The GERUND versus the infinitive can be a challenging aspect of English grammar, for more practice, see our post on grammar structures HERE



To understand the gerund and infinitive, you need to remember 3 rules:


  1. Subject of the sentence eg. swimming is good for your health.
  2. After a preposition eg. I am keen on running to get fit.
  3. After certain/some verbs eg. I fancy having a beer with my meal.



  1. Purpose of another action eg. I do the shopping once a week to buy food.
  2. After an adjective eg. It is easy to pass the exam with this course.
  3. After certain/some verbs eg. He managed to get a 10 on the exam.


BE CAREFUL! At C1 level, there are exceptions to the rules. For instance, the infinitive can be used as the subject of a sentence. Study this example:

In Britain to arrive late to a meeting is very bad manners.


Bare infinitive

  1. After most modal verbs eg. I should do more exercise
  2. Objectives/to do list eg. 1. Do the washing up  2. Go shopping  3. Wash the car


Similar expressions with the full and the bare infinitive


  Verb + Object + Verb

I allow my children to watch TV every day.

I permit them to watch TV each day.

I let them watch TV daily.



Verb + Object + Verb

I obligate my children to tidy their room

I force them to tidy their room

I make them tidy their room


Gerund versus Infinitive verb list:

GERUND (use the gerund after these verbs)
Admit, Advise, Appreciate, Avoid, Can´t help, Can´t stand, Complete, Consider, Delay, Deny, Detest, Discuss, Despise, Enjoy, Escape, Excuse, Fancy, Feel like, Finish, Forbid, Imagine, Involve, Keep, Mention, Mind, Miss, Permit, Postpone, Practice, Quit, Recall, Recommend, Report, Resist, Resume, Risk, Spend (time), Suggest, Tolerate, Understand, Use, Waste (time)


INFINITIVE (use the infinitive after these words)
Able, Afford, Agree, Aim, Allow, Appear, Arrange, Ask, Attempt, Beg, Claim, Choose, Consent, Dare, Decide, Demand, Deserve, Encourage, Expect, Fail, Get, Happen, Help, Hesitate, Hope, Hurry, Learn, Long, Manage, Need, Offer, Plan, Pleased, Prepare, Pretend, Promise, Propose, Refuse, Seem, Strive, Swear, Take (time), Tend, Threaten, Use, Wait, Want, Wish, Would like


NO CHANGE IN MEANING: EITHER (use either the gerund or infinitive)
Begin, Continue, Dislike, Like, love, Start, Intend, prefer


CHANGE IN MEANING: EITHER (use either the gerund or the infinitive)
Consider, Forget, Imagine, Mean, Remember, Remind, Regret, Try, Stop, Teach, Try


Change in meaning between gerund and infinitive:

Like (no change)              I like swimming                             I like to swim

Remember (change)      I didn´t remember doing it         I didn´t remember to do it

Try (change)                    I tried calling you.                           I tried to call you, but i couldn´t.

Gerund form normally means that the action was completed, the infinitive not completed.



Recommended Posts
Showing 2 comments
pingbacks / trackbacks

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.