Gerund and Infinitive

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

Examples of verbs that are followed by an infinitive


I kept to phone the office.

I kept phoning the office.

We appriate 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.


They agreed signing it.

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.

Verbs followed by either infinitives or gerunds

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

attempt I attempted to wake up early.
I attempted waking up early.
begin I usually begin to feel tired at 10pm
I usually begin feeling tired at 10pm
cease The government ceased to talk about the war.
The government ceased talking about the war.
continue The police continued to harrass him.
The police continued harrassing him.
hate I hate to go to work.
I hate going to work.
like Most people like to travel abroad.
Most people like traveling abroad.
love They love to eat at nice restaurants.
They love eating at nice restaurants.
prefer The electorate prefers to vote in September.
The electorate prefers voting in September.
propose I propose to delay the company merger until next year.
I propose delaying the company merger until next year.
start I will start to study next week.
I will start studying next week.
try The children tried to reduce their intake of sugar.
The children tried reducing their intake of sugar.

Practice Gerund and Infinitive

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



New! Comments

Any questions or comments about this page or about IELTS?

Post your comment here.

Other Grammar Lessons:

Sentence clauses

Sentence structure

Complex sentences

Adverbial Clauses

Relative Clauses

Noun Clauses

Modal verbs

Subject Verb Agreement



Gerund or Infinitive?

Parallel Structure

Passive Voice

I consent to having IELTS buddy collect my name and email address. This form collects your name and email address for IELTS buddy updates. You can unsubscribe at any time. Read our privacy policy to see how we protect and manage your data.