Gerund and infinitive
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Gerund and infinitive worksheets PDF
PDF exercises with answers to download for free.
- Complete sentences with words in brackets:
I don't mind ____ early. (get up)
I don't mind getting up early.
She seems ___ him. (know)
She seems to know him.
- Choose correct forms:
He suggested ___ a car. (to buy, buying)
He suggested buying a car.
- Correct mistakes:
My hair wants to cut. - My hair wants cutting.
Excuse me to be late. - Excuse me for being late.
- Complete a dialogue:
Kate: Why has Mike moved out of your house? Let him ___ (explain) what he means ___ (do) now.
Beryl: No, never. I gave up ___ (try) to understand him a long time ago.
- Complete sentences with a verb from the list:
(watch, shout, read, have)
Go on reading the article.
Gerunds exercises PDF I enjoyed swimming in the sea. He can't stand smoking. (Exercises with answers.)
Infinitive exercises PDF I'd love to go. He pretended to sleep. She made me laugh. (Exercises with answers.)
Online exercises with answers:
Grammar rules PDF:
Gerund and infinitive rules PDF Grammar rules with examples to download for free.
English grammar PDF All PDF rules on e-grammar.org.
Gerund and infinitive
In English there are verbs and expressions followed by either infinitives (They agreed to come) or gerunds (Did you enjoy flying?).
There are, however, also verbs and expressions followed by both gerunds and infinitives (She began to work - She began working). In some cases the gerund and infinitive have the same meaning, in other cases they have different meanings.
Gerund and infinitive with the same meaning
The meaning remains the same after expressions such as:
begin, advise, allow, can't bear, continue, intend, it requires, it needs, it wants, permit, recommend, start
Did you continue driving/to drive?
He can't bear smoking/to smoke.
If the verbs advise, allow, permit, recommend are used with the indirect object, they are followed by infinitive. If not, gerund must be used.
They didn't allow us to eat there. They didn't allow eating there.
She recommended John to read this book. She recommended reading this book.
After the expressions it needs/requires/wants gerund is more common than infinitive.
The car needs washing/to be washed. The flower wants watering/to be watered.
Gerund and infinitive with different meanings
I remember watching the match. It was fantastic.
We use gerund to talk about earlier actions.
I remembered to watch the match. And so I sat down and switched on the TV.
The infinitive is used to talk about following actions.
I tried calling him because I needed to test my new mobile phone. (I made an experiment with my mobile.)
I tried to call him because I needed to meet him. (I made an attempt to get in touch with him.)
In the conditional tense these verbs are used with the infinitive.
I'd like to drive. I'd love to drive. I'd hate to drive. I'd prefer to drive.
In other tenses they are used with gerunds and infinitives, but both forms have a slightly different meaning.
I like driving. I love driving. I hate driving. I prefer driving.
I like to drive. I love to drive. I hate to drive. I prefer to drive.
I like going to the cinema. (I enjoy it.)
I like to go to the dentist twice a year. (I don't enjoy it, but I go there, because it is good for my health.)
I hate ironing. (It is my least favourite activity. I never enjoy it.)
I hate to iron on Sundays. (I don't mind ironing, but not on Sundays.)
After dinner he went on showing us his photos.
The gerund is used when we want to say that a previous activity continues.
He gave us a lecture on the Greek history. And then he went on to show us his photos from Greece.
The infinitive is used when we want to describe an activity that follows a previous action and is somehow connected to it.
I stopped smoking. (This means that I do not smoke anymore.)
I stopped to smoke. (I made a pause to have a cigarette.)
I didn't mean to hurt you. (I say that I didn't do it on purpose.)
We can go to Spain. But it means spending more money. (In this sentence we describe the consequences.)
She was afraid of getting married. (A marriage is something that frightens her.)
She was afraid to marry Bill. (She doesn't mind getting married, but the marriage with Bill frightens her.)
I'm sorry for telling you. (I apologize for a previuous action.)
I'm sorry to tell you that your flight will be delayed. (I apologize for something that will happen.)
The infinitive with this expression can also mean sorrow:
I'm sorry to hear that your wife is ill.
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