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Gerund vs To Infinitive

Use gerund

➪ When the verb is the subject of a sentence.

  • Reading on tablets and phones isn’t very good for your eyes.

After a preposition.

  • I’m tired of waiting. Let’s go home.

➪ After some verbs.

  • I don’t mind waiting.
  • She recommended visiting this museum.

Common verbs followed by a gerund

Some common verbs that are followed by gerund are: avoid, enjoy, finish, hate, keep, like, love, don’t mind, prefer, recommend, spend time, stop, suggest, etc.

Negative gerund

The negative form of the gerund is not + -ing.

  • He enjoys not having to wake up early at weekends. 

Use to + infinitive

➪ After adjectives.

  • It’s important to arrive early at the station.

➪ To express a reason or purpose (why).

  • I went to Madrid to visit some family.
  • I need time to study for the exam.

➪ After question words.

  • I don’t know what to eat.
  • I want to learn how to play the guitar.

➪ After some verbs.

  • Don’t forget to call me.
  • She seems to be distracted.

Common verbs followed by to  + infinitive

Some common verbs that are followed by to infinitive are: ask (someone), decide, forget, help, hope, learn, need, offer, plan, promise, remember, seem, try, want, would like, would love, would hate, would prefer, etc.

The negative form of to + infinitive

The negative form of to + infinitive is not to + infinitive.

  • She decided not to enter the competition.