Gerunds and infinitives

Verb + verb in infinitive

When one verb follows the other in the sentence, the second one is often in the infinitive form.


We tried to persuade him but he wouldn’t change his mind.

I want to buy a new computer next month.

They promised to deliver the goods by the end of next week.

She forgot to call her boss that she had to postpone the meeting with a client.

You wish to get a mortgage approved.

I meant to tell you that when I last saw you.

These verbs are often followed by the infinitive:

attempt, arrange, expect, fail, forget, claim, hope, promise, pretend, offer, guarantee, intend, try, mean, seem, want, wish, plan

Verb + verb with ‚ing‘ (gerund)

Sometimes verbs change into the ‚ing‘ form when they follow another verb.


I go shopping every Saturday.

You can’t give up trying!

He narrowly avoided hitting a pedestrian.

We will consider hiring you.

She can’t remember sending that letter.

He should quit smoking.

List of some verbs which are often followed by the verb in the ‚ing‘ form:

Admit, quit, give up, enjoy, can’t stand, resent, risk, suggest, look forward to, appreciate, involve, consider, mind, don’t mind, detest, delay, avoid, contemplate, deny, carry on, justify, remember, recommend, miss, put off, postpone, hate

Some verbs can be followed by either form without a big change in meaning, e.g.:

I started going to the gym or I started to go to the gym

But some verbs do change the meaning with form, typical is ‚stop‘:

He stopped to look out of the window. = He stopped whatever he was doing so he could look out of the window.

He stopped looking out of the window. = He was looking out of the window and then he stopped doing it.