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Overview of gerunds and infintives


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  • 1. Overview of Gerunds and Infinitives
  • 2.
  • 3. In English, different verbs may “take” the base form, the gerund or the infinitive
  • 4. And it even gets more complicated than that.
  • 5. It’s one of the crazy, difficult things about English.
  • 6. We’re going to divide verbs into seven different groups.
    7 ?!?
  • 7. Here we go:Group One: Some verbs always take the infinitive. Here are some examples:
    We decided to come to the U.S.
  • 8. Group Two: These verbs can be followed by a noun or object pronoun, and then the infinitive. Here are some examples:
    My boss asked me to work late.
  • 9. Group Three: This is a very small group of verbs that are followed by the base form of a verb.There are only three of them:
    Her parents don’t let her stay out late.
  • 10. Group Four: This group has only one word in it! “Help” can be followed by a base form or infinitive. There is no difference in meaning.
    My friend helped us move.
    My friend helped us to move.
  • 11. Group Five: These verbs always take a gerund, and not an infinitive. (If you speak Spanish or French, you are used to using an infinitive, but English in this case is more complicated.) Here are some examples:
  • 12. Some examples from Group Five:They have finished repairing the road.I dislike going to the dentist.
  • 13. Note that for the verbs advise, consider and permit, we use a gerund if there is no object and an infinitive if there is one ! Most workplaces in California do not permit smoking.butMost workplaces in California do not permit you to smoke.
  • 14. Group Six: These are verbs that can take either the gerund or the infinitive, and the meaning is about the same. Here are some examples:
    I began working on this lesson an hour ago.
    I began to work on this lesson an hour ago.
  • 15. Group Seven: This is the trickiest group of all! These verbs can take either a gerund or an infinitive, and the meanings are different!!Here are some examples:
    The following slides show
    examples of what happens with
    each of the
    verbs in Group Seven.
  • 16. Phrasal verb “go on” (in Group Seven):
  • 17. “Quit” and “stop” mean the same thing, and are both in Group Seven:
  • 18. “Remember” in Group Seven:
  • 19. “Try” in Group Seven:
  • 20. For more complete lists of these verbs, see Appendices 14 through 18 on pages A-7 through A-9 in Focus on Grammar.