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November 24, 2012


            A gerund is the –ing form a verb used as a noun. A gerund is used in the same ways as a noun, i.e. as a subject or an object.


  • As the subject of the sentences

Example :

Writing is very much good

Swimmingis excellent exercise.

Drinkingtoo much coffee gives him a headache.

Eating too quickly gave him an upset stomach.

Not doing his homework caused him to fail the test.

  • As the complement of the verb ‘to be’

Example :

I like writing very much

His hobby is playing computer games.

My least favorite chore is cleaning the bathroom.

His problem is not coming to class on time

  • After prepositions

The gerund must be used when a verb comes after a preposition 

Example :

I’m interested in writing

She’s good in painting

They’re keen on windsurfing

We arrived in Madrid after driving all night

  • Following the word go for the verb-specific verb

Example :

Chris went swimming the day before yesterday

  • After the expressions

Example :

She is lying on the bed watching TV

She couldn’t help falling in love with him

I can’t stand being stuck in traffic jams       

It might be worth phoning the station to check the time of the train

It’s no use/good trying to escape

  • Following propositional object, such as: to be used to, to be accustomed to, object to, look forward to, to take to, confess to

Example :

I object to doing that, that Emile confess to stealing cheese

I look forward to hearing from you soon

He kept on asking for money

  • Form a noun phrase (noun phrase form)

Example :

reading book, lying egg, boiling water, boring Dave, etc…


          Infinitives is a form of “to” is added to the verb.An infinitive will almost always begin with to followed by the simple form of the verb. Like this :

To + verb = infinitive


  • As subject

Example :

To sing is hard for a person like me

  • Describe the pupose

Example :

Simon comes here just to see you

  • For passive sentences

Example :

I was told to be mature

  • Once the object perpetrators

Example :

Brian asked me to listen to him closely. Christine get Theo not to run away from home

The perfect infinitive

to have + past participle, e.g. to have broken, to have seen, to have saved.

This form is most commonly found in Type 3 conditional sentences, using the conditional perfect, e.g. If I had known you were coming I would have baked a cake.

example :

Someone must have broken the window and climbed in.

I would like to have seen the Taj Mahal when I was in India.

He pretended to have seen the film.

If I’d seen the ball I would have caught it.

The continuous infinitive:

to be + present participle, be swimming, to be joking, to be waiting

example :

I’d really like to be swimming in a nice cool pool right now.

You must be joking!

I happened to be waiting for the bus when the accident happened.

The perfect continuous infinitive:

to have been + present participle

example :

To have been crying

To have been waiting

To have been painting

The woman seemed to have been crying.

The passive infinitive:

to be + past participle, e.g. to be given, to be shut, to be opened

example :

I am expecting to be given a pay-rise next month.

These doors should be shut.

This window ought to be opened.


Following a particular verb “different”
• Verbs followed by gerunds: avoid, admit, appreciate, anticipate, continue, deny, detest, delay, enjoy, excuse, finish, forgive, fancy, keep, mind, postpone, Prevent, risk, resist.
• Meanwhile, followed by the infinitive verb: ask, allow, advice, beg, decide, expect, hope, intend, invite, INSTRUCT, learn, mean, need, purpose, promise, permit, want, warn, would like, tell, teach , urge.

In the case of propositional Object: (To be) used to

• When the infinitive, for example: I used to cry every night.
• While in the gerund, for example: I’m used to crying every night. Then it’s a habit until now, the “I” is still like crying every night.

Note that we use for the gerund to be, while not infinitive.
The difference in meaning
There are verbs that can be followed ing (gerund) or begins to (infinitive) is not that different meanings (so we can be free to use). Namely: advise, begin, continue, dislike, hate, intend, like, love, prefer, propose, start. But there are words which when used in gerund form will be different meaning to that in the infinitive form, ie forget, remember, stop, regret. example:
• I forget cooking a bowl of soup for you (the “I” forgot that he was cooking soup for “you”)
• I forget to cook a bowl of soup for you (the “I” forget, and do not cook the soup for “you”)
• The chef stops cooking (the chef to stop cooking)
• The chef stops to cook (the chef quit to cook)







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