Questions tagged [gerund-vs-infinitive]

Questions about the differences between "gerunds", formed with *-ing*, and infinitives, formed with *to*.

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58
votes
4answers
51k 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 ...
20
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7answers
10k views

How does one know when to use a gerund or an infinitive?

As a native speaker of English, the gerund version of this sentence sounds better: infinitive: When used together in chains, extension methods are an unprecedented tool to produce extremely ...
16
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4answers
104k 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 &...
17
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2answers
5k views

“Try to save” or “try saving”

Are both try to save the file and try saving the file grammatically correct? If so, is there any difference in meaning?
7
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4answers
2k 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, what ...
7
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1answer
25k views

“I saw him crossing” vs. “I saw him cross” [duplicate]

I saw him crossing the road. I saw him cross the road. Which one is correct and why?
19
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4answers
229k views

“Started to work” vs “Started working”

What is the difference between the following: Things started to work again. Things started working again.
9
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2answers
6k views

Difference between a gerund acting as subject and an infinitive acting as a subject?

I am wondering whether there is any difference between a gerund acting as subject and an infinitive acting as a subject.
12
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4answers
225k 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 walk. ...
4
votes
2answers
18k views

I saw her dance/dancing? I saw a flash of lightning strike/striking? I caught her steal/stealing? [duplicate]

Meta: I found a very similar post asking the difference between "I saw him cross" and "I saw him crossing". I have three additional questions on sentences of this form. In the post I am referring to, ...
1
vote
2answers
52k views

Can I start a sentence with To + verb? [duplicate]

For example: Making new friends is important to your happiness. and To make new friends is important to your happiness. I know the second sentence sounds odd, but I'm not sure if it's ...
8
votes
10answers
21k views

“To include” vs. “including”

In the hot story of today (the U.S. Senate report on "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques"), I noticed the following: He was subjected to numerous and repeated torture techniques, to include being ...
6
votes
2answers
98k views

What are the differences between “seems not” and “doesn't seem”?

Are the following sentences correct? He seems not to want to help us and He seems want to help us. Is it correct if I use "seem" in a negative sentence? Which role does "seem" play? Is ...
15
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8answers
3k views

“What I'm doing is watching TV.” — Why does it have to be the gerund-participle ('watching')?

What I do is watch TV. What I did was watch TV. What I had done was watch TV. ... But, What I am doing is watching TV. The only possible form of watch in the last sentence is ...
1
vote
4answers
10k views

I want (object) (infinitive) or (gerund)?

I want people to enjoy the show. or I want people enjoying the show. Is it possible to use both? I know it's a duplicate but the answers were not clear in the other posts.
1
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4answers
13k views

“spent a lot of time to shop” vs. “spent a lot of time shopping”

She spends a lot of time to shop. She spends a lot of time shopping. Are both of these sentences grammatically correct and do they have the same meaning?
1
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0answers
31 views

Gerund versus infinitive [duplicate]

I wonder if someone could offer feedback about the use and meaning difference between the use of infinitive and gerund Being an artist is admitting you are lost and not wanting to be found. Being an ...
0
votes
2answers
58 views

Why can't to-infinitive be used as subject in “Not to learn French is my biggest regret.”?

E.g. 1 "Not learning French is my biggest regret." E.g. 2 "Not to learn French is my biggest regret." I know that e.g. 1 is correct and e.g. 2 is wrong, but what is the grammar ...
0
votes
2answers
71k views

Which expression is correct? “I've already started working on it” or “I've already started to work on it” [duplicate]

today i attended an interview. The employer told me that I should know some skills about the job. Today I am going to start to work on those skills. Now, I am writing a "thank you for the interview" ...
0
votes
2answers
4k views

To see them play/playing [duplicate]

Excuse my limited acquaintance on English usage; which sentence is grammatically correct, and if any, which meaning does each convey? I saw them play chess. I saw then playing chess.
7
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3answers
64k views

“Stop working” vs “stopped to work”

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 ...
11
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4answers
2k views

“The carrots need being chopped” and “The carrots need to chop” [closed]

We can say both of the following: The carrots need to be chopped. The carrots need chopping. How does the grammar of these sentences affect their meaning? Why is it that in these instances need ...
4
votes
1answer
27k views

proud to be & proud of being

I have the following two sentences which I would like to confirm the difference in meaning for. I am proud to be a nurse. I am proud of being a nurse. I'm mainly wondering about the difference in ...
5
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4answers
13k views

Why “like doing something” or “like to do something” but only “dislike doing something”?

At a further education course for teachers, in Switzerland, (given by two native speakers of English), someone came up with the question of whether you could say "dislike doing something" and "dislike ...
6
votes
1answer
100k views

Looking forward to “ see” or “seeing”?

Which of the 2 sentences is correct? Sam is looking forward to see the Rocky mountains. Sam is looking forward to seeing the Rocky mountains.
3
votes
3answers
19k views

When to use the gerund form of a verb after “to”? [duplicate]

I would like to understand when to use the gerund form of a verb after "to." I had in my mind that every verb used after "to" was in its infinitive form, like for example: It is hard to play the ...
2
votes
2answers
666 views

Usage of infinitive or gerund

For him to sail back is unthinkable For him sailing back is unthinkable. Why is the second sentence considered as wrong? Can the first sentence be paraphrased as (1) It is unthinkable that he could ...
1
vote
1answer
5k views

sorry that I did something, sorry for doing something, or sorry to have done something?

Should it be: 1) "I am sorry (that) I did this to you." 2) "I am sorry for doing this to you." 3) "I am sorry to have done this to you." From what I have learnt about 'sorry', I would exclude 3) '...
0
votes
1answer
6k views

What is the difference between the infinitive and present participle? [duplicate]

I already know the difference between "stop doing something" and "stop to do something". I really don't know what is the difference between "like doing something" and "like to do something". And is ...
11
votes
5answers
5k views

Hear Me Roar Vs Hear Me Roaring? [duplicate]

In Katy Per­ry’s song “Roar”, she says this at the end of the cho­rus: You’re gonna hear me roar Why did she use the bare in­fini­tive form of the verb roar here in­stead of that ver­b’s ‑ing form?...
5
votes
4answers
776 views

“Not to want someone doing something.” What shade of meaning is attached to using the gerund rather than infinitive?

On page 137 of First Certificate Trainer by Peter May (Cambridge Books for Cambridge Exams), the last paragraph in Test 4, Use of English Part 2 (a cloze test on a short text entitled Safe camping), ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

Verb + to infinitive or Verb + …ing [duplicate]

Is there a general rule whether to use the Verb + to infinitive or the Verb + ...ing format? There are cases in which I can't decide which one to use. Like: -They can't afford to go out very often. ...
1
vote
1answer
9k views

“Recommend to have” vs. “recommend having” [duplicate]

I am writing my bachelor dissertation and several times Microsoft Word has corrected me from "to have" to "having". One of the sentences, for instance, goes like this: The author recommends to ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

“spent a lot of money to buy a house” vs. “spent a lot of money buying a house”

He spent a lot of money to buy a house. He spent a lot of money buying a house. In my head both of the sentences are correct. What's the difference between these sentences?
0
votes
1answer
2k views

“but, except, besides”?

When learning the infinitive construction, my teacher told us that if “but, except, besides” serves as a preposition and before them there exists “do” or its other forms (did, does), “but, except, ...
0
votes
1answer
189 views

When should we use -ing or infinitive verbs?

I am in doubt about what is the correct form of the verbs remember and understand in the options to the first question below: Which is more difficult in learning a second language? Remembering ...