Easy Learning

The to infinitive and the -ing form - Easy Learning Grammar

The to infinitive and the -ing form (the present participle) can each be used after certain verbs.Verbs followed by the to infinitive include: agree, arrange, attempt, choose, decide, fail, hope, learn, manage, offer, plan, seem.
  • I agreed to help Shona with her homework.
  • The driver attempted to remove the flat tyre.
  • I hope to see you again at the next meeting.
Verbs followed by an object + the to infinitive include: advise, allow, command, forbid, force, invite, order, persuade, remind, teach, tell.
  • Peter advised Ron to call the police.
  • Esther reminded her teacher to set some revision.
Verbs that can be followed either directly by the to infinitive or by an object + the to infinitive include: ask, expect, help, intend, like, love, hate, mean, prefer, want, wish.
  • I certainly intended to go to the party.
  • We really expected Sally to pass the exam.
  • Note this difference:
  • I want to have a cat = It will be my cat.
  • I want her to have a cat = It will be her cat.
  • Dad likes to wash the car = Dad washes the car.
  • Dad likes John to wash the car = John washes the car.
Verbs followed by the -ing form include: avoid, be used to, delay, dislike, escape, finish, forgive, give up, go on, imagine.
  • I usually avoid going into town late at night.
  • Miriam hates peeling potatoes.
  • Have you finished reading that book yet?
  • Some verbs may be followed either by the to infinitive or by the -ing form with little or no change in meaning. These verbs include: begin, start, cease, continue, intend, like, love, hate, prefer.
  • He began to run around shouting.
  • He began running around shouting.
  • She likes to swim in the sea.
  • She likes swimming in the sea.
  • I can’t bear to see violence.
  • I can’t bear seeing violence.
  • Some verbs may be followed either by the to infinitive or by the -ing form but the meaning of the sentence changes depending on the form that is used. These verbs include: try, forget, remember.
  • I remembered to switch the lights off before we went out.
  • I remember switching the lights off before we went out.
  • She tried to talk to him, but his secretary wouldn’t put the call through.
  • She tried talking to him, but he wouldn’t listen.
Particularly after verbs such as go and come, the to infinitive is understood to express purpose.
  • She has gone to do the shopping.
  • They came here to learn English.
Use of the verb followed by the -ing form concentrates on what happens. The second verb is really the object of the first one. These verbs include: remember, forget, try.
  • I definitely remember switching the lights off before we went out.
  • She tried talking to him, but he wouldn’t listen.
Some set expressions are followed by -ing. These include: it’s not worth, and it’s no fun.
  • It’s no fun going out alone.
  • It’s no use phoning him; he’s gone away.
  • It’s worth trying one more time.

Ver contenido relacionado

¡NUEVO de Collins!
¡NUEVO de Collins!
Listas de palabras en inglés
Listas de palabras en inglés
Últimas palabras recibidas
Últimas palabras recibidas
Fácil aprendizaje de la gramática inglesa
Fácil aprendizaje de la gramática inglesa
COBUILD Gramática
COBUILD Gramática
Blog de los enamorados de las palabras
Blog de los enamorados de las palabras
Comprobador de Scrabble en línea
Comprobador de Scrabble en línea
The Paul Noble Method
The Paul Noble Method
Create an account and sign in to access this FREE content
Register now or login in to access