Hi Colleagues.
Could somebody explain when we use gerund or infinitive. Do you have some useful tips or keys for this?

Thanks in advance

5 Answers


Hi, hopefully this helps:

We use gerunds (verb + ing):

  • After certain verbs - I enjoy singing
  • After prepositions - I drank a cup of coffee before leaving
  • As the subject or object of a sentence - Swimming is good exercise


We use 'to' + infinitive:

  • After certain verbs - We decided to leave
  • After many adjectives - It's difficult to get up early
  • To show purpose - I came to London to study English


We use the bare infinitive (the infinitive without 'to'):

  • After modal verbs - I can meet you at six o'clock
  • After 'let', 'make' and (sometimes) 'help' - The teacher let us leave early
  • After some verbs of perception (see, watch, hear, notice, feel, sense) - I watched her walk away
  • After expressions with 'why' - why go out the night before an exam?

You can also check these links where you can fins some of the most common verbs that are used with gerund or infinitive:

Some verbs can be followed by either gerund or infinitive, depending on their meaning:



Radha 240

Hi !!! 

  • Here are some verbs that are followed by -ing.

 Stop,delay,fancy,consider,admit,miss,involve,finish,postpone,imagine,avoid,deny,risk,practisy,give      up,put off,carry on/go on,keep on+ing

    For example.Paula has given up smoking 

  • If these verbs are followed by another verb,the structure is usually verb+to​ 

Offer,agree,refuse,decide,plan,arrange,hope,aim,learn,deserve,afford,forget,attempt,mannage,fail,promise,threaten + to

 For example.We decided to take a taxi home.


Thanks for explanation :-) This is true but sometimes I have a problem with the other verbs.I have also found some very usefull graph on this site, but it is not so clear for me.Maybe you would like to discusse these problem with me on skype?Please let me know.Best regards.


Radha 240

I have found some other topics about this question.

  1.  Use to with these verbs


            For example.They seem to have plenty of money

       2. After dare yo can use the infinitive with or without to

            For example.I wouldn't dare to tell him=I wouldn'y dare tell him

       ​3. After  daren't you must use the infinitive without to

            For example. i daren't tell him what happened.

       4.Normally we don't use ing after ing

            For example.It is starting raining. You should use "it is starting to rain''.

       5. would like,would love,would prefer,would hate+to 

I am so sorry but now i have some problems connected to my skype.I can advise you one very useful book "ENGLISH GRAMMER IN USE'' BY RAYMOND MURPHY.

You can find some answers to your questions in that book. )))


Dear Radha,

Thanx you for you advice and information. It seems to be easier :-)

best regards



Always welcome )))

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