The Queen's English
Friday 27th May 2011
There are two ways to use a verb that I will be discussing here.
• One is the infinitive - 'to + verb' example: “I love to walk around when we have a sunny
• The other is the verb + ing - example: “I love walking around in the sunshine”.
There are three times when we use verb + ing.
• As a gerund. (That means, the 'ing' form of a verb used as a noun) Example, “Smoking is
• In the continuous tense. Example, “Tomorrow I will be going to the library, I have a book to
• As an adjective. “Sarah gasped when she saw the shining gems against the black velvet of
There are some rules learners can use in order to tell which structure is used.
After a preposition, always use verb + ing.
Example: Are you interesting in going for a swim?
I am looking forward to finishing this course
After certain verbs, always use the infinitive. Some of these verbs are: afford, arrange,
beg, ask, decide, fail, hope, promise, refuse and which.
After certain other verbs, you must always use the verb + ing form. These are: Avoid,
delay, detest, dread, enjoy, forgive, miss, postpone, resent and resist.
With some verbs, either the infinitive or the verb + ing form can be used :
I began working/I began to work.
You will need to consult your dictionary to find out which is which! Although this seems onerous,it is really the only thing to do.
Here is an exercise. Complete the sentence with the correct form, gerund or infinitive
1. I intend _________ to Brazil in August go)
2. I arranged ____________ my vacation during the last two weeks (take)
3. I considered _______ to Venezuela or Argentina first. (go)
4. But I decided _________ them for next year. (leave)
5. The government has demanded me/I ______ a visa to go to Brazil (get)
6. That involves _________ in a long line at the Consulate. Stand)
7. I didn't mind _______ the $45.00 fee. (pay)
8. But I hate ________ in lines (wait)
9. I also detest _________ passport photos. (get)
10. I really wanted _______ the country, so I did it. (see)
11. I haven't begun ______ yet. (pack)
12. I'll start soon, because I can't stand _________ in a rush (pack)
13. I remembered _______ my neighbour to take care of my cat.. (ask)
14. She really doesn't mind _______ behind (stay)
15. But she always loves _______ us come back!(see)
Answers to exercise.
1. To go
2. to take
4. to leave
5. I get
10. to see
13. to ask
15. seeing/to see (either is acceptable)