives and gerunds “I like to do (be) something” vs “I like doing (being) something” What is the difference between "I love to sing" and ...
3
votes
5answers
740 views

Infinitive vs. present participle (time relations)

I was told that one of the following refers to the past and the other to the future. I cannot decide which is which and would appreciate it if someone could explain the difference between these ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Usage of “to be done” [closed]

The following is a transcript of the well-known recorded lecture by Prof. Michael Sandel of Harvard University (the cited portion starts at 43:36): The only argument this painter makes is that the ...
3
votes
3answers
532 views

“Need just [verb]” vs. “need to just [verb]”

I wonder if it's okay to use these interchangeably: You need just accept it. You need to just accept it.
2
votes
2answers
449 views

Can object complements make any difference to sentences?

I'm reading a grammar book, and I have some questions. A. We ate the fish raw. I want Sue drunk. I prefer the music soft. I like coffee black. We drank the beer cold. This type of ...
2
votes
2answers
10k views

Expect +to VS expect + ing

I know that expect is used this way: I expect you to do that. But I have also seen examples like with verb in its "ing" form: > What to expect working at... > I will expect you doing ...
0
votes
2answers
99 views

fun to make and fun to eat

“These cookies are fun to make and especially fun to eat.” (source) Semantically, these cookies is both to-infinitves’ object; and to-infinitves seems to be the semantic subject of both funs, ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Dare + have done

Here is an example from an old book. I know it’s old but it can’t be simply discarded, I hope. "I never dare have spoken — never dare have told you that my love for you was killing me" So, I ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Help identifying an error type “tried to help me learning”

I have a friend from Russia who is trying to learn English and recently used the sentence "He tried to help me learning..." (implied: the English language) It is obviously wrong and I corrected it ...
8
votes
3answers
427 views

Is it appropriate to omit “to” after “ought”?

Is it appropriate to omit to after ought? I ought to be disciplined for my insolence. Vs. I ought be disciplined for my insolence. Is it okay to omit the to?
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Is 'I would rather…' without an infinitive immediately following it correct?

Consider: I would rather the walls remain painted in a neutral tint. Is this proper use of 'I would rather..', without an infinitive immediately following it? EDIT This suggests that 'I would ...
4
votes
3answers
345 views

'To swiftly go' or 'to go swiftly'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are split infinitives grammatically incorrect, or are they valid constructs? One of my friends once told me 'to go' is considered a whole word and no word should be put ...
4
votes
4answers
392 views

Do I have to use the auxiliary before all the verbs?

Which of the following is correct? I will dance and sing at the concert tonight. I will dance and will sing at the concert tonight. Does it happen with to, too? For example: I ...