lundi 25 août 2014

Top Tips Grammar: Verbs with ‘to’ infinitive, -ing clauses

Main points

*Some verbs take a ‘to’- infinitive clause or an ‘-ing’ clause with little difference in meaning. Others take a ‘to’- infinitive or ‘-ing’ clause, but the meaning is different.

 

a) The following verbs can be following by a ‘to’- infinitive clause or an ‘-ing’ clause, with little difference in meaning.

attempt continue love try
begin fear prefer  
bother hate start  

- It started raining.
- A very cold wind had started to blow.
- The captain didn’t bother answering.
- I didn’t bother to answer.

Note that if these verbs are used in a continuous tense, they are followed by a ‘to’- infinitive clause.

- The company is beginning to export to the West.
- We are continuing to make good progress.

After ‘begin’, ‘continue’, and ‘start’, you use a ‘to’- infinitive clause with the verbs ‘understand’, ‘know’, and realize’.

- I began to understand her a bit bitter.

 

b) You can often use ‘like’ with a ‘to’- infinitive clause with little difference in meaning.

- I like to fish.
- I like fishing.

However, there is sometimes a difference. You can use ‘like’ followed by a ‘to’- infinitive clause to say that you think something is a good idea, or the right thing to do.

You cannot use an ‘-ing’ clause with this meaning.

- They like to interview you first.
- I didn’t like to ask him.

 

c) After ‘remember’, ‘forget’, and ‘regret’, you use an ‘-ing’ clause if you are referring to an event after it has happened.

- I remember discussing it once before.
- I’ll never forget going out with my old aunt.
- She did not regret accepting his offer.

You use a ‘to’- infinitive clause after ‘remember’ and ‘forget’ if you are referring to an event before it happens.

- I must remember to send a gift for her child.
- Don’t forget to send in your entries.

After ‘regret’, in formal English, you use a ‘to’- infinitive clause with these verbs to say that you are sorry about what you are saying or doing now:

announce learn see
inform say tell

- I regret to say that it was all burned up.

 

d) If you ‘try to do’ something, you make an effort to do it. If you ‘try doing’ something, you do it as an experiment, for example to see if you like it or if it effective.

- I tried to explain.
- Have you tried painting it?

 

e) If you ‘go on doing’ something, you continue to do it. If you ‘go on to do’ something, you do it after you have finished doing something else.

- I went on writing.
- He later went on to form a computer company.

 

f) If you ‘are used to doing’ something, you are accustomed to doing it. If you ‘used to do’ something, you did it regularly in the past, but you no longer do it now.

- We are used to working together.
- I used to live in this street.

 

g) After ‘need’, you use a ‘to’- infinitive clause if the subject of ‘need’ is also the subject of the ‘to’- infinitive clause. You use an ‘-ing’ form if the subject of ‘need’ is the object of the ‘-ing’ clause.

- We need to ask certain question.
- It needs cutting.

 

 

 

 

---------------------------------------------
Top Tips Abz Ingles: Part A    -    Part B
---------------------------------------------

 

See also:

Words related to Failure to Cooperate Irregular Verbs list
Common Phrasal Verbs Common Slangs
Common misspellings Regular vs Irregular Verbs
Common Errors Frequently confused words
Common Slangs Lista de Términos Gramaticales
Common Clichés Common Prepositions

 

No te olvides de compartir esto con tus amigos y compañeros, hagamos de este Blog una comunidad de difusión del Inglés como segundo idioma. Antes de irte deja tu comentario y haz clic en Me Gusta.