18 set 2021

Verbs with Gerund

There are verbs in English that can be followed by gerund or infinitive with no difference in meaning. Some examples are:
begin – continue – hate – intend – love – prefer – start
SHE TOLD ME SHE LOVES DANCING. / SHE TOLD ME SHE LOVES TO DANCE.
THEY ALWAYS START COMPLAINING ABOUT LIFE. / THEY ALWAYS START TO COMPLAIN ABOUT LIFE.
Some others can only be followed by gerund, although a basic rule in English says that when there are two verbs together they must be linked by ‘to’:
admit – appreciate – avoid – consider – delay – miss – postpone – quit – recommend – suggest
SHE WANTS TO QUIT SMOKING.
WE RECOMMEND STUDYING HARD FOR THE TEST.
However the thing is that some verbs can be followed by gerund or infinitive with difference in meaning, which forces us to know these differences in order to use them appropriately:
forget – gerund: I’LL NEVER FORGET SITTING NEXT TO THE QUEEN. (memories of things we did in the past)
forget – infinitive: I FORGOT TO BRING MY WALLET. (we didn’t do something we should have)
regret – gerund: SHE REGRETS SAYING THAT TO HIM. (to wish we hadn’t done that)
regret – infinitive: I REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT YOU FAILED THE TEST. (to announce bad news)
remember – gerund: I REMEMBER SEEING THE EIFFEL TOWER FOR THE FIRST TIME. (to talk about something we did in the past)
remember – infinitive: HE ALWAYS REMEMBERS TO LOCK ALL DOORS. (to say we remember to do something)
stop – gerund: HE STOPPED SMOKING. (ending an action)
stop – infinitive: THEY STOPPED TO LOOK AT THE SHOP WINDOW. (ending an action with the purpose of carrying out another)
try – gerund: SHE TRIED CLEANING THE CARPET WITH SODA. (refers to an experimental action)
try – infinitive: I TRIED TO CONVINCE HER. (refers to the effors involved in carrying out the action).

verbs of perception (hear, see, notice, observe, watch…)
gerund: I HEARD HIM PLAYING THE PIANO. (only for a moment, part of the action)
infinitive: I HEARD HIM PLAY THE PIANO. (from beginning to end, the whole action)

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