In good time, I know the road has been long, but it’s very rewarding to have you back!
Do you know what are gerunds and infinitives?
In this class we are going to talk about verbs in infinitive and verbs with -ing.
For a Little introduction to topic check the following video:
What are Gerunds?
Although the term might sound foreign, the gerund is a common part of speech that most of us use every day, whether we know it or not. Here, we’ll take an in-depth look at gerunds and provide you with several examples of gerunds so you’ll feel comfortable using them in your writing, and so that you will be able to recognize them when you see them.
Gerunds are words that are formed with verbs but act as nouns. They’re very easy to spot, since every gerund is a verb with “ing” tacked to its tail. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Like all thing’s grammar, gerunds do take a tiny bit of detective work to spot. The problem here is that present participles also end with the letters “ing”. Besides being able to spot gerunds, you should be able to tell the difference between a gerund and a present participle.
Let’s go back to the definition of a gerund for a moment. Remember that gerunds are words that are formed with verbs but act as nouns. Present participles do not act as nouns. Instead, they act as modifiers or complete progressive verbs. To find gerunds in sentences, just look for a verb + ing that is used as a noun. It’s that simple.On the other hand, What is an infinitive?
Well…an infinitive is a non-personal form of the verb consisting of the word “to” plus a verb (in its simplest «stem» form) and functioning as a noun, adjective, or adverb.
The term verbal indicates that an infinitive is based on a verb and therefore expresses action or a state of being. However, the infinitive may function as a subject, direct object, subject complement, adjective, or adverb in a sentence. Although an infinitive is easy to locate because of the to + verb form, deciding what function it has in a sentence can sometimes be confusing.
- To wait seemed foolish when decisive action was required. (subject)
- Everyone wanted to go. (direct object)
- His ambition is to fly. (subject complement)
- He lacked the strength to resist. (adjective)
- We must study to learn. (adverb)
So, in this class we will go over the confusion and explain in detail both so we can distinguish clearly between the two, also using some vocabulary about Natural Disasters to improve our listening skills.
Are you ready?
Desarrollo del tema
Since a gerund functions as a noun, it occupies some positions in a sentence that a noun ordinarily would, for example: subject, direct object, subject complement, and object of preposition.
Let´s first check the following video:
Gerund as subject:
- Traveling might satisfy your desire for new experiences. (Traveling is the gerund.)
- Studying abroad might satisfy your desire for new experiences. (The gerund has been removed.)
Gerund as direct object:
- They do not appreciate my singing. (The gerund is singing.)
- They do not appreciate my assistance. (The gerund has been removed)
Gerund as subject complement:
- My cat’s favorite activity is sleeping. (The gerund is sleeping.)
- My cat’s favorite food is salmon. (The gerund has been removed.)
Gerund as object of preposition:
- The police arrested him for speeding. (The gerund is speeding.)
- The police arrested him for criminal activity. (The gerund has been removed.)
A gerund phrase is a group of words consisting of a gerund and the modifier(s) and/or (pro)noun(s) or noun phrase(s) that function as the direct object(s), indirect object(s), or complement(s) of the action or state expressed in the gerund, such as:
verbs that need to be followed by a gerund:
appreciate, avoid, be busy, be worth, be no use, be no good, be used to, can’t bear, can’t stand, can’t help delay, consider, detest, deserve, enjoy, fancy, feel like, give up, insist on, involve, keep on, look forward to, mind, miss, postpone, practice, put off, recommend, resist.
minute 2.05 songs with gerunds.
Complete the sentences with the gerund form of the verbs in parentheses.
She is good at___________ (dance).
He is crazy about ___________ (sing).
I don’t like (play) ___________ cards.
They are afraid of (swim) ___________ in the sea.
You should give up (smoke) ___________ .
Sam dreams of (be) ___________ a popstar.
He is interested in (make) ___________ friends.
My uncle is afraid of (go) ___________ by plane.
We insist on (cook) ___________ the dinner ourselves.
But, What is the infinitive?
The infinitive is a form of the verb that hasn’t had any endings added to it and doesn’t relate to any particular tense. In English, the infinitive is being made up of two words: “to” + base form of the verb: to speak.
- When you look up a verb in the dictionary, you will find that information is usually listed under the infinitive form.
We can use the infinitive to explain why we do something, and to express purpose (to answer why?):
Why are you washing the car? To help my parents.
Be sure not to confuse an infinitive—a verbal consisting of “to” plus a verb—with a prepositional phrase beginning with to, which consists of “to” plus a noun or pronoun and any modifiers.
- Infinitives: to fly, to draw, to become, to enter, to stand, to catch, to belong.
- Prepositional Phrases: to him, to the committee, to my house, to the mountains, to us, to this address
An Infinitive Phrase is a group of words consisting of an infinitive and the modifier(s) and/or (pro)noun(s) or noun phrase(s) that function as the actor(s), direct object(s), or complement(s) of the action or state expressed in the infinitive, such as:
to leave (infinitive)
I have a paper to write before class.
The infinitive phrase functions as an adjective modifying paper.
to write (infinitive)
before class (prepositional phrase as adverb)
Phil agreed to give me a ride.
The infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of the verb agreed.
to give (infinitive)
me (indirect object of action expressed in infinitive)
a ride (direct object of action expressed in infinitive)
They asked me to bring some food.
The infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of the verb asked.
me (actor or «subject» of infinitive phrase)
to bring (infinitive)
some food (direct object of action expressed in infinitive)
Everyone wanted Carol to be the captain of the team.The infinitive phrase functions as the direct object of the verb wanted.
Carol (actor or «subject» of infinitive phrase)
to be (infinitive)
the captain (subject complement for Carol, via state of being expressed in infinitive)
of the team (prepositional phrase as adjective)
Actors: In these last two examples the actor of the infinitive phrase could be roughly characterized as the «subject» of the action or state expressed in the infinitive. It is somewhat misleading to use the word subject, however, since an infinitive phrase is not a full clause with a subject and a finite verb. Also notice that when it is a pronoun, the actor appears in the objective case (me, not I, in the fourth example). Certain verbs, when they take an infinitive direct object, require an actor for the infinitive phrase; others can’t have an actor. Still other verbs can go either way, as the charts below illustrate.
Verbs that take infinitive objects without actors:
- Most students plan to study.
- We began to learn.
- They offered to pay.
- They neglected to pay.
- She promised to return.
In all of these examples no actor can come between the italicized main (finite) verb and the infinitive direct-object phrase.
Verbs that take infinitive objects with actors:
- He reminded me to buy milk.
- Their fathers advise them to study.
- She forced the defendant to admit the truth.
- You’ve convinced the director of the program to change her position.
- I invite you to consider the evidence.
In all of these examples an actor is required after the italicized main (finite) verb and before the infinitive direct-object phrase.
Verbs that use either pattern:
- I asked to see the records.
- I asked him to show me the records.
- Trent expected his group to win.
- Trent expected to win.
- Brenda likes to drive fast.
- Brenda likes her friend to drive fast.
In all of these examples the italicized main verb can take an infinitive object with or without an actor.
Punctuation: If the infinitive is used as an adverb and is the beginning phrase in a sentence, it should be set off with a comma; otherwise, no punctuation is needed for an infinitive phrase.
- To buy a basket of flowers, John had to spend his last dollar.
John had to spend his last dollar to buy a basket of flowers.
- To improve your writing, you must consider your purpose and audience.
Split infinitives occur when additional words are included between “to” and the verb in an infinitive. Many readers find a single adverb splitting the infinitive to be acceptable, but this practice should be avoided in formal writing.
- I like to on a nice day walk in the woods. * (unacceptable)
On a nice day, I like to walk in the woods. (revised)
- I needed to quickly gather my personal possessions. (Acceptable in informal contexts)
I needed to gather my personal possessions quickly. (revised for formal contexts)
Some Verbs taking the infinitive: afford, agree, appear, ask, decide, expect, help, hope, manage, mean, offer, prepare, pretend, promise, refuse, seem, threaten, want.
Now that we have seen them separately, let’s check gerunds and infinitives combined. Gerunds and infinitives can both replace a noun in a sentence.
Whether you use a gerund or an infinitive depends on the main verb in the sentence.
- I expect to have the results of the operation soon. (Infinitive)
- I anticipate having the research completed eventually. (Gerund)
In the following videos we can have more explanations:
Gerund or infinite?
All this can be confusing, but here is a little help:
Exercises: VERB PATTERN TEST
It’s important to use gerunds and infinitives correctly because they are super common in everyday speech and native speakers use them without thinking, just like articles. Improving your accuracy with gerunds and infinitives helps you sound more natural in English. One common subject could be Natural Disasters.
Let’s check the next vocabulary on Natural disasters: earthquake, lightning strike, tsunami, volcanic eruption, wild fire, hailstorm, tornado, drought, blizzard, flood.
In the following video we can review some vocabulary on Natural disasters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pi2gTfICB3A&t=210s
For this topic and how to use in conversations, please review:
Now let’s listen to a news cast involving a natural disaster. Can you identify the infinitives and gerunds in the news?
-Gerunds is a non-personal form of the verb consisting of a verb plus -ing. It can be use after certain verbs like: appreciate, avoid, be busy, be worth, be no use, be no good, be used to, can’t bear, can’t stand, can’t help delay, consider, detest, deserve, enjoy, fancy, feel like, give up, insist on, involve, keep on, look forward to, mind, miss, postpone, practice, put off, recommend, resist.
They go after prepositions of place and time.
They replace the subject or object of a sentence.
-Infinitives An infinitive is a non-personal form of the verb consisting of the word “to” plus a verb; it may be used as a noun, adjective, or adverb.
It can be used after certain verbs like afford, agree, appear, ask, decide, expect, help, hope, manage, mean, offer, prepare, pretend, promise, refuse, seem, threaten, want.
They may go after many adjectives.
They show purpose.
- An infinitive phrase consists of an infinitive plus modifier(s), object(s), complement(s), and/or actor(s).
- An infinitive phrase requires a comma only if it is used as an adverb at the beginning of a sentence.
So far the class is concluded. I congratulate you, you are doing very well! Remember that it depends a lot on your enthusiasm for learning. After all this practice don´t forget to go over your consignas.
See you next class.
Fuentes de información
Infinitives // Purdue Writing Lab
Verbs Followed by Infinitives | ENGLISH PAGE
When to Use Gerunds and Infinitives: 5 Simple Rules for English Learners