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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #5584: Verb + -ing or to. (1)
Verb + -ing or to. (1)
Verb + -ing or to... (1)
When one verb follows another verb, the structure is usually verb + -ing or verb + to...
Verb + -ing
• They denied stealing the money.
• I enjoy going out.
Often we use -ing for an action that happens before the first verb or at the same time:
stealing <— denied
Verb + to...
• They decided to steal the money.
• I want to go out.
Often we use to... for an action that follows the first verb
decided -> to steal
want —>to go
Some verbs can be followed by -ing or to... with a difference of meaning:
I remember doing something = I did it and now I remember this.
You remember doing something after you have done it:
• I’m absolutely sure I locked the door. I clearly remember locking it. (=I locked it, and now I remember this)
• He could remember driving along the road just before the accident happened, but he couldn't remember the accident itself.
I remembered to do something = I remembered that I had to do it, and so I did it.
You remember to do something before you do it:
• I remembered to lock the door when I left but I forgot to shut the windows.
(= I remembered that I had to lock the door and so I locked it)
• Please remember to post the letter.
(= don't forget to post it)
I regret doing something = I did it and now I'm sorry about it:
• I now regret saying what I said. I shouldn’t have said it.
I regret to say / to tell you / to inform you
= I'm sorry that I have to say (etc.):
• (from a formal letter) We regret to inform you that we are unable to offer you the job.
Go on doing something = continue doing the same thing:
• The minister went on talking for two hours.
• We must change our ways. We can't go on living like this.
Go on to do something = do or say something new:
• After discussing the economy, the minister then went on to talk about foreign policy.
Begin/ start/ intend/ continue/ bother
These verbs can be followed by -ing or to... with little or no difference in meaning. So you can say:
• It has started raining, or It has started to rain.
• John intends buying a house, or John intends to buy...
• Don’t bother locking the door, or Don't bother to lock...
But normally we do not use –ing after-ing:
• It’s starting to rain. (Not it’s starting raining)
Put the verb into the correct form, -ing or to:
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