Tips to Master Gerunds and Infinitives 2

Last week, we looked at some of the different ways we use gerunds and infinitives. We learned that we can create the gerund by adding (-ing) to verbs (e.g. reading, talking and driving), and that we can use the gerund after some verbs (e.g. enjoy + gerund). So, we can say:

  • "I enjoy reading."

But be careful, the '-ing' form that you see in the example above isn’t the same as this one:

  • "I am reading a lesson."

This is the present continuous tense, and 'reading' here isn’t a gerund.

To understand this better, let’s look at some more examples of the present continuous:

  • Subject + Verb + Complement
  • "They are talking about traveling."
  • "She is driving to California next summer."
This is the present continuous form, so 'talking' and 'driving' are not gerunds. They are part of the verb and they’re called present participles.

Now, let’s look at some more examples of the gerund form:

  • Subject + Verb + Complement
  • "They like talking."
  • "I can’t stand driving in big cities."

This is the present simple form, and 'talking' and 'driving' here are gerunds. So, what you need to remember is this: the gerund looks like a verb but it functions like a noun.

Let’s look at a some of the other ways we use gerunds and infinitives.


We can use gerunds as subjects or complements.

Gerunds can be used as subjects or as complements in sentences. Infinitives are also possible in these cases, but they are too formal and not normally used in everyday English.

Here are some examples of the gerund as a subject:

  • Subject + Verb + Complement
  • "Dancing is a lot of fun!"
  • "Finding a job isn’t easy in this city."
  • "Traveling teaches you so much about yourself."

Here are some examples of the gerund as a complement:

  • Subject + Verb + Complement
  • "One of their favorite activities is dancing."
  • "His passion is painting."
  • "One thing I love about traveling is making new friends."

Again, the infinitive can be used in these cases but the gerund is a lot more common in everyday English.

Now, let’s look at some common “verb + gerund” and “verb + infinitive” combinations.


We use the gerund after the verbs miss, mind and practice.

1. miss + gerund
  • "I miss talking to them."
  • "He misses hearing her voice."
  • "Do you think that you’ll miss living in New York?"
2. mind + gerund
  • "She doesn’t mind being alone."
  • "They don’t mind cooking tonight."
  • "Do you mind driving me to work?"
3. practice + gerund
  • "Can we practice doing this part one more time?"
  • "He needs to practice speaking in front of big groups."
  • "How often do you practice playing the drums?"


We use the infinitive after the verbs hope, plan, and ask.

1. hope + infinitive
  • "I hope to see you again soon."
  • "She hopes to make a living from her art."
  • "They hoped to finish the project by Friday."
2. plan + infinitive
  • "He plans to stay here for a few months."
  • "They’re planning to take a course in photography."
  • "She’s planning to travel across South America this summer."
3. ask + infinitive
  • "He asked to come in."
  • "They asked to be paid in cash."
  • "She asked to borrow my car."
Note: we commonly use an object before the infinitive with 'ask'. So, we can say,

  • "He asked me to come in."
  • "They asked the manager to be paid in cash."
  • "She asked a friend to borrow the car."

Remember! we never use to before the object! For example,

  • "He asked to me to come in."
  • "They asked to the manager to be paid in cash."
  • "She asked to a friend to borrow the car."
August 30, 2018
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Become a more confident, fluent and natural English speaker! If you feel stuck in English, book your lessons now. I help students just like you every day! What would your life be like if English was not a limitation? ★ Would you be able to have conversations in English without getting stuck? ★ Would you be able to express your personality and be yourself in English? ★ Would you be able to understand fast English speakers? ★ Would you have more work options? ★ Would you be able to answer interview questions confidently? My lessons are perfect for you if: ★ You are worried that others won't understand your pronunciation. ★ You forget words and grammar when speaking. ★ You need to prepare for interviews and presentations. ★ You are an intermediate or advanced English learner. ★ You're thinking about living in Canada or the US, or moved there recently. ★ You are finding it difficult to understand and communicate with people in English. I've been helping English learners become more fluent and natural speakers for over ten years. My mission is to help you transcend your limitations in English and finally experience the progress that will help you achieve your dreams. Here's how you'll benefit from my lessons: ★ Gain the confidence to express yourself in English. ★ Learn real conversation and natural vocabulary. ★ Understand fast native English conversations. ★ Improve your pronunciation and reduce your accent. ★ Learn more about North American culture, how to connect with people. If you have moved to the US recently, I can help you learn the English you need to make new friends, communicate with colleagues, and adapt to the culture easily. I have limited hours available, so book your lessons now! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to send me a message. I look forward to working with you! MORE ABOUT ME I'm a certified English teacher from Canada with over 10 years of experience. I'm also a writer. I write articles to help students achieve their goals in English. I've always loved traveling, so in 2012 I traveled to Europe and I lived and taught English in Italy, Spain and the Canary Islands for 5 years. I returned to Canada in 2017 and I now live in Victoria, a beautiful city in Western Canada, 2 hours away from Vancouver. I still travel when I can. I spent 3 months in Taiwan last year. And I fell in love with the country's beautiful nature, culture and people. When I first started teaching in 2010, I taught in classrooms. Like every other teacher, I used textbooks or lessons that I found online. Planning my classes was SO frustrating, because a lot of the books and learning websites taught a style of English that native speakers NEVER use in real life. 😑 I thought that if the lessons were boring for me to teach, of course they would be boring for my students, too! This inspired me to design my own lessons. I looked for short, recent videos, articles and blog posts that discuss interesting topics, and designed lessons around them. My students love them! They are excited to learn, are never bored, and experience incredible progress in just a few months. What's the secret to fluent and natural English? REAL, authentic and interesting materials! There's no other way. This way, you'll start to understand fast native speakers and improve your speaking quickly when you're learning naturally: using the new words and grammar to follow a real story or video, not just to learn a lot of boring rules! You’ll also learn how to use common words and expressions that traditional language schools NEVER teach you. Book your lessons today, and let me show you how you can finally speak English confidently and without stress!
Flag
English
globe
Canada
time
231
Speaks:
English
Native
,
Spanish
A2
,
Italian
A2
Become a more confident, fluent and natural English speaker! If you feel stuck in English, book your lessons now. I help students just like you every day! What would your life be like if English was not a limitation? ★ Would you be able to have conversations in English without getting stuck? ★ Would you be able to express your personality and be yourself in English? ★ Would you be able to understand fast English speakers? ★ Would you have more work options? ★ Would you be able to answer interview questions confidently? My lessons are perfect for you if: ★ You are worried that others won't understand your pronunciation. ★ You forget words and grammar when speaking. ★ You need to prepare for interviews and presentations. ★ You are an intermediate or advanced English learner. ★ You're thinking about living in Canada or the US, or moved there recently. ★ You are finding it difficult to understand and communicate with people in English. I've been helping English learners become more fluent and natural speakers for over ten years. My mission is to help you transcend your limitations in English and finally experience the progress that will help you achieve your dreams. Here's how you'll benefit from my lessons: ★ Gain the confidence to express yourself in English. ★ Learn real conversation and natural vocabulary. ★ Understand fast native English conversations. ★ Improve your pronunciation and reduce your accent. ★ Learn more about North American culture, how to connect with people. If you have moved to the US recently, I can help you learn the English you need to make new friends, communicate with colleagues, and adapt to the culture easily. I have limited hours available, so book your lessons now! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to send me a message. I look forward to working with you! MORE ABOUT ME I'm a certified English teacher from Canada with over 10 years of experience. I'm also a writer. I write articles to help students achieve their goals in English. I've always loved traveling, so in 2012 I traveled to Europe and I lived and taught English in Italy, Spain and the Canary Islands for 5 years. I returned to Canada in 2017 and I now live in Victoria, a beautiful city in Western Canada, 2 hours away from Vancouver. I still travel when I can. I spent 3 months in Taiwan last year. And I fell in love with the country's beautiful nature, culture and people. When I first started teaching in 2010, I taught in classrooms. Like every other teacher, I used textbooks or lessons that I found online. Planning my classes was SO frustrating, because a lot of the books and learning websites taught a style of English that native speakers NEVER use in real life. 😑 I thought that if the lessons were boring for me to teach, of course they would be boring for my students, too! This inspired me to design my own lessons. I looked for short, recent videos, articles and blog posts that discuss interesting topics, and designed lessons around them. My students love them! They are excited to learn, are never bored, and experience incredible progress in just a few months. What's the secret to fluent and natural English? REAL, authentic and interesting materials! There's no other way. This way, you'll start to understand fast native speakers and improve your speaking quickly when you're learning naturally: using the new words and grammar to follow a real story or video, not just to learn a lot of boring rules! You’ll also learn how to use common words and expressions that traditional language schools NEVER teach you. Book your lessons today, and let me show you how you can finally speak English confidently and without stress!
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