Gerund ( verb+ ing)

1.  We use the gerund after prepositions ( this includes phrasal verbs and different expressions)

  • Prepositions:
    • I drank a cup of tea before leaving.
    • After having a shower I waited for the show to start.
  • Phrasal verbs:
    • I’m keen on swimming in the sea.
    • You need to carry on reading the book, it’s really interesting .
    • I gave up smoking 3 years ago.
  • Expressions:
    • It’s not worth going to the cinema, that movie is boring.
    • There’s no point arguing with him, he will not change his mind.

2. We use the gerund as the subject or object of  a sentence:

  • Swimming is a fun exercise
  • Going to parties is fun
  • I enjoy reading

3. We use the gerund after specific verbs:

  • admit: He admitted having stolen the money.
  • avoid: They avoid going on tours in the desert.
  • consider :Ralph is considering buying a new car.
  • delay: delayed telling  my mother the news.
  • dislike: We dislike reading bad news.
  • can’t/couldn’t help: He couldn’t help falling in love with her.
  • enjoy: enjoy playing basketball.
  • finish: They finished working in the garden two hours ago.
  • Include: Your responsibility includes taking reservations on the phone.
  • Involve: The project will involve growing fruits and vegetables.
  • keep (on): They keep on running.
  • Mention: Did Alex ever mention playing chess?
  • Mind: I don’t mind sleeping on the sofa.
  • Miss: They miss playing with their friends in the park.
  • Risk: You risk catching a cold.
  • Suggest: She suggested flying to Amsterdam.

Infinitive (to +infinitive)

1. After adjectives

  • It is difficult to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning.
  • I’m happy to be here.
  • It’s better not to go out , it’s raining.

a) After “the first”

  • My best friend was the first to see the film.

b) After “the last”

  • Peter was the last to watch the film.

c) After “the next”

  • He is the next to get his driving licence.

2. After specific verbs:

  • Agree: She agreed to give a presentation in front of her class.
  • Ask*: I asked him to leave early, not to miss his train.
  • Decide: We decided to go out for lunch.
  • Help*: He helped to clean the park because he was bothered by the rubbish.
  • Plan: She plans to buy a new car next week.
  • Hope: I hope to pass all my  exams.
  • Learn: They are learning to sing as part of a group.
  • Want*: I want to come to the party ,but I don’t know if my parents will let me .
  • Would like*: I would like you to see her tonight, but she is too busy.
  • Promise: We promised not to be late.

*We can use an object before the infinitive with these verbs.

  • (Note that ‘help’ can also be followed by the infinitive without ‘to’ with no difference in meaning: ‘I helped to carry it’ = ‘I helped carry it’.)

We use the bare infinitive (the infinitive without “to”):

  1. After modal verbs
  • I can meet you at the cinema at six o’clock.

2. After ‘let’, ‘make’ and (sometimes) ‘help’

  • The teacher let us leave early because we finished all the exercises.

3. After some verbs of perception (see, watch, hear, notice, feel, sense) –

  • I watched her walk away.

4. After expressions with ‘why’ :

  • Why spoil your appetite with sweets?