verb + -ing
A gerund is the -ing form of a verb that functions as a noun. We use gerunds to expresses action or state of being. Gerunds can be used as a subject, object of the verb, object of the preposition, or subject complement.
Gerunds as a subject:
- Speaking English can help graduates get high paying jobs.
- Helping others is a value shared by most cultures.
Gerunds as a object of the verb:
- Students enjoy exercising at the new gym facilities.
- They suggested raising money as a way to help the needy in the area.
Gerunds as object of the preposition:
- They talked about giving their time to help the new project.
Gerunds as subject complement:
- The greatest challenge for college graduates is finding a job in their field of study.
- The hardest part of the class was writing on the topic of world hunger.
to + verb
An infinitive is the word to plus the base form of a verb. Infinitives can be a noun, adjective, or an adverb. In sentences infinitives can function as a subject, direct object, subject complement, adjective or adverb.
Infinitives as a subject:
- To pass the test was their first consideration.
- To rise money for the orphans was not easy, but in the end many people were helped.
Infinitives as a object of the verb:
- The children expect to go to the park every Saturday.
- The students were assigned to write about the holiday.
Some common words use: ask, get, persuade, expect, remind, want, teach, invite
Infinitives as a subject complement:
- The company’s goal is to provide enough warm blankets for all the children.
- The greatest challenge for international students is to find a good place to live for the year.
Using Parallel form
When writing a list using gerunds or infinitives, you must use what we call Parallel Form, that is if the first item is a gerund, the other items must also be gerunds. Or if the first item is an infinitive, then the other items must be infinitives.
- The assignment requires the students to plan, write, and
revisingtheir essays in thirty minutes. (Note: When using infinitives, the to does not need to be repeated).
- The assignment requires the students to plan, write, and revise their essays in thirty minutes.