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Gerunds and Infinitives
(verb-ing and to + verb)



gerunds, infinitives and tennis

A gerund is an -ing verb used as a noun. We often use gerunds after other verbs (verb + gerund). For example:

My sister likes swimming.

Simon went shopping on Friday.

I might start learning French.

Be careful - gerunds are not the same as the present continuous. You can use a present continuous verb form (or any other tense) with a gerund! For example:

I 'm enjoying reading this book.


Unfortunately, not all verbs are used with gerunds. Some verbs are used with the infinitive (verb + to + verb). For example:

I want to come to your party.

Sarah has decided to get married.

I 'm hoping to win the lottery.

So, you need to remember which verbs to use with gerunds, and which verbs to use with infinitives.

Elementary/Pre-Intermediate Level Verbs
like, love, hate, don't mind, can't stand, enjoy, finish+ verb-ing (gerund)
would like, want, need, hope, expect, plan, decide, arrange, learn+ to + infinitive

Intermediate/Upper-Intermediate Level Verbs
miss, practise, admit, deny, suggest, recommend, consider, imagine, fancy, postpone, avoid+ verb-ing (gerund)
seem, tend, offer, pretend, manage, agree, appear, can't wait, can't afford, prepare+ to + infinitive

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Practice (elementary verbs) Practice (intermediate verbs)