Unit 5.2

Verbs followed by Gerunds and Infinitives


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Introduction

There are some verbs that need to be followed by a gerund or infinitive.

Form

Some verbs are used with gerunds and some with infinitive. There is no rule to distinguish them, therefore you need to learn them by heart.

The verbs followed by a gerund (a verb acting as a noun) or infinitive (the basic form of the verb preceded by to) have these structures:

  • The most commonly used verbs + gerund [verb + -ing] are: admitavoidcelebratedislikegive upmiss, suggesttolerate
  • The most commonly used verbs + infinitive [to + verb] are: agreecaredecidehopemanagepretendseemwait

Example

Verbs + gerund:

  • She admitted having committed the robbery.
  • He avoided saying his nationality.
  • We celebrated passing our driving test.
  • They suggested writing to the professor.

Verbs + infinitive:

  • I agreed to pay for the end of the year party.
  • You just don’t care to answer to our question.
  • She decided to travel for a year.
  • They hope to come back very soon. 

Use

We use verb + gerund/infinitive if we want to follow a verb with another action.

NOTE: We can use a gerund or an infinitive after a verb, but not always the meaning would be the same.

Summary

Certain verbs need to be followed by a gerund (verbs acting as nouns) or an infinitive (to + verb). There is no rule regarding this topic, therefore you need to learn them off by heart.

  • The most commonly used verbs followed by gerund are: admit, avoid, celebrate, dislike, give up, miss, suggest, tolerate
  • The most commonly used verbs followed by infinitive are: agree, care, decide, hope, manage, pretend, seem, wait

For example:
— “I admit loving you.” = The verb admit is followed by a gerund.
— “I decided to marry him.” = The verb decide is followed by an infinitive.

NOTE: In some situations, the meaning is different.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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