The Infinitive And The –Ing Form


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A general view on the differences between the infinitive and the -ing forms after verbs.

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The Infinitive And The –Ing Form

  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>The infinitive </li></ul><ul><li>“ To be or not to be…” </li></ul><ul><li>“ To sleep, perchance to dream…” </li></ul><ul><li>The –ing form </li></ul><ul><li>Verb, adjective or noun. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The baby is sleeping” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Sleeping beauty” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The building of the bridge </li></ul><ul><li>was slow work” </li></ul>
  3. 3. THE INFINITIVE: USE <ul><li>The bare infinitive </li></ul><ul><li>She should study harder. </li></ul><ul><li>They need not come early. </li></ul><ul><li>I heard him knock the door. </li></ul><ul><li>You had better say nothing. </li></ul><ul><li>He made me move my car. </li></ul><ul><li>Live and let live. </li></ul><ul><li>He helped us (to) push it. </li></ul><ul><li>She does nothing but complain. </li></ul><ul><li>He made believe that he had caught the huge fish himself (=pretended) </li></ul>
  4. 5. 2. The full infinitive <ul><li>Subject </li></ul><ul><li>To save money now seems impossible. </li></ul><ul><li>It is dangerous to lean out of the window. </li></ul><ul><li>Object or complement of the verb. </li></ul><ul><li>They are preparing to evacuate the area. </li></ul><ul><li>He is just about to leave. </li></ul><ul><li>I promise to wait. </li></ul><ul><li>After verb or verb + object. </li></ul><ul><li>He likes to eat well. He likes his staff to eat well. </li></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><li>Be + infinitive </li></ul><ul><li>No one is to leave this building without the permission of the police. </li></ul><ul><li>She is to be married next month. </li></ul><ul><li>They said goodbye, little knowing that they were never to meet again. </li></ul><ul><li>They are about to start. </li></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>Verb + wh- questions + infinitive </li></ul><ul><li>I didn’t know when to switch the machine off. </li></ul><ul><li>I wondered whether to write or phone. </li></ul><ul><li>He couldn’t remember whether to turn left or right. </li></ul><ul><li>The infinitive after certain nouns. </li></ul><ul><li>She made an attempt / effort to stand up. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to obey the regulations may result in disqualification. </li></ul><ul><li>Their offer / plan / promise to rebuild the town was not taken seriously. </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>Adjectives + infinitives </li></ul><ul><li>It was kind of you to help him. </li></ul><ul><li>I was stupid to leave their bicycles outside. </li></ul><ul><li>It was dangerous to go out alone after dark. </li></ul><ul><li>The cake is easy to make. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s boring to do the same thing everyday. </li></ul><ul><li>He was glad to leave school. </li></ul><ul><li>I am inclined to believe him. </li></ul><ul><li>The accident was due to carelessness. </li></ul><ul><li>Tom is certain / sure / bound to win. </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>The infinitive after too, enough and so…as </li></ul><ul><li>It is too soon to say whether the scheme will succeed or not. </li></ul><ul><li>You are too young to understand. </li></ul><ul><li>The plate was too hot to touch. </li></ul><ul><li>She is old enough to travel by herself. </li></ul><ul><li>The case is light enough for me to carry. </li></ul><ul><li>He was so foolish as to leave his car unlocked. </li></ul><ul><li>Would you be so good as to forward my letters? </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>The infinitive of purpose. </li></ul><ul><li>He went to France to learn French. </li></ul><ul><li>He left his gun outside in order / so as not to frighten us. </li></ul><ul><li>The infinitive after verbs of knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>I consider him to be the best candidate. </li></ul><ul><li>He is known to be honest. </li></ul><ul><li>You are supposed to know the laws of your own country. </li></ul><ul><li>The infinitive as a connective link . </li></ul><ul><li>She hurried to the house only to find that it was empty. </li></ul><ul><li>He returned home to learn that his daughter had just become engaged. </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>Infinitive replacing relative clauses. </li></ul><ul><li>He loves parties; he is always the first to come and the last to leave. </li></ul><ul><li>I have letters to write ( =that I must write) </li></ul><ul><li>Someone to talk to </li></ul><ul><li>Cushions to sit on. </li></ul><ul><li>Split infinitives </li></ul><ul><li>It would take ages to really master this subject. </li></ul><ul><li>I was obliged to entirely agree. </li></ul><ul><li>The infinitive represented by its to </li></ul><ul><li>Would you like to come with me? –Yes, I’d love to. </li></ul><ul><li>Did you get a ticket? –No, though I tried to. </li></ul>
  11. 13. 3. The –ing form: use <ul><li>Subject of a sentence. </li></ul><ul><li>Reading French is easier than speaking it. </li></ul><ul><li>He found that parking was difficult. </li></ul><ul><li>Object or complement of a sentence. </li></ul><ul><li>The police found the man climbing the wall. </li></ul><ul><li>They can’t stand (him) driving his old car. </li></ul><ul><li>Despite his injury he continued playing </li></ul><ul><li>Verbs followed by the gerund. </li></ul><ul><li>He admitted taking the money. </li></ul><ul><li>They kept complaining. </li></ul><ul><li>The –ing form as an adjective </li></ul><ul><li>The play was boring. </li></ul><ul><li>The work was tiring. </li></ul><ul><li>Running water. </li></ul>
  12. 14. <ul><li>The –ing form to make continuous tenses. </li></ul><ul><li>She is bathing the baby. </li></ul><ul><li>I was studying at ten o’clock this morning. </li></ul><ul><li>We’ve been watching films all the weekend. </li></ul><ul><li>He had been training at the gym before coming home. </li></ul><ul><li>Preposition + -ing form </li></ul><ul><li>Touch your toes without bending your knees. </li></ul><ul><li>She is fond of climbing. </li></ul><ul><li>I am looking forward to meeting her. </li></ul>
  13. 15. 4. Verbs + -ing or infinitive with different meanings. <ul><li>Without change of meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>He continued living / to live above the shop. </li></ul><ul><li>I can’t bear waiting / to wait. </li></ul><ul><li>They don’t allow parking / They don’t allow us to park. </li></ul><ul><li>I love eating out / I love to eat out. </li></ul><ul><li>They like reading / They like to read. </li></ul>
  14. 16. <ul><li>Verb + infinitive or –ing with some change in meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>Suggests that we watch, hear, etc. the whole action from its start to its finish. </li></ul><ul><li>I watched him climb through the window, and then I called the police. </li></ul><ul><li>Suggests that we watch, etc. some of the action, but not from start to finish. </li></ul><ul><li>I was able to watch them building the new car park from my office window. </li></ul><ul><li>Suggests that the action happens only once. </li></ul><ul><li>I noticed him throw a sweet wrapper on the floor, so I asked him to pick it up. </li></ul><ul><li>Suggests that the action is repeated or happens over a period of time </li></ul><ul><li>Did you hear those dogs barking most of the night? </li></ul>A bare infinitive An –ing form
  15. 18. <ul><li>Verb + infinitive or –ing changing their meaning. </li></ul>If we want to get there by 7.00, that means getting up before 5.00 I meant to phone you last week. Mean Although she asked him to stop, he went on tapping his pen on the table. After the interval, Pavarotti went on to sing an aria from Tosca. Go on He came hurrying up the path. After some years, they came to accept her as an equal. Come + -ing to + infinitive
  16. 19. I tried taking some aspirin, but the pain didn’t go away. I tried to get the table through the door, but it was too big. Try They stopped laughing when Malcolm walked into the room. She stopped to make a cup of tea. Stop I remember going to the bank, but nothing after that. Remember to take your hat when you go out. Remember It’s too late now, but I’ll always regret asking John to do the work. I regret to inform you that your application has been unsuccessful. Regret