Gerunds and infinitives are sometimes referred to as verb complements. They may function as subjects or objects in a sentence.
Gerunds and Infinitives | Video
Rules to Master the Use of Infinitives
How to Use Gerunds in English
Some Common Verbs Followed by a Gerund
- Acknowledge: She acknowledged receiving assistance.
- Admit: They admitted falsifying the data.
- Advise: The author advises undertaking further study.
- Anticipate: He anticipates having trouble with his supervisor.
- Appreciate: I appreciated having a chance to read your draft.
- Avoid: He avoided answering my question.
- Complete: I finally completed writing my thesis.
- Consider: They will consider granting you money.
- Defer: She deferred writing her report.
- Delay: We delayed reporting the results until we were sure.
- Deny: They denied copying the information.
- Discuss: They discussed running the experiments again.
- Entail: This review procedure entails repeating the test.
- Involve: This procedure involves testing each sample twice.
- Justify: My results justify taking drastic action.
- Mention: The author mentions seeing this event.
- Postpone: The committee has postponed writing the report.
- Recall: I cannot recall getting those results before.
- Resent: He resented spending so much time on the project.
- Recommend: She recommends reading Marx.
- Resist: The writer resists giving any easy answers.
- Risk: She risks losing her viewing time.
- Sanction: They will not sanction copying without permission.
- Suggest: I suggest repeating the experiment.
- Tolerate: She can’t tolerate waiting for results.
Following a preposition (gerund only):
Gerunds can follow a preposition; infinitives cannot.
- Can you touch your toes without bending your knees?
- He was fined for driving over the speed limit.
- She got the money by selling the car.
- A corkscrew is a tool for taking corks out of bottles.
Note: Take care not to confuse the preposition “to” with an infinitive form, or with an auxiliary form such as have to, used to, going to
- He went back to writing his paper. (Preposition + Gerund)
- I used to live in Mexico. (Auxiliary + Verb)
- I want to go home. (Verb + Infinitive)
Some Common Verbs Followed by an Infinitive
- Afford: We cannot afford to hesitate.
- Agree: The professors agreed to disagree.
- Appear: The results appear to support your theory.
- Arrange: They had arranged to meet at noon.
- Beg: I beg to differ with you.
- Care: Would you care to respond?
- Claim: She claims to have new data.
- Consent: Will you consent to run for office?
- Decide: When did he decide to withdraw?
- Demand: I demand to see the results of the survey.
- Deserve: She deserves to have a fair hearing.
- Expect: The committee expects to decide by tomorrow.
- Fail: The trial failed to confirm his hypothesis.
- Hesitate: I hesitate to try the experiment again.
- Hope: What do you hope to accomplish?
- Learn: We have learned to proceed with caution.
- Manage: How did she manage to find the solution?
- Neglect: The author neglected to provide an index.
- Need: Do we need to find new subjects?
- Offer: We could offer to change the time of the meeting.
- Plan: They had planned to attend the conference.
- Prepare: He was not prepared to give a lecture.
- Pretend: I do not pretend to know the answer.
- Promise: They promise to demonstrate the new equipment.
- Refuse: She refused to cooperate any longer.
- Seem: Something seems to be wrong with your design.
- Struggle: We struggled to understand her point of view.
- Swear: He swears to tell the truth.
- Threaten: The team threatened to stop their research.
- Volunteer: Will you volunteer to lead the group?
- Wait: We could not wait to hear the outcome.
- Want: She did not want to go first.
- Wish: Do you wish to participate?
Following an indirect object (infinitive only):
Some common verbs followed by an indirect object plus an infinitive:
- Ask: I must ask you to reconsider your statement.
- Beg: They begged her to stay for another term.
- Cause: His findings caused him to investigate further.
- Challenge: Wilkins challenged Watson to continue the research.
- Convince: Can we convince them to fund our study?
- Encourage: She encouraged him to look beyond the obvious.
- Expect: They did not expect us to win an award.
- Forbid: The author forbade me to change his wording.
- Force: They cannot force her to reveal her sources.
- Hire: Did the department hire him to teach the new course?
- Instruct: I will instruct her to prepare a handout.
- Invite: We invite you to attend the ceremony.
- Need: They need her to show the slides.
- Order: He ordered the group to leave the building.
- Persuade: Can we persuade you to contribute again?
- Remind: Please remind him to check the references.
- Require: They will require you to submit an outline.
- Teach: We should teach them to follow standard procedures.
- Tell: Did she tell him to make three copies?
- Urge: I urge you to read the instructions before you begin.
- Want: I do not want you to have an accident.
- Warn: Why didn’t they warn me to turn down the heat?
Gerunds and Infinitives | Picture