Learning how to use gerunds and infinitives after a verb can be difficult in English, I know, but don´t panic. Let´s put our ideas in order and go for it !!
We use gerunds (verb + ing):
- After certain verbs - I enjoy singing
- After prepositions - I drank a cup of coffee before leaving
- As the subject or object of a sentence - Swimming is good exercise
We use 'to' + infinitive:
- After certain verbs - We decided to leave
- After many adjectives - It's difficult to get up early
- To show purpose - I came to London to study English
We use the bare infinitive (the infinitive without 'to'):
- After modal verbs - I can meet you at six o'clock
- After 'let', 'make' and (sometimes) 'help' - The teacher let us leave early
- After some verbs of perception (see, watch, hear, notice, feel, sense) - I watched her walk away
- After expressions with 'why' - why go out the night before an exam?
admit - anticipate - appreciate - avoid - complete - consider - defend - delay - despise - detest - discuss - dislike - enjoy - escape - excuse - finish - get through - give up - can't help - imagine - imvolve - keep (on) - mention - (not) mind - miss - postpone - practice - put off - recall - recollect - recommend - report - resent - resume - risk - (can't) see - suggest - take up - tolerate - understand.
I don´t mind washing the dishes after dinner
John suggested going to the mountain for the holidays
Claire enjoys living in Prague
Verbs + TO infinitive
Note: remember that gerunds can follow a preposition, infinitives cannot. Take care not to confuse the preposition "to" with an infinitive form, or with an auxiliary form such as have to, used to, going to
Note: some verbs are followed by a pronoun or noun referring to a person, and then an infinitive. Gerunds cannot be used in this position.
ask, beg, cause, expect, invite, order, remind, teach, tell, wannt, warn. I must ask you to reconsider your statement
Verbs followed by gerund and infinitive with a change of meaning
Verbs followed by gerund or infinitive without a change of meaning
Begin, continue, hate, intend, like, love, prefer, start.
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