(a) I enjoy music. (music = noun)(b) I enjoy listeningto music.(listening = gerund)(c) I enjoy listening to music.(listening to music = gerund phrase) I enjoy something. (something =the object of the verb)The object of a verb is usually a noun or pronoun,as in (a).The object of a verb can also be a gerund.A gerund is the -ing form of a verb.*It is used as a noun.In (b): listeningia a gerund. It is the object ofthe verb enjoy.
(d) I want a sandwich.(a sandwich= noun)(e) I want to eata sandwich.(to eat= infinitive)(f) I want to eatasandwich.(to eat a sanwich = infinitive phrase)  I want something. (something= the object of the verb)In (d): The object of the verb is a noun (a sanwich)The object of a verb can also be an infinitive.An infinitive is to + the simple form of a verb.In (e): to eatis an invinitive.It is the object of the verb want.
(g) enjoy goingtothe beach  Some verbs (e.g., enjoy) are followed by gerunds.
(h) Ted wants to gothe  beach.  Some verbs (e.g., want) are followed by infinitive.
 (i) It began raining.It began to rain. Some verbs (e.g., begin) are followed by either gerunds andinfinitive.

* The –ing form of a verb can be used as a present paticiple.

  • I am listening to the techer right now. (listening = a present participle, used in the present progressive).

The -ing form of a verb can be used as a gerund.

  • I enjoy listening to music. (listening = a gerund, used as the object of the verb enjoy)


Common Verbs Followed by Gerunds

Gerunds are used as the object of the verbs in the list below. The list also contains phrasal verbs (e.g., put off) that are followed by gerunds.

enjoy              (a) I enjoy working in my garden.

finish              (b) Bob finished studying at midnight.

stop*              (c) It stopped raining a few minutes ago.

quit                 (d) David quit smoking.

mind               (e) Would you mind opening the window?

postpone       (f) I postpone doing my homework.

put off            (g) I put off doing my homework.

keep               (h) Keep working. Don’t stop!

keep on          (i) Keep on working. Don’t stop!

consider         (j) I’m  considering going to Hawaii.

think about   (k) I’m thinking about going to Hawaii.

discuss           (l) They discussed getting a new car.

talk about   (m) They talked about getting a new car.

(n) I considered not going to Hawaii. Negative form: not + gerund.

These verbs are NOT followed by infinitives.*

For example:

INCORRECT: I enjoy to work.

INCORRECT: Bob finished to study.

INCORRECT: I’m thinking to go to Hawaii.

*The object following stop is a gerund, NOT an infinitive. INCORRECT: It stopped to rain.

But in special circumstance, stop can be followed by an infinitive of purpose: in order to

Example: While I was walking down the hall, I dropped my pen. I stopped to pick it up.=

I stopped walking in order to pick it up.


Go is followed by gerund in certain idiomatic expressions about activities.

(a) Did you go shopping yesterday?

(b) I went swimming last week.

(c) Bob hasn’t gone fishing in years.


There is no to between go and the gerund.

INCORRECT: Did you go to shopping?

CORRECT    : Did you go shopping?


go boating                              go hiking                                        go sightseeing

go bowling                             go jogging                                     go skating

go camping                            go running                                     go skiing

go dancing                             go sailing                                        go skydiving

go fishing                               go shopping                                   go swimming


Some verbs followed by invinitive;

AN INVINITIVE = to + the simple form of verb.

(a) Tom offered to lend me some money.

(b) I’ve decided to buy a new car.

(c) I’ve decided not to keep my old car.

Negative form: not + infinitive


want                                                                                            offer

need                                                                                             agree                                   

would like                                                                                  refuse                     

would love                                                                                 seen            

hope                                                                                            appear

expect                                                                                          pretend

plan                                                                                             forget

intend                                                                                          learn (how)

mean                                                                                           try

decide                                                                                          (can’t) afford

promise                                                                                       (can’t) wait


Some verbs are followed by either an infinitive or a gerund. Usually there is no different in meaning.

(a) It began to rain

(b) It began raining

(a) and (b) have the same meaning


begin                                                                 love*

start                                                                   hate

continue                                                            can’t stand



Like and love can be followed by either gerund and an infinitive:

I like going/to go to movies. I love playing/to play chess.

Would like and would love are followed by infinitives:

I would like to go to movie tonight. I’d love to play a game of chess right now.


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