Gerunds and infinitives
can function as:
(subjects, objects, subject
As subjects, they take a singular
Only Gerunds can be object of the
To form gerunds, use
the base form + ing
(don’t’ forget the rules for spelling of ing form of verbs)
I enjoy learning English
To form negative gerunds, use
not + gerund
Not speaking English well is my
biggest problem in this country.
Gerunds used as subject
of the sentence.
Dancing is fun.
Gerunds used as objects
He enjoys working with
Verbs that take only Gerunds
Gerunds used as object of
I am thinking about taking the children
Common preposition combinations
followed by gerunds
• Be excited about, complain about, talk about,
think about, worry about
• Apologize for, blame for, famous for
• Believe in, interested in, succeed in
• Take care of, instead of, be accused of
• Insist on, count on, concentrate on
• Keep from, prevent from, profit from
• In addition to, look forward to, be used to
By + gerund
You get good grades by studying
go + gerund
Recreational activities: camping, dancing,
sightseeing, swimming, skiing, fishing, jogging,
I will go fishing with you tomorrow.
Some expressions are
used with gerunds
Be busy, can’t help, have fun,
it’s no use, it’s not worth
To form infinitives use
to + base form of the verb
I want to dance
To form negative infinitives use
Not + infinitive
He decided not to go to the party.
Infinitives in the subject
To live in the United States is my dream
It is my dream to live in the United States.
Verbs that take infinitives
Verb + infinitives – agree, appear, decide
hope, intend, learn, offer, plan, seem, tend, wait,
Verb + Noun phrase + infinitive – cause,
convince, force, invite, order, persuade, remind,
tell, trust, warn, advise, encourage
Verbs that come directly after the infinitive or
have a noun phrase – ask, beg, choose, expect,
need, want, would like, promise
Adjectives followed by
Afraid, amazed, anxious, ashamed, careful,
delighted, eager, fortunate, glad, happy, lucky,
pleased, ready, sad, sorry,
Infinitive of purpose
In order to
I came here in order to learn.
Infinitive with too and enough
too + adjective or adverb + infinitive
She is too young to vote.
Adjective or adverb + enough +
They are old enough to vote.
Gerunds often follow verbs that
indicate that an action is happening
or has happened.
The action expressed by the verb
comes at the same time or after the
action expressed by the gerund.
We enjoy going to concerts.
(you can only enjoy things you are doing or have done –
not things you haven’t done yet.)
Infinitives often follow verbs that
indicate that an action will or could
The action expressed by the verb
comes before the action expressed by
We hope to go to the concert.
(You can hope for things that could happen
not things that have already happened)
Verbs that are followed by
a noun phrase + infinitive
can also be followed by a gerund.
The gerund makes it general and the
infinitive make specific the person
They allow smoking in this building.
They allowed me to smoke in the
These verbs are:
Some verbs can be followed by both
gerund or infinitive with no change
Begin, hate, like,
start, love, prefer, continue
I like cooking.
I like to cook.
She started losing weight
She started to lose weight.
Some verbs although they can be used
after both gerunds and infinitives have a
difference in meaning.
She stopped smoking.
She stopped to smoke.
They forgot buying bread.
They forgot to buy bread.
Be used to
Get used to
Used to + base form
Be used to + gerund
Get used to + gerund
Verbs of perception:
infinitives: from start to finish
Gerunds: in progress
I heard the children cry.
I saw your friends walking in the
Infinitive forms are not used after the
following verbs of perception:
When a specific performer of the
gerund action needs to be indicated,
a possessive noun or a possessive
determiner is used.
I really appreciate Karen’s/her
writing that letter for me.
Peter’s/his coming late really annoys
Your neglecting your teeth will cause
an earlier return to the dentist.
Their denying the allegation was
I didn’t like the dog’s barking all
I don’t mind his leaving early.
I don’t mind him leaving early.
When an infinitive functions as a
subject or a subject complement, any
stated subject of the infinitive should
be preceded by for. If a pronoun
follows for, it must be in object form.
When the subject of a gerund is
stated, it takes the possessive form.
For people to see is a wonderful gift.
Her desire was for them to take a trip
around the world
They hoped for her to be able to
attend the concert.
Infinitives can occur in the
progressive but gerunds cannot.
To be doing
It is used to indicate an activity in
progress or ongoing
She had hoped to be working
Both gerunds and infinitives can
occur in the perfect form
to have done
It is used to indicate that the activity
is in the past
We appreciate having heard her sing.
We’re fortunate to have heard her
A gerund can be used in the passive
I dislike being told a lie.
are causative verbs. They cause
someone to do something.
They are always followed by a noun
phrase + base form of verb.
Do not use an infinitive after these
She made me fall.
She made her daughter go to the
She let him take the camera.
She had me prepare breakfast
After causative verbs:
use the infinitive
She got me to work.
She convinced me to work.
hear, listen to
feel, smell, see
watch, observe, notice
are followed by either a noun phrase
+ base or –ing form with only a slight
difference in meaning.
We saw people living in poverty.
We saw them perform
can take an infinitive or base form.
It can occur with or without a noun
I helped them carry the boxes.
I helped them to clean up after the
perfect infinitive: to have moved
progressive infinitive: to be working
perfect progressive infinitive:
to have been playing
passive: to be seen
perfect passive: to have been chosen
Perfect gerund: having moved
passive gerund: being done
perfect passive gerund: having been