Gerunds after verbs

After some verbs we can use an -ing form, but not normally an infinitive.

Some common verbs that are normally followed by -ing forms are:

admit   appreciate   avoid    consider   delay   deny    detest    dislike    endure    enjoy   escape    excuse    face    fancy    feel like   finish    forgive    give up    can't help   imagine   involve    mention    mind   miss    postpone   practice    put off    resent    resist    risk   suggest    understand

Some of the verbs listed above can be followed by object + -ing form.

After deserve, need and require, the -ing form has a passive sense.

Some verbs can be followed by both -ing forms and infinitives. These include:

advise   allow    can't bear   forbid   forget   go    go on   hate    hear    intend   like   love    permit    prefer    feel like   propose    regret    remember   see    start   stop    try    watch

To as a preposition

To can be an infinitive marker (e.g. to work, to laugh). It can also be a preposition. When to is a preposition, it is followed by either a noun or the -ing form of a verb, but not normally by the infinitive. Common expressions in which this happens are look forward to, object to, used to, prefer to, get round to, in addition to.


Sections in this article

Prepositional phrases
Verbal phrases
Participle phrases
Infinitive phrases
Gerund phrases
Adjective clauses
Noun clauses
-ing Forms

See Also

Exclamations exercise
Exclamations: common errors
Common mistakes with pronouns - Part 2
Common errors with adjectives - part 1
Common errors with adjectives - part 2

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