GERUNDS AND INFINITIVES

Gerunds and Infinitives

1. A gerund is a noun made from a verb by adding “-ing.” The gerund form of the verb “read” is “reading.” You can use a gerund as the subject, the complement, or the object of a sentence.

Examples:

  • Reading helps you learn English. subject of sentence
  • Her favorite hobby is readingcomplement of sentence
  • I enjoy readingobject of sentence

Gerunds can be made negative by adding “not.”

Examples:

  • He enjoys not working.
  • The best thing for your health is not smoking.

2. Infinitives are the “to” form of the verb. The infinitive form of “learn” is “to learn.” You can also use an infinitive as the subject, the complement, or the object of a sentence.

Examples:

  • To learn is important. subject of sentence
  • The most important thing is to learncomplement of sentence
  • He wants to learnobject of sentence

Infinitives can be made negative by adding “not.”

Examples:

  • I decided not to go.
  • The most important thing is not to give up.

3. Both gerunds and infinitives can be used as the subject or the complement of a sentence. However, as subjects or complements, gerunds usually sound more like normal, spoken English, whereas infinitives sound more abstract. In the following sentences, gerunds sound more natural and would be more common in everyday English. Infinitives emphasize the possibility or potential for something and sound more philosophical. If this sounds confusing, just remember that 90% of the time, you will use a gerund as the subject or complement of a sentence.

Examples:

  • Learning is important. normal subject
  • To learn is important. abstract subject – less common
  • The most important thing is learningnormal complement
  • The most important thing is to learnabstract complement – less common

4. As the object of a sentence, it is more difficult to choose between a gerund or an infinitive. In such situations, gerunds and infinitives are not normally interchangeable. Usually, the main verb in the sentence determines whether you use a gerund or an infinitive.

Examples:

  • He enjoys swimming“Enjoy” requires a gerund.
  • He wants to swim“Want” requires an infinitive.

5. Some verbs are followed by gerunds as objects.

Examples:

  • She suggested going to a movie.
  • Mary keeps talking about her problems.

6. Some verbs are followed by infinitives.

Examples:

  • She wantsto go to a movie.
  • Mary needsto talk about her problems.

Here you have some links to practise the use of these verb forms. The last link in a cloze text. Enjoy!

http://www.englishpage.com/gerunds/gerunds_infinitives_1.htm

http://www.englishpage.com/gerunds/gerunds_infinitives_2.htm

http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/410/grammar/gerinf1.htm

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: