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Gerund and Infinitives for IELTS

Choosing between the gerund and infinitive when they are the object of the sentence can cause a lot of difficulties for students of English.

If they are the object of the sentence, that means they come after the verb. Make sure you look at the previous lessons on gerunds and infinitives to see which one to use after which verb.

As you will remember from those lessons, some verbs can only be followed by the gerund (not the infinitive) and some verbs can only be followed by the infinitive (not the gerund).

Here are some examples but go to the gerund and infinitive lessons for more examples:

Examples of verbs that are followed by a gerund

I kept to phone the office.

I kept phoning the office.

We appreciate to hear from you.

We appreciate hearing from you.

He denies to take the phone.

He denies taking the phone.

They avoid to debate the subect.

They avoid debating the subject.

Examples of verbs that are followed by an infinitive

They agreed to sign it.

He expected losing.

He expected to lose.

She managed getting a promotion.

She managed to get a promotion.

We pretended laughing.

We pretended to laugh.

However, in some cases you can use either the gerund or the infinitive. Here are some common verbs that can be followed by either:

Examples of Verbs Followed by Either Infinitives or Gerunds


  • I attempted to wake up early.
  • I attempted waking up early.


  • I usually begin to feel tired at 10pm
  • I usually begin feeling tired at 10pm


  • The government ceased to talk about the war.
  • The government ceased talking about the war.


  • The police continued to harrass him.
  • The police continued harrassing him.


  • I hate to go to work.
  • I hate going to work.


  • Most people like to travel abroad.
  • Most people like traveling abroad.


  • They love to eat at nice restaurants.
  • They love eating at nice restaurants.


  • The electorate prefers to vote in September.
  • The electorate prefers voting in September.


  • I propose to delay the company merger until next year.
  • I propose delaying the company merger until next year.


  • I will start to study next week.
  • I will start studying next week.


  • The children tried to reduce their intake of sugar.
  • The children tried reducing their intake of sugar.

Go to these gerund and infinitive exercises to have a practice.

More IELTS Grammar Lessons & Practice:

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