The Gerund

Gerunds and infinitives are verb forms that can take the place of a noun in a sentence. The following guidelines and lists will help you figure out whether a gerund or infinitive is needed. Use -ing form used as a noun Form infinitive + -ing Examples Going to parties is fun. Gerund is subject I enjoy reading. Gerund is object

Gerund after prepositions (adjectives)
We use the Gerund after prepositions. adjective + preposition We use the Gerund after the following phrases: afraid of angry about/at bad at good at clever at crazy about disappointed about/at excited about famous for fed up with fond of They are afraid of losing the match. Pat is angry about walking in the rain. John is good at working in the garden. He is clever at skateboarding. The girl is crazy about playing tennis. He is disappointed about seeing such a bad report. We are excited about making our own film. Sandy is famous for singing songs. I'm fed up with being treated as a child. Hannah is fond of going to parties.

glad about happy about/at interested in keen on proud of sick of sorry about/for tired of used to worried about

She is glad about getting married again. The children are not happy about seeing a doctor. Are you interested in writing poems? Joe is keen on drawing. She is proud of riding a snowboard. We're sick of sitting around like this. He's sorry for eating in the lesson. I'm tired of waiting for you. She is used to smoking. I'm worried about making mistakes.

Gerund after prepositions (verbs)
We use the Gerund after prepositions. verb + preposition Exception: to Here we use the phrase: looking forward to + Gerund Example: I'm looking forward to seeing you soon. We use the Gerund after the following phrases: accuse of agree with apologize for believe in blame for complain about They were accused of breaking into a shop. I agree with playing darts. They apologize for being late. She doesn't believe in getting lost in the wood. The reporter is blamed for writing bad stories. She complains about bullying.

concentrate on congratulate sb. on cope with decide against depend on dream about/of feel like get used to insist on look forward to prevent sb. from sth. rely on sth. succeed in specialize in stop sb. from talk about/of think of warn sb. against

Do you concentrate on reading or writing? I wanted to congratulate you on making such a good speech. He is not sure how to cope with getting older. They decided against stealing the car. Success may depend on becoming more patient. Sue dreams of being a pop star. They feel like going to bed. You must get used to working long hours. The girls insisted on going out with Mark. I'm looking forward to seeing you soon. How can I prevent Kate from working in this shop? He doesn't rely on winning in the casino. How then can I succeed in learning chemistry? The firm specialized in designing websites. I stopped Andrew from smoking. They often talk about travelling to New Zealand. Frank thinks of playing chess. We warned them against using this computer. The patient worries about having the check-up.

worry about

Gerund after special verbs
We use the Gerund after the following verbs: admit avoid He admitted having driven too fast. They avoid going on holiday on Saturdays.

carry on consider delay deny dislike can't help enjoy finish give up imagine include involve justify keep (on) mention mind miss practise regret risk suggest

If we carry on sleeping so badly, we may need help. Ralph is considering buying a new house. I delayed telling Max the news. She denies reading the book. We dislike reading poems. He couldn't help falling in love with her. I enjoy playing chess. They finished working in the garden. Susan gives up playing ice-hockey. He imagined driving a new car. Your responsibility includes taking reservations on the phone. The project will involve growing plants. I cannot justify paying $100 for this ticket. They keep on running. Did Alex ever mention playing baseball? I don't mind sleeping on the couch. They miss playing with their friends. She practised playing hockey. Do you regret having mentioned it? You risk catching a cold. She suggested flying to Cairo.

Gerund after special phrases
We use the Gerund after the following phrases: to be busy couldn't help don't mind feel like how about it's (no) good it's no use spend one's time there's no there's no point what about worth He is busy reading the paper. She couldn't help eating another apple. I don't mind telling them my opinion. We feel like having a cup of tea. How about walking home instead of taking the car? It's no good talking to this girl. It's no use talking to the headmaster. They spend their time reading. There's no cheating anymore. There's no point in complaining further. What about going to the zoo? The book is worth reading.

Gerund after prepositions
We use the Gerund after the following prepositions: after before by in spite of on without After having a shower, I waited for Steven. The tablet must not be taken before getting up in the morning. I manage it by working much longer than 40-hour weeks. In spite of studying a lot he didn't pass the exams. She insisted on calling her sister. He told the joke without laughing.

Gerund or Progressive/Continuous
Both forms end in -ing. Nevertheless it is easy to find out whether it is a Gerund or a Progressive form. Progressive tenses These tenses are formed with von to be and the infinitive + - ing. sentences He is reading a book. He was reading a book. He has been reading a book for three hours. He had been reading a book before Mary came in. He will be reading a book when I get home. He will have been reading a book. He would be reading a book if he had time. tense Present Progressive Past Progressive Present Perfect Progressive Past Perfect Progressive will-future Progressive Future Perfect Progressive Conditional Progressive

He would have been reading a book if he had had time. Conditional Perfect Progressive A book is being read. A book was being read. Gerund The Gerund is formed only with infinitive + - ing. sentence Reading books is great fun. He likes reading books. He is looking forward to reading books at the weekend. He is keen on reading books. He is used to reading books. What about reading books? He likes the idea of reading books. Present Progressive - Passive Past Progressive - Passive

After reading the book, he went to bed. I remember having read this book. - Passiv

Gerund and Infinitive (no difference in meaning)
We use the Gerund or the Infinitive after the following verbs: begin He began talking. He began to talk. They continue smoking. They continue to smoke. Do you hate working on Saturdays? Do you hate to work on Saturdays? I like swimming. I like to swim. She loves painting. She loves to paint. Pat prefers walking home. Pat prefers to walk home. They start singing. They start to sing.







We use the Gerund or the Infinitive after the following verbs. There are two possible structures after these verbs. Gerund: verb + -ing Infinitive: verb + person + to-infinitive advise They advise walking to town. They advise us to walk to town. They do not allow smoking here. They do not allow us to smoke here.



They encourage doing the test. They encourage us to do the test. They do not permit smoking here. They do not permit us to smoke here.


We use the following structures with the word recommend: recommend They recommend walking to town. They recommend that we walk to town.

Gerund and Infinitive - difference in meaning
Some verbs have different meaning. (when used with Gerund or Infinitive) GERUND He'll never forget spending so forget much money on his first computer. INFINITIVE Don't forget to spend money on the tickets.

GERUND go on Go on reading the text.

INFINITIVE Go on to read the text.

GERUND You have forgotten your mean homework again. That means phoning your mother.

INFINITIVE I meant to phone your mother, but my mobile didn't work.

GERUND I remember switching off the lights when I went on holiday.

INFINITIVE Remember to switch off the lights when you go on holiday.


GERUND stop Stop reading the text.

INFINITIVE Stop to read the text.




Why don't you try running after I tried to run after the dog, but I the dog? was too slow.

The Infinitive with to
the first after: the last the next Gagarin was the first to fly in a spaceship. Peter was the last to watch the film. He is the next to get his passport.

I'm happy to be here. after: adjectives It's better not to smoke.

certain verbs (agree, choose, after: forget, hope, learn, promise, regret, want, …) I learn to drive a car.

I don't know what to say. after: question words Can you tell me how to get to the bus stop?


want/would like

I want you to help me.

verb + object + to-infinitive I helped my dad to clean the car.

NOTE!!! I want to help you. I want you to help me.

The Infinitive without to
after auxiliaries/modals can could may might must mustn't needn't shall should will would after to do do I don't know. He can run very fast. As a boy he could run very fast. I may fly to Africa this summer. I might fly to Africa this summer. I must go now. You mustn't smoke here. You needn't go. We shall sing a song. We should sing a song. She will cook a meal for his birthday. She would cook a meal for his birthday.

after the following expressions: had better would rather would sooner why not why should we why should we not You had better clean up your room. Susan would rather study for her exam tomorrow. I would sooner read a book than watch this film. Why not ask your neighbour for help? Why should we go by car? Why should we not go by car?

after verbs of perception + object (action has finished):

feel hear notice see watch after let + object:

She feels the rain fall on her face. I heard Peter sing a song. Mandy noticed the boy climb the tree. They saw him climb up the roof. He watched the thieves steal a car.

Sandy let her child go out alone. let Mother let her daughter decide on her own. let's after make + object: make She made Peggy and Samantha clean the room. Let's go for a walk through the park.

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