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 ...
38
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2answers
5k views

Is this sentence from Orwell's Animal Farm grammatically sound?

Should been really have been included in the following passage from George Orwell’s Animal Farm, or was this somehow an erroneous insertion of a spurious word? Illustration from p. 17 of the 1990 ...
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 ...
19
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4answers
228k views

“Started to work” vs “Started working”

What is the difference between the following: Things started to work again. Things started working again.
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?
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 &...
15
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8answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
134k views

“It is worth mentioning” versus “it is worth to mention”

What’s the right way to use the phrase it is worth? Which of the following two approaches is right, and how they are different? It is worth mentioning that [. . .] It is worth to mention that [. . .]
12
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3answers
587k views

“Sorry for bothering you” vs. “sorry to bother you” [closed]

Is it grammatically OK to use "Sorry for bothering you"? I often hear "Sorry to bother you".
12
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4answers
222k 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. ...
11
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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?...
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 ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Gerund? Infinitive? Why, when we talk about jobs, do we say “I have a job taking people on tours” instead of “I have a job to take people on tours”?

I'm teaching English in China. I wanted middle school or younger, but I was put with some great high school kids and they sometimes ask me questions that I don't know how to answer yet. I'm a native ...
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.
8
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10answers
20k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
714 views

Pseudo-cleft sentences with the verbs of perception

I know we must use bare infinitives with these verbs in the Active. e.g. I saw a lady cross the street. There are other verbs with which we are supposed to use a bare infinitive in the Active. e.g. ...
7
votes
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 ...
7
votes
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?
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Subject-control verbs

I have been studying Raising and Controlling, but it seems quite hard to understand its function and uses. I would like any of you to analyze this explanation and tell me whether I got it correct or ...
6
votes
1answer
19k views

try + ing vs. try to + infinitive [duplicate]

Which sentence is correct: Why don't you try to give up candy if you want to lose some weight? Why don't you try giving up candy if you want to lose some weight?
6
votes
2answers
97k 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 ...
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.
5
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2answers
425 views

'Using a keyboard is better' v 'It's better to use a keyboard': and why IT with the infinitive?

I'm trying to make sense of the rule behind "to use" vs "using" in these specific cases Using a keyboard is better. To use a keyboard is better. It's better to use a keyboard. It's better ...
5
votes
2answers
12k views

“I like watching” vs “I like to watch” What's the difference?

Which of the two possibilities would native speakers more likely say when they watch a football (soccer or American) match from the comfort of their home? What sport do you watch most on television?...
5
votes
4answers
774 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), ...
5
votes
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
14k views

Can to-infinitives be used after the verb “dislike”?

Can to-infinitives follow the verb dislike? I know they can follow the verb like that way, but what about dislike? I ask because my school grammar textbook says the following: The verb dislike ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

For to ask if this title is grammatical

Being in a country where Spanish is spoken natively, when folks speak English, I often hear them using phrases of the form "for [infinitive]" (e.g., "for to ask"). It strikes me – somewhat ...
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 ...
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, ...
4
votes
1answer
677 views

Can gerund and infinitive forms be interchangeable when functioning as subject of a sentence?

I am having trouble using gerund/infinitive forms when functioning as subject of a sentence. For instance, which one of these two sentences is correct? Eating ice cream on a windy day can be a ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

“He had me do this” vs “He had me doing this” vs “He had my doing this”

I know this example sounds awkward, but it’s obviously grammatically incorrect to say "me being here" in sentences like this one: He said me being here was wonderful. That instance of me being ...
3
votes
1answer
967 views

“believe someone to do something” - (why) is it wrong?

Edit: I added a comment to address the duplicate issue. I had an issue with English grammar a few weeks ago, that is still haunting me, and I assume it to be related to mixing up grammars. I ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

“Go a long way to” + gerund vs infinitive

Which one is correct? If they all are correct, which construction is the most preferable? Why? The fund will go a long way to solving their problem. The fund will go a long way to solve their problem....
2
votes
2answers
650 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
304 views

Use of gerund vs bare-infinitive: overfilling vs overfill [duplicate]

How do I explain using "overfilling" instead of "overfill" in the following sentence? We needed to announce the party just a few days from the date to avoid overfill the salon.
2
votes
2answers
21k views

“fail to do” or “failure in doing”, which is better in this case?

I went to live in the small village to seek a simple life after my failure in finding a decent job in the metropolis. I went to live in the small village to seek a simple life after I fail to find ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

'We'd love to see you joining us as a helper!' or 'We'd love to see you join us as a helper!'

What is better English? 'We'd love to see you joining us as a helper!' or 'We'd love to see you join us as a helper!' What is the rule? Edit: Also, after Joe's comment, I should add that I'd ...
2
votes
4answers
23k views

Can I use the word “promise” with gerund?

Is it possible to use gerund after the verb "promise"? For example, in the sentence "He promised cleaning the window. I'd prefer to say: He promised to clean the window. But today I was told that this ...
2
votes
1answer
764 views

“I know him ʙᴇɪɴɢ honest” vs “I know him ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ honest”

The intended original sentence before conversion is: I know that he is an honest man. I want to know about these two possible reformulated versions of that sentence that replace the original’s ...
2
votes
1answer
659 views

“need help using” vs “need help to use” [duplicate]

Let me know if you need any help using the computer. I don't understand why 'use' ends with -ing. Shouldn't we use 'to' after the verb-'need'? If I can say “I need to use the computer now”, why is ...
2
votes
2answers
415 views

Infinitive or gerund [duplicate]

So, I've got this phrase: ''Far from fleeing monotony, animals crave it, and what they most dread is to see it end.'' Can someone explain me why it is written ''to see it end'' rather than ''to see ...
2
votes
1answer
5k 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
170 views

Which should I use, infinitive or participle? [closed]

I found this description in Wikipedia on infinitive. As a modifier of a noun or adjective. This may relate to the meaning of the noun or adjective ("a request to see someone"; "keen to get on"), or ...
2
votes
1answer
635 views

What I saw was him enter the building

(1) I saw him enter the building. (2) What I saw was him _________ the building. I'd like (2) to mean basically the same thing as (1). Can "enter" (infinitive) be entered in the blank? (No ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Using “use” with “to” and “for” when expressing purpose

I recently wondered about the use of "to use" and other verbs when expressing the purpose of an action. I noticed that purpose is often expressed by having a verb followed by "for" and a progressive ...
2
votes
2answers
241 views

Question about the details in meaning between gerund and to-infinite

Consider the following multiple-choice question: The supervisors were asked ______ tasks to new employees so that they could be trained to do them properly. A. Delegate - infinitive B. To delegate - ...
2
votes
2answers
31k views

“My interest in becoming” vs. “my interest to become”

I was writing a letter of application for a university. I wanted to start my letter by writing: I am writing this letter to express my interest in becoming part... and then I got confused. I am ...