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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #117366: Gerunds or Infinitives
Gerunds or Infinitives
Although the terms might sound foreign, the gerunds and infinitives are common parts of speech that we use everyday, whether we know them or not.
What are Gerunds?
Gerunds are easy to spot, since every gerund is a verb with -ing tacked to its tail, like this: "verb + -ing" = Gerund
Examples: swimming, reading, playing..
Take note that: A gerund is a verb form that functions as a noun (subject or object).
For example: -> Swimming is fun - ("gerund" as subject) -> I like swimming - ("gerund" as object)
What about Infinitives?
To swim, to play, to read, to eat, to sneeze, to cry, to jump, to drink, to smash -- all of these are infinitives.
An infinitive will almost always begin with "to" followed by the simple form of verb, like this: "To + verb" = Infinitive
An infinitive also functions as a noun (subject or object).
-> To sleep is the only thing Sam wants to do when she gets home - ("infinitive" as subject)
-> Sam likes to sleep - ("infinitive" as object)
Gerunds or Infinitives:
-> Verbs like decide, plan, need, want, forget are followed by "Infinitives". E.g: ...plan to go... decide to follow... need to eat...
-> Verbs like finish, consider, recommend are followed by "gerunds". E.g: ...finish cooking... consider buying...
-> It can be tricky to remember which verb is followed by gerund or infinitive.
We just know it is more natural to say, "I promise to help you tomorrow" rather than "I promise helping you tomorrow."
Now, you're good to go! Put the verbs in bracket into either the gerund (-ing) or the infinitive (with 'to')
(1) I've finished ..... (cook)- come and eat! The answer is: cooking
(2) He refuses ..... (talk) to me. The answer is: to talk
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