Home Grammar intermediate Verb patterns: gerund or infinitive

Verb patterns: gerund or infinitive

Introduction


If we use two verbs together in a sentence, for example to describe an opinion or intention about an action, the second verb takes either the gerund form or the infinitive form with "to".

A gerund is the "–ing" form of a verb.

Some verbs can only be followed with a gerund, some can only be followed with the infinitive with "to" and both forms can follow some verbs.

Examples:

gerund only:
infinitive with "to" only:
gerund or infinitive with "to":

Form


There are no clear rules about when to use the gerund or infinitive form after the main verb; the correct forms must be learnt.

Here are some examples (the simple present of the main verb is shown here, but the same forms of the second verb apply when using other tenses).


Practice

Choose the option with the greatest number of correct answers:



Check my answers

Further practice

Complete the sentences by choosing the correct answer from a, b, c or d:



Check my answers

Additional grammar points


Some verbs can be followed by the gerund or the infinitive, but they produce different meanings:


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Dictation - 5 business English exercises