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Verb + Gerund or Infinitive

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Verb + Gerund or Infinitive

Mensaje  Compilator el Lun Jul 21, 2008 6:46 pm

Verbs Followed by Gerunds OR Infinitives (Different Meaning)



begin

----------> She began singing.
---------->She began to sing.
When "begin" is used in non-continuous tenses, you can either use a gerund or an infinitive.

---------->She is beginning to sing.
When "begin" is used in continuous tenses, an infinitive is used.

dread

---------->She dreaded taking the test.
Usually "dread" is followed by a gerund.

----------> He dreaded to think of the consequences of his actions.
"Dread" is sometimes used with infinitives such as "think" or "consider." In the sentence above, "dreaded to think" means "did not want to think."

forget

----------> She forgot reading the book when she was a kid.
When "forget" is used with a gerund, it means "to forget that you have done something." The sentence above means that she read the book when she was a kid, and that she has forgotten that fact.

----------> She forgot to pay the rent this month.
When forget is used with an infinitive, it means "to forget that you need to do something." The sentence above means that she forgot that she needed to pay the rent.

keep

----------> She kept talking.
"Keep" is normally used with a gerund to mean that you continue doing an action.

----------> The attackers kept hostages to prevent the police from entering.
"Keep" can also be used with an object followed by an infinitive, but then the infinitive takes on the meaning of "in order to... ." In the sentence above, the attackers kept hostages in order to prevent the police from entering.

need

----------> The house needs cleaning.
When "need" is used with a gerund, it takes on a passive meaning. The sentence above means "the house needs to be cleaned."

----------> He needs to call his boss.
----------> He needs him to call his boss.
"Need" is usually used with an infinitive or an object + an infinitive.

regret

----------> I regretted being late to the interview.
"Regret" is normally used with a gerund.

----------> We regret to inform you that your position at the company is being eliminated.
"Regret" is sometimes used with infinitives such as "to inform." In the sentence above, "We regret to inform you" means "We wish we did not have to tell you (bad news)."

remember

----------> I remember mentioning the meeting yesterday.
When "remember" is used with a gerund, it means "to remember that you have done something." The sentence above means that I mentioned the meeting, and that I remember the fact that I did that.

----------> He remembered to turn off the lights before he left.
When "remember" is used with an infinitive, it means "to remember that you need to do something." The sentence above means that he remembered that he needed to turn the lights off.

start

----------> Marge started talking really fast.
----------> Marge started to talk really fast.
When "start" is used in non-continuous tenses, you can either use a gerund or an infinitive.

----------> Marge is starting to talk really fast.
When "start" is used in continuous tenses, an infinitive is used.

----------> I started to learn Russian, but it was so much work that I finally quit the class.
In other situations, an infinitive means that you did not complete or continue an action.

stop

----------> He stopped smoking for health reasons.
"Stop" is normally used with a gerund.

----------> He stopped to rest for a few minutes.
When "stop" is used with an infinitive, the infinitive takes on the meaning of "in order to." In the sentence above, he stopped in order to rest for a few minutes.

try
----------> She can't find a job. She tried looking in the paper, but there was nothing. She tried asking friends and family, but nobody knew of anything. She also tried going shop to shop, but nobody was hiring.
"Try + gerund" means to try or to experiment with different methods to see if something works.

----------> She tried eating the snake soup, but she didn't like it.
"Try + gerund" is often used when you experiment with something, but you do not really like it or want to do it again.

----------> She tried to climb the tree, but she couldn't even get off the ground.
When you "try to do" something, you want to do it, but you do not succeed in actually doing it. In the sentence above, an infinitive is used because she cannot successfully climb the tree.

----------> Try not to wake the baby when you get up tomorrow at 5 AM.
An infinitive is also used if you are asking someone to try something they may or may not be able to accomplish.



Verbs Followed by Gerunds OR Infinitives (Similar Meaning)

can't bear
He can't bear being alone.
He can't bear to be alone.


can't stand
Nancy can't stand working the late shift.
Nancy can't stand to work the late shift.


cease
The government ceased providing free health care.
The government ceased to provide free health care.


continue
She continued talking.
She continued to talk.


hate
He hates cleaning dishes.
He hates to clean dishes.


like
Samantha likes reading.
Samantha likes to read.


love
We love scuba diving.
We love to scuba dive.


neglect
He neglected doing his daily chores.
He neglected to do his daily chores.


prefer
He prefers eating at 7 PM.
He prefers to eat at 7 PM.


propose
Drew proposed paying for the trip.
Drew proposed to pay for the trip.


REMEMBER
Although the difference in meaning is small with these particular verbs, and gerunds and infinitives can often be used interchangeably, there is still a meaning difference. Using a gerund suggests that you are referring to real activities or experiences. Using an infinitive suggests that you are talking about potential or possible activities or experiences. Because of this small difference in meaning, gerunds and infinitives cannot always be used interchangeably, such as in the examples below.

Examples:

*The British reporter likes living in New York. He lives in New York and he likes what he experiences there.
*The British reporter likes to live in New York whenever he works in the United States. He likes the option or possibility of living in New York when he works in the United States.
*I like speaking French because it's such a beautiful language. I like the experience of speaking French, and the way it makes me feel when I speak the language.
*I like to speak French when I'm in France. I prefer the option of speaking French when I am in France.

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