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 Uses of Infinives and -ing form.

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PostSubject: Uses of Infinives and -ing form.   Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:53 pm

Uses of Infinives and -ing form:


I. The –ing form (gerund) is used after prepositions.
e.g. I’m good at running.
We’re thinking of living abroad.

2. The –ing form is used after certain verbs (there is a comprehensive list of the verbs followed by the –ing form at the end of this Unit.).
e.g. I enjoy visiting my relatives.
She denies stealing the money.

3. There are some verbs followed by an object + -ing.
e.g. I hate people telling me what to do.

4. The –ing form is used as the subject or object of a sentence.
e.g. Living in a big city is exciting.
I find working in the garden a real bore.

5. The –ing form is used after certain idiomatic expressions.
e.g. It’s no use talking to her.
This book is worth reading.


II. forms of the infinitive.

1. Simple.
e.g. I want to have a bath.

2. continuous.
e. g. it’s nice to be sitting here with you.

3. perfect.
e.g. I’d like to have seen his face when you told him.

4. passive.
e.g. I’d like to be promoted to sales manager.

NB these infinitives are used after modal auxiliary verbs without to.
e.g. She must have gone home early.


III. Uses of the infinitive.
1. infinitives are used after certain verbs (see the list).
e.g. I can’t afford to pay the bill.

2. there are some verbs that that are followed by an object + the infinitive (see the list).
e.g. He advised me to listen carefully.

3. after let, make and have the infinitive is used without to.
e.g. She made me do the exercise again.

4. the infinitive is used after certain adjectives (except busy and worth, which are used with the -ing form).
e.g. it’s difficult to explain how to get here.

NB When the infinitive needs the subject of its own the pattern with for is used .
e.g. it’s difficult for me to explain.

5. the infinitive is used after certain nouns.
e.g. it’s a good idea to ask for help.

6. the infinitive is used to express purpose.
e.g. I came here to learn English.

7. the infinitive is used after question words.
e.g. I don’t know what to do.

8. the infinitive can be used with too and enough.
e.g. I was too tired to eat.
It’s cold enough to snow.


IV. –ing or the infinitive?

1. continue, start, begin.
- Both –ing and infinitive can be used. The infinitive is more common.
e.g. He began working/ to work when he was twenty.
- if the verb is in a continuous tense we prefer the infinitive.
e.g. It’s starting to rain.

2. allow, forbid, permit.
- we allow/ forbid/ permit doing something
e.g. We don’t allow smoking in here.
- but we allow/ forbid/ permit somebody to do something
e.g. We don’t allow people to smoke in here.

3. like, love, hate, prefer
- often both the infinitive and the –ing form can be used with little difference of meaning.
e.g I like to get/ getting up early.
- When like means enjoy generally it is more usually followed by –ing.
e.g. I like cooking.
If the sentence is more specific, the infinitive is more common.
e.g. I like to cook a roast on Sundays.
- when like means think it a good idea, it is followed by the infinitive.
e.g. I like to pay bills on time.
- Used with would, these verbs are followed by the infinitive.
e.g. I’d love to visit you.

4. remember, forget, regret
- After these verbs the –ing form refers to an action that took place before the act of remembering, forgetting or regretting.
e.g. I’ll never forget meeting you.
- The infinitive refers to an action that takes place after the act of remembering, forgetting or regretting.
e.g. Don’t forget to lock all the doors.

5. stop.
- The –ing form refers to an action that was in progress before the act of stopping.
E.g. Stop looking at me like that!
- The infinitive tells us why the action stopped and what happened next. This is the infinitive of purpose.
e.g. We stopped to have a break.

6. try.
- the infinitive refers to the goal, or what we want to achieve.
e.g. I tried to learn Chinese but it was too difficult.
- the –ing form refers to the methods used to achieve the goal.
e.g. I tried going to evening classes.

7. go on.
- the –ing form indicates continuation of an activity.
e.g. I'd like to go on making easy money, but I'm afraid it's over.
- the infinitive refers to a change to a new activity.
e.g. Jack spent many of his early years behind bars, but he would go on to become a famous preacher.

8. mean.
- mean doing something = “involve”
e.g. If we catch the early train, it will mean getting up at 6 a.m.
- mean to do something = “intend”
e.g. Sorry, I meant to tell you about the party.

9. see, hear, watch, feel
- the –ing form is used to talk about an action going on
e.g. I last saw him walking down the road towards the shops.
- the infinitive (without to) is used to talk about a completed action.
e.g. I saw her pick up the parcel, open it and take out a book.
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