INFINITIVES vs GERUNDS: the masterclass

In this lesson, we learn the difference between a gerund and an infinitive.

What is a gerund?

A gerund is a progressive (ing) form of a verb that works as a noun in a sentence.

Examples:

  • Teaching is my passion.
  • I love cooking.
  • Her passion is painting stones.
  • We are afraid of losing you.

What is an infinitive?

An infinitive is a ‘to + V1’ form of a verb that works as a noun, adjective, and adverb.

Examples:

  • To go there alone was a stupid question.
  • I want to eat.
  • My passion is to cook.
  • We went there to play.
  • She was happy to meet me.
Gerund vs infinitive
Gerund vs infinitive

Infinitive vs Gerund difference

BASIS OF DIFFERENCE GERUNDS INFINITIVES
STRUCTURE V1+ing To + V1
AS A NOUN
As the subject

1. Smoking can kill you.
2. Teaching is my passion.

As the object

1. Ashish loves helping others.
2. We enjoy watching fights.

As the object (preposition)

1. We are not scared of losing.
2. I believe in helping others.

As the object (possessive adjective)

1. Your singing is so good.
2. We love his singing.

As the subject complement

1. My passion is singing.
2. What I love is talking to strangers.


As the subject

1. To go there was a mistake.
2. To dance in rain is amazing.

As the object

1. She likes to sing sometimes.
2. We want to sleep now.

As the subject complement

She likes to sing sometimes.
All I want to do is to sleep.





















AS AN ADJECTIVE Not used 1. We need something to eat.
2. The person to meet is Jon.
AS AN ADVERB Not used 1. We bought the gift to make her happy. (modifying the verb ‘bought’)
2. I am sad to hear this. (modifying the adjective ‘sad’)
3. He is working hard to earn money. (modifying the verb ‘working’)
AS A VERB Not used Not used

Verbs that are followed by gerunds

Enjoy, love, quit, give up, stop, start, mind, prefer, like, hate, abhor, deny, regret, go, admit, avoid, be used to, can’t help, can’t stand, consider, end up, feel like, forget, get used to, keep, look forward to, miss, have problems, look forward to, have difficulty/trouble, mention, remember, waste time

Examples:

  1. I enjoy talking to people.
  2. Ashish loves teaching.
  3. My parents like watching old movies.
  4. He hates waking up early.
  5. Jon has recently quit smoking.
  6. We have asked him to give up drinking.
  7. Can you stop pretending to be a friend?
  8. We should start doing what we used to do in college.
  9. I don’t mind working with her.
  10. I prefer being alone than having a lot of people around me.
  11. I don’t deny making mistakes in life. I have made a lot of mistakes.
  12.  We regret having him on our team. 
  13. Let’s go shopping.
  14. Sam admits wasting his father’s money.
  15. You should avoid talking to him.
  16. I am used to working overtime.
  17. I can’t help watching UFC fights.
  18. I can’t stand listening to him. He is a fraud.
  19. We should consider talking to them for once.
  20. If you keep behaving like this, you will end up being alone.
  21. I feel like crying right now.
  22. I forgot talking to her.
  23. My friends are getting used to living with me.
  24.  Keep working! Your time will come.
  25. They were looking forward to working with me.
  26. Alex has difficulty forming complete sentences.
  27. I have trouble controlling my anger.
  28. Did I mention leaving the job?
  29. Do you remember meeting me?

Verbs that are followed by Infinitives:

Want, forget, promise, manage, hope, afford, agree, appear, seem, decide, demand, fail, chose, refuse, deserve, plan, offer, pretend, wish, learn, would like, would love, like, love, intend, tend,

Examples:

  • I want to do something big.
  • I forgot to bring your money.
  • They promised to take us in the team.
  • She managed to run away from them.
  • I hope to see her again.
  • Most people can’t afford to buy this car.
  • They have agreed to work with us on this project.
  • He appears to be mad.
  • You seem to enjoy the movie.
  • We decided to close the shop as the customers were not coming in the wake of Coronavirus.
  • Everyone failed to understand the real problem.
  • I choose to be alone when I am working.
  • He refused to come with us. 
  • You deserve to have everything you want.
  • We are planning to expand our business.
  • He offered to help us with what he had.
  • He pretends to be busy.
  • Everyone wishes to have more wealth.
  • I am learning to ride this bike.
  • We would like to have you as our head teacher.
  • I would love to go there again. It was a beautiful place.
  • I sometimes like to listen to English songs.
  • Jimmy loves to read books.
  • You tend to make the same mistakes again and again.

Verbs + object + infinitive (verbs that are followed by an object and an infinitive)

ask, request, allow, tell, threaten, want, order, encourage, invite, warn, persuade, advise, force, expect

Structure: Subject + verb + object + infinitive

Examples:

  • She asked me to stop calling her.
  • I requested them to work with us, but they did not want to.
  • My parents don’t allow me to go out alone after midnight.
  • She told us to leave.
  • I really wanted you to come to the party.
  • You can’t order him to do anything; he won’t do it.
  • Why don’t you encourage her to take up this course?
  • Have you invited Ron and Riya to be at the wedding?
  • The teacher warned him not to speak in that tone again.
  • Persuade him to join the company.
  • I advised him to join the startup.
  • They are forcing me to leave the organization.
  • I don’t expect you to give up.

Verbs that can be used with both gerunds and infinitives without any difference:

Continue, like, love, hate, prefer, start, need, cease, begin

Examples:

  • Let’s continue taking interviews for one more hour.
  • Let’s continue to take interviews for one more hour.
  • I like to play with kids.
  • I like playing with kids.
  • Jimmy loves to eat apples.
  • Jimmy loves eating apples.
  • Riya hates to go out.
  • Riya hates going out.
  • I prefer to have tea over coffee.
  • I prefer having tea over coffee.
  • One of my friends started to argue with me.
  • One of my friends started arguing with me.
  • They ceased sending us money.
  • They ceased to send us money.
  • He began crying after losing the match.
  • He began to cry after losing the match.
  • My car needs cleaning. (Someone needs to clean my car)
  • I need to clean my car.

NOTE: When the verb ‘need’ is followed by a gerund, the verb has a passive meaning.

Verbs that are used with both gerunds and infinitives but with a change in meaning.

forget, remember, stop

FORGET + infinitive = you forget to perform an action
FORGET + gerund = you forget an action that occurred in the past

Examples:

  • I forgot to talk to your parents about the exams.
  • I forgot talking talking to your parents about the exams.
  • Have you forgotten to invite Sneha to the party?
  • I will never forget playing cricket with M.S Dhoni.

REMEMBER + infinitive = you know you have to do something
REMEMBER + gerund = you remember that you did an action (it’s in your memory)

Examples:

  • Remember to call me when you reach there.
  • I still remember peeing in my pants in school.
  • Remember to take medicines on time.
  • We still remember going to Auli. It was a beautiful trip.

STOP + infinitive = you stop in order to perform an action
STOP + gerund = you stop performing an action (the action ceases to happen)

Examples:

  • We stopped to drink tea.
  • We stopped drinking tea.
  • I had stopped to take some rest.
  • I had stopped smoking before I turned 20.

When verbs are in continuous tenses, use infinitives not gerunds.

  • We have been trying to convince her for some time. ✔️
  • We have been trying convincing her for some time. ❌
  • We were just trying to help her.✔️
  • We were just trying helping her.❌
  • I am learning to swim. ✔️
  • I am learning swimming. ❌
  • I have been meaning to talk to you lately. ✔️
  • I have been meaning talking to you. ❌
  • We are planning to open a new shop.✔️
  • We are planning opening a new shop. ❌

Practice set!

  1. We like ___ out sometimes. (go)
  2. I ___ joining this course. I haven’t learnt anything out of it. (regret)
  3. Nobody is forcing you ___ with us. (come)
  4. She asked me ___ her car. (clean)
  5. We don’t mind ___ household chores. (clean)
  6. You are required ___ your school certificates. (bring)
  7. Keep ___ hard. You will get it soon. (work)
  8. They have diffuculty ___ to native English speakers. (talk)
  9. I have stopped ___ with others. It used to bother me. (argue)
  10. Get him out of here. I can’t stand ___ to this guy. (talk)

Answers:

  1. to go/going
  2. regret
  3. to come
  4. to clean
  5. cleaning
  6. to bring
  7. working
  8. talking
  9. arguing
  10. talk
Gerunds vs infinitives

2 thoughts on “INFINITIVES vs GERUNDS: the masterclass”

  1. i got infinitive and gerund verb….for example: Gerund: have=Having(correct) and Infinitive: to getting=to get(correct) Bye the way, Ashish bro u r very HARDWORKING BOY and also very matured boY….BEST OF LUCK BRO….

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