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INTERACTIVE TUITION CENTRE (PTI) SRJ 2240

CAMBRIDGE ENGLISH



Infinitive or -ing?
Sometimes we need to decide whether to use a verb in its:
-ing form (doing, singing)

or
infinitive form (to do, to sing)

For example, only one of the following sentences is correct. Which
one?
I dislike working late. (???)
I dislike to work late. (???)

When to use the infinitive
The infinitive form is used after certain verbs:
- forget, help, learn, teach, train
- choose, expect, hope, need, offer, want, would like
- agree, encourage, pretend, promise
- allow, can/can't afford, decide, manage, mean, refuse
I forgot to close the window.
Mary needs to leave early.
Why are they encouraged to learn English?
We can't afford to take a long holiday.

The infinitive form is always used after adjectives, for example:
- disappointed, glad, happy, pleased, relieved, sad, surprised
I was happy to help them.
She will be delighted to see you.

This includes too + adjective:
The water was too cold to swim in.
Is your coffee too hot to drink?

The infinitive form is used after adjective + enough:
He was strong enough to lift it.
She is rich enough to buy two.

When to use -ing
The -ing form is used when the word is the subject of a sentence or
clause:
Swimming is good exercise.
Doctors say that smoking is bad for you.



The -ing form is used after a preposition:
I look forward to meeting you.
They left without saying "Goodbye."

The -ing form is used after certain verbs:
- avoid, dislike, enjoy, finish, give up, mind/not mind, practise
I dislike getting up early.
Would you mind opening the window?

Some verbs can be followed by the -ing form or the infinitive without
a big change in meaning: begin, continue, hate, intend, like, love,
prefer, propose, start.
It started to rain.
It started raining.
I like to play tennis.
I like playing tennis.

Verb + infinitive
I want to speak to the manager.
Shes learning to ride a horse.
He offered to help us wash up.
Want, learn and offer are followed by to + infinitive

Other verbs in this group
include: afford, agree, ask, choose, decide, expect, hope, prepare, promi
se, pretend,refuse, would like.

Verb + ing form
I enjoy travelling.
He admitted stealing the necklace.
I dont mind waiting if youre busy.
enjoy admit and mind are followed by the ing form

Other verbs in this group include: avoid, consider, dislike, feel
like, finish, give up, cant help, practise, suggest.

Verb + infinitive or ing form with no change in meaning
A few verbs can be followed by either an infinitive or the ing form and the
meaning does not change.
I started to work here in 1994.
I started working here in 1994.
The meaning of these two sentences is the same.
There arent many verbs that can take an infinitive or an ing form with no
change in meaning. Begin and continue are two more examples.