Grammar

Gerunds and infinitives Rules in English with Examples

Gerunds and infinitives Rules in English with Examples

Have you ever found yourself puzzled by the choice between using a gerund or an infinitive in a sentence? Don’t worry; you’re not alone! These two grammatical concepts can be a bit tricky, but fear not – we’re here to shed some light on the matter. In this blog post, we’ll explore the world of gerunds and infinitives and unravel the rules that govern their usage.

Let’s start with a quick overview. A gerund is a verb form that ends in ‘-ing’ and functions as a noun. For example, “Swimming is my favorite activity.” Here, “swimming” is a gerund, acting as the subject of the sentence. Gerunds are often used when we want to talk about activities, hobbies, or actions in a general sense.

On the other hand, an infinitive is the base form of a verb (e.g., “to swim“) and can also act as a noun, but they are often used to express the purpose, intention, or future actions. For instance, “I want to swim in the Olympics someday.” In this case, “to swim” is an infinitive expressing the purpose or intention of the subject.

So, what are the rules to help you decide when to use a gerund and when to use an infinitive? We’ll dive into those rules in detail in the following sections. By the end of this post, you’ll feel more confident about choosing between gerunds and infinitives, and you’ll be better equipped to express your thoughts in English with precision and accuracy.

Gerunds and infinitives Rules in English with Examples

Gerunds vs Infinitives

 

What Are Gerunds and Infinitives?

First things first, what are gerunds and infinitives? These are verb forms that don’t act like regular verbs in sentences. They often take on roles as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. Here’s a simple breakdown:

  • Gerunds:
    These are verbs ending in -ing (e.g., “running,” “swimming”). They function as nouns, indicating an action or an activity. For example, “I love swimming in the ocean.”
  • Infinitives:
    These are the base form of a verb (e.g., “to run,” “to swim”). Infinitives can also act as nouns, but they can be used in various ways. For instance, “I want to run a marathon.”

Using Gerunds: When and How
Gerunds are like the action heroes of grammar. They are used when you want to talk about an action as a thing. You can use gerunds:

  • As the subject of a sentence: “Running is my favorite exercise.”
  • As the object of a verb: “I enjoy swimming.”
  • After prepositions: “I’m good at math because of my love for solving problems.”

Using Infinitives: When and How
Infinitives are like versatile tools in your grammar toolkit. You can use infinitives:

  • As the subject of a sentence: “To sing is her passion.”
  • As the object of a verb:” She wants to dance.”
  • After certain adjectives:” It’s important to be on time.”

Verbs with Both Gerunds and Infinitives
Sometimes, the same verb can be followed by both a gerund and an infinitive with a change in meaning. Common examples include “like,” “love,” “hate,” and “start.” For instance:

  • “I like to dance
    (I like the idea of dancing).
  • “I like dancing
    (I enjoy the act of dancing).

Common Verbs Following Gerund

  • Admit:
    She admitted having made a mistake.
  • Advise:
    He advised avoiding traffic during rush hour.
  • Appreciate:
    They appreciate helping us in our time of need.
  • Consider:
    I’m considering going on a vacation this summer.
  • Delay:
    The traffic delay resulted in us missing the train.
  • Deny:
    He denied breaking the window.
  • Enjoy:
    They enjoy spending time together.
  • Finish:
    She finished reading the book last night.
  • Imagine:
    He imagined winning the lottery.
  • Mention:
    She mentioned attending a great concert.
  • Miss:
    I’ll miss seeing you when you move.
  • Postpone:
    They postponed having the meeting.
  • Recommend:
    I recommend trying the new restaurant.
  • Regret:
    She regretted not going to the party.
  • Resist:
    He couldn’t resist eating the delicious cake.
  • Start:
    They started working on the project.
  • Suggest:
    She suggested taking a break.
  • Consider:
    I consider traveling a learning experience.
  • Involve:
    The project involves working with a team.
  • Finish:
    She finished painting the room.
  • Keep:
    He keeps talking during movies.
  • Miss:
    I’ll miss spending time with you.
  • Need:
    They need to complete the task.
  • Regret:
    She regretted not attending the event.
  • Start:
    We started planning our trip.
  • Suggest:
    They suggested making a reservation.
  • Continue:
    We continue working on the project.
  • Avoid:
    He avoids eating junk food.
  • Consider:
    I considered changing my career.
  • Delay:
    The delay resulted in us missing the flight.
  • Imagine:
    She can’t imagine living without music.
  • Mention:
    He mentioned having a great time.
  • Miss:
    She’ll miss seeing her friends.
  • Postpone:
    They decided to postpone taking the test.
  • Recommend:
    We recommend trying the new dish.
  • Start:
    She started learning a new language.
  • Suggest:
    They suggested going for a hike.
  • Enjoy:
    He enjoys watching the sunset.
  • Resist:
    She can’t resist buying new shoes.
  • Consider:
    They considered moving to a different city.
  • Keep:
    We have to keep trying.
  • Miss:
    I miss spending time with my family.
  • Finish:
    He finished building the model.
  • Recommend:
    She recommends taking a break.
  • Regret:
    I regret not visiting sooner.
  • Suggest:
    They suggest having a potluck.
  • Avoid:
    We must avoid making mistakes.
  • Consider:
    I considered quitting my job.
  • Finish:
    She finished baking the cake.
  • Start:
    They started working together.

Common Verbs Following  Infinitives

  • Agree:
    She agreed to help with the project.
  • Choose:
    They chose to go to the beach.
  • Decide:
    He decided to take a vacation.
  • Offer:
    She offered to buy lunch for everyone.
  • Want:
    I want to learn a new language.
  • Promise:
    He promised to be on time.
  • Plan:
    They plan to visit Paris next summer.
  • Hope:
    She hopes to travel the world someday.
  • Refuse:
    He refused to eat the vegetables.
  • Seem:
    It seems to be a beautiful day.
  • Desire:
    They desire to succeed in their careers.
  • Intend:
    I intend to finish my work early.
  • Attempt:
    She attempted to break the record.
  • Need:
    We need to buy some groceries.
  • Prefer:
    He prefers to drink tea instead of coffee.
  • Forget:
    Don’t forget to lock the door.
  • Hesitate:
    She hesitated to answer the question.
  • Expect:
    They expect to win the game.
  • Agree:
    They agreed to meet later.
  • Manage:
    He managed to solve the puzzle.
  • Learn:
    She wants to learn how to dance.
  • Offer:
    He offered to give a ride.
  • Refuse:
    She refused to accept the gift.
  • Struggle:
    They struggled to finish the race.
  • Volunteer:
    He volunteered to help at the event.
  • Fail:
    They failed to complete the assignment.
  • Tend:
    It tends to get crowded in the evening.
  • Expect:
    She didn’t expect to win the lottery.
  • Agree:
    We agreed to share the cost.
  • Learn:
    They learned to play the guitar.
  • Decide:
    He decided to go to the party.
  • Offer:
    She offered to lend her notes.
  • Want:
    I want to visit the museum.
  • Hope:
    They hope to find a solution.
  • Need:
    She needs to finish her report.
  • Promise:
    He promises to be a good friend.
  • Prefer:
    They prefer to study in silence.
  • Try:
    She tried to fix the broken toy.
  • Begin:
    We began to work on the project.
  • Intend:
    They intend to build a new house.
  • Afford:
    She can’t afford to buy a new car.
  • Manage:
    He managed to pass the test.
  • Refuse:
    They refused to take no for an answer.
  • Deserve:
    You deserve to be happy.
  • Expect:
    She hesitated to make a decision.
  • Claim:
    He claims to have a solution.
  • Struggle:
    They struggled to overcome their fears.
  • Bother:
    It doesn’t bother me to wait.
  • Encourage:
    She encourages him to follow his dreams.

Common Verbs followed by an indirect object plus an infinitive

  • Advise:
    He advised me to study harder.
  • Allow:
    They allowed the children to play in the park.
  • Ask:
    She asked her friend to help with the project.
  • Beg:
    He begged his parents to buy him a new toy.
  • Command:
    The captain commanded the crew to lower the sails.
  • Encourage:
    They encouraged us to pursue our dreams.
  • Expect:
    She expects her employees to be punctual.
  • Forbid:
    The teacher forbade the students to use their phones.
  • Hire:
    The company hired him to lead the new project.
  • Instruct:
    He instructed the team to follow the safety guidelines.
  • Invite:
    They invited their neighbors to join the barbecue.
  • Order:
    The chef ordered the staff to prepare the dessert.
  • Permit:
    The museum permits visitors to take photographs.
  • Persuade:
    She persuaded her parents to let her go to the concert.
  • Recommend:
    He recommended his friend to read that book.
  • Remind:
    She reminded her brother to call their mom.
  • Teach:
    The teacher taught the students to solve math problems.
  • Tell:
    He told his sister to be careful.
  • Urge:
    They urged him to apply for the job.
  • Warn:
    She warned her team to double-check their work.
  • Allow:
    They allowed the customers to try the product.
  • Ask:
    He asked the barista to make his coffee strong.
  • Command:
    The coach commanded the players to give their best.
  • Encourage:
    She encouraged her friend to take risks.
  • Expect:
    They expect the employees to attend the meeting.
  • Hire:
    The manager hired a new assistant to help with the workload.
  • Instruct:
  • He instructed his students to read the chapter.
  • Invite:
    They invited their relatives to visit over the holidays.
  • Order:
    The sergeant ordered the troops to advance.
  • Permit:
    The principal permits the students to use the gym.
  • Persuade:
    She persuaded her neighbor to lend a hand.
  • Recommend:
    He recommended his colleague to attend the seminar.
  • Remind:
  • She reminded her classmate to bring the project.
  • Teach:
    The professor taught the scholars to analyze data.
  • Tell:
    He told his friend to keep the secret.
  • Urge:
    They urged her to follow her passion.
  • Warn:
    She warned her son to look both ways before crossing.
  • Encourage:
  • The coach encouraged his team to practice.
  • Instruct:
    She instructed her assistant to double-check the report.
  • Allow:
    They allowed their children to have some ice cream.

    Verb Followed by Gerund and Infinitive

    Verb Followed by Gerund and Infinitive

Exercises – Gerunds and Infinitives

Exercise 1:
Choose the Correct Form

Determine whether the verb should be in gerund form (-ing) or infinitive form (to + base form).

  1. She enjoys (to dance / dancing) in her free time.
  2. I can’t stand (to wait / waiting) for too long.
  3. They decided (to visit / visiting) the museum tomorrow.
  4. We need (to study / studying) for the test.
  5. He promised (to help / helping) with the project.
  6. She suggested (to go / going) to the beach this weekend.
  7. My favorite activity is (to swim / swimming).
  8. It’s important (to listen / listening) carefully in class.
  9. I avoid (to eat / eating) fast food.
  10. He can’t resist (to buy / buying) new gadgets.

Exercise 2: Complete the Sentences
Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the verb (gerund or infinitive).

  1. I enjoy __________ (read) novels in my spare time.
  2. She offered __________ (help) with the event planning.
  3. They need __________ (practice) their presentation.
  4. He decided __________ (take) a break from work.
  5. She recommended __________ (visit) the art gallery.
  6. We can’t avoid __________ (deal) with difficult situations.
  7. My goal is __________ (learn) a new language.
  8. They regret __________ (not attend) the concert.
  9. I plan __________ (travel) to Europe next summer.
  10. He started __________ (play) the guitar last year.

Exercise 3: Verb Patterns
Complete the sentences using the correct verb pattern (gerund, infinitive, or base form).

  1. She suggested that we __________ (go) to the new restaurant for dinner.
  2. He enjoys __________ (swim) in the ocean.
  3. They can’t stand __________ (listen) to loud music.
  4. I need __________ (buy) some groceries for dinner.
  5. The teacher encouraged us __________ (participate) in the science fair.
  6. He is skilled at __________ (repair) cars.
  7. She wants __________ (learn) how to paint.
  8. They prefer __________ (play) soccer in the park.
  9. We decided __________ (visit) the museum next weekend.
  10. I tried __________ (cook) a new recipe last night.

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