English Review of Gerunds and Infinitives


This module offers a review of gerunds (verbs ending in "ing") and infinitives (e.g. to play, to see, to sleep) for learners who have previously learned about this grammar in a previous English course.

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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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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:
Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
Specific Capabilities at this Level
I can write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate needs. I can write a very simple personal letter, for example thanking someone for something.
Spoken Production:
I can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms my family and other people, living conditions, my educational background and my present or most recent job.
Spoken Interaction:
I can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities. I can handle very short social exchanges, even though I can’t usually understand enough to keep the conversation going myself.
I can read very short, simple texts. I can find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and I can understand short simple personal letters.
I can understand phrases and the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment). I can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.