Ing Form or Infinitive

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  • Topic: Subject, Participle, Verb
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  • Published : October 24, 2012
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Infinitive or -ing?
Sometimes we need to decide whether to use a verb in its:
* -ing form (doing, singing)

* infinitive form (to do, to sing).
For example, only one of the following sentences is correct. Which one? * I dislike working late. (???)
* I dislike to work late. (???)
When to use the infinitive
The infinitive form is used after certain verbs:
- forget*, remember*, help, learn, teach, train
- choose, expect, hope, need, offer, want, would like
- agree, encourage, pretend, promise
- allow, can/can't afford, decide, manage, mean, refuse
* I forgot to close the window.
* Mary needs to leave early.
* Why are they encouraged to learn English?
* We can't afford to take a long holiday.
The infinitive form is always used after adjectives, for example: - disappointed, glad, happy, pleased, relieved, sad, surprised * I was happy to help them.
* She will be delighted to see you.
This includes too + adjective:
* The water was too cold to swim in.
* Is your coffee too hot to drink?
The infinitive form is used after adjective + enough:
* He was strong enough to lift it.
* She is rich enough to buy two.
When to use -ing
The -ing form is used when the word is the subject of a sentence or clause: * Swimming is good exercise.
* Doctors say that smoking is bad for you.
The -ing form is used after a preposition:
* I look forward to meeting you.
* They left without saying "Goodbye."
The -ing form is used after certain verbs:
- avoid, dislike, enjoy, finish, give up, mind/not mind, practise * I dislike getting up early.
* Would you mind opening the window?
Some verbs can be followed by the -ing form or the infinitive without a big change in meaning: begin, continue, hate, intend, like, love, prefer, propose, start. * It started to rain.
* It started raining.
* I like to play tennis.
* I like playing tennis.
stop (to begin a new action)
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