Verb combination (Infinitive vs -ing form)

A. -ing and infinitive (1): verb + -ing form or infinitive

1. Verbs followed by -ing form
avoid consider delay  deny
dislike  enjoy finish can?t help
involve justify  like (=enjoy) look forward to 
mind  miss postpone  practice
risk suggest can?t stand  carry on
put off      

Note. In the expression look forward to, the word to is a preposition. Prepositions (e.g., in, on, at, with, from, etc.) are always followed by the -ing form rather than infinitive.

2. Expressions bellow are followed by the -ing form

It?s a waste of time/money ...
There?s no point (in) ...
It?s no use ...
It?s (not) worth ...

It's not worth repairing the camera. It would be cheaper to buy a new one.

3. Verb followed by to + infinitive
afford agree arrange attempt claim
decide  demand deserve  expect fail
guarantee hesitate hope learn manage
neglect offer plan prepare  pretend
promise  refuse seem  tend  threaten
train  want would like    

4. Passive forms

There are passive forms of the -ing form and the infinitive. The passive form of the -ing form is made with being + past participle (e.g., being done):

Everyone likes being congratulated when they have worked hard.
The passive infinitive is formed by to be + past participle (e.g., to be done):
She expects to be promoted soon.

B. -ing and infinitive (2): verbs and objects

5. Verb + object + infinitive

There are a number of verbs that can take a direct object and to + infinitive.
common examples are:
advise allow ask enable encourage force
invite  order persuade remind  tell warn

The lawer advised me to read the contract carefully.
The negotiators persuaded the union to accept the pay deal.

The court ordered the company to pay compensation.
The fall in demand forced us to cut production
They invited me to speak at the conference.

6. Reporting what people say

Many of  the words listed above can be used to report what people say

"Could you come back later?" he asked me.
He asked me to come back later.
The verb warn is usually used with not to do:
He said, "Don't put all your money in one company"
He warned me not to put all my money in one company.

7. Make and let

The verbs make and let are followed by an object and the bare infinitive (e.g., go, work,see)

7. Verbs of perception

The verb of perception (see, watch, notice, hear, listen, feel) are followed by bare infinitive or by -ing form (present participle).

C. -ing and infinitive (3): changes in meaning

8. Verb + -ing or infinitive?

Some verbs can be followed by either -ing form or the infinitive and the meaning of the verb changes. Here are some common examples:
I remember sending them the cheque. I sent and I can remember now that did it.
I remembered to send them the cheque. I remembered, and then I sent it.
I will never forget meeting the President. I met him, and he impressed me. 
I won?t forget to give her your message.  I have made a note of it, and I will give it to her when I see her.
We have stopped dealing with that firm.  We used to deal with them, but we don't deal with them any more.
At 12.00 we stopped to have a break  We stopped for a break.
I regret saying that I was not interested in the work.  I said I was not interested in the work, and I now think that was a bad mistake.
I regret to say that we will not be able to give you a contract.  I am sorry that I have to say this.
If the printer doesn?t work, try turning everything off and then starting again.  Do this and see what happens.
I will try to negotiate a better deal.  I will make an effort to do this.
This advertisement needs redesigning. This advertisement needs to be redesigned.
We need to increase productivity It?s necessary to increase productivity.

9. Like and would like

When the verb like means enjoy, it?s followed by the -ing form. However, the expression would like (want to) is followed by the infinitive.

I like going abroad on marketing trips. (I enjoy this.)
I would like to go more often.(I want to go more often.)
We can also use prefer and would prefer in the same way.
I prefer working at home to working at the office. (I enjoy this more.)

10. to + -ing or infinitive?

The word to can be part of infinitive (I want to see you). However, in the following examples, to is a preposition, so it is followed by the -ing form:
look forward to object to, an objection to be used to, get used to
react to, a reaction to in addition to respond to, a respond to

Mixed examples

There is nothing wrong with the photocopier. It just needs servicing.
We need to look at this proposal very carefully before we make a decision.
I?ll make a note in my diary so that I will remember to send you information you need.
I am not sure if I have met Mr. Martino, but I remember hearing his name.

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1999. Compiled by Yuri Demchenko.