English Gerunds and Infinitives

    Beginner English - Level A1


    This module examines the differences between gerunds (walking, playing, eating, etc.) and infinitives (to walk, to play, to eat, etc.) and when to use each form.


    Leisure activities, sports, and hobbies

    Greenville, South Carolina at Falls Park in downtown at night.

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    English A1

    Gerunds and Infinitives 


    Some verbs require the use of the preposition “to”, when followed by another verb. The second very will be in the infinitive.

    hate to bother you. (Not: I hate bother you)
    If you decide to apply for the job, then give me a call. (Not: If you decide apply, ….)
    She refuses to answer the question. (Not: She refuses answer the question).

    Other verbs that are commonly followed by “to + infinitive verb” are: choose (to), promise (to), intend (to), hope (to), expect (to), plan (to), seem (to),

    Note: Using any of these words does not automatically require the use of “to + infinitive verb”. We do not use “to” when there is no other verb in the sentence.

    I hate broccoli. (Not: I hate to broccoli.)
    She promised me. (Not: She promised to me.)
    He expected them. (Not: He expected to them.)



    A gerund is the -ing form of a verb used as a noun.

    Verbs that are commonly followed by a gerund are: detest, enjoy, avoid, miss, keep, remember, keep, consider, suggest.

    I hate being interrupted. (Not: I hate to be interrupted.)
    I enjoy gardening. (Not: I enjoy to garden.)  “gardening” could also be viewed as a noun.
    She denies calling him that night. (Not: She denies to call him that night.)
    I am considering leaving my current job. (Not: I consider to leave.)
    I keep thinking it’s Wednesday. (Not: I keep to think…)
    I don’t remember leaving my wallet in my car. (Not: I don’t remember to leave…)

    Note: Not every verb ending with -ing is a gerund.

    I enjoy baking. (Gerund)
    I am baking. (Present participle, not gerund!)

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