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List: Verbs that take a gerund or an infinitive

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Verbs that take a gerund or an infinitive with different meanings:

Begin

When 'begin' is used in non-continuous tenses, you can use a gerund or an infinitive: She began singing. She began to sing.
When 'begin' is used in continuous tenses, an infinitive is used:
She is beginning to sing.

Dread

'Dread' is usually followed by a gerund:
He dreaded facing his debtors.
'Dread' is sometimes used with infinitives such as 'think' or 'consider'.
He dreaded to think of the dangers of the trek in the Alps.
In this sentence 'dreaded to think' means 'did not want to think'.

Forget

Sarah forgot travelling to London when she was a child.
When 'forget' is used with a gerund, it means 'forget you have done something'. The sentence means Sarah travelled to London as a child and now she forgot/can't remember this.
Sarah forgot to pay her phone bill.
When 'forget' is used with an infinitive it means that she should have paid the bill but she didn't remember to do so.

Keep

Danny kept talking.
'Keep' is normally used with a gerund to mean that the action is continued.
My neighbours kept a hunting dog to scare off intruders.
When 'keep' is used with an infinitive it normally means 'in order to'.

 

Need

The house needs cleaning.
When need is used with a gerund it takes a passive meaning.
He needs to call his parents.
In this sentence 'needs' means it is necessary.

Regret

I regretted being late to the interview.
'Regret' is normally used with a gerund.
We regret to inform you that your position at the company is being eliminated.
'Regret' is sometimes used with phrases such as 'to inform'. The meaning is 'we are sorry to inform'.

Remember

I remember meeting him last year.
With a gerund 'remember' means 'recall' from your memories.
He remembered to call his parents on their anniversary.
When 'remember' is used with an infinitive it means 'to remember to do something' or 'not to forget'.

 

Start

Marc started talking really fast.
'Start' is normally used with a gerund.
Marc started to talk really fast.
With an infinitive 'start' can mean the action was not completed.
Marge started to talk really fast.

Stop

His doctor told him to stop smoking.
'Stop' is normally used with a gerund. It shows that an action ended.
He stopped (what he was doing) to smoke a cigarette.
'Stop' is used with an infinitive to mean that an action was stopped in order to do something else.      

Try

I tried learning Japanese but it was too difficult.
'try' with a gerund means to experiment.
I tried to speak Japanese but I couldn't remember anything from my lessons.
'Try' with an infinitive means you did not succeed.     

Verbs that take a gerund or an infinitive with no difference in meaning

can't bear     I can't bear being alone. / I can't bear to be alone.
can't stand   Anne can't stand working the late / Anne can't stand to work the late shif.                                                              
cease            The government ceased providing free provide free health care. / The government ceased to health care.
continue       Sarah continued talking. / Sarah continued to talk.
hate              He hates cleaning dishes. / He hates to clean dishes.
like               Chris likes reading. / Chris likes to read.
love              We love scuba diving. / We love to scuba dive.
neglect         He neglected doing his daily chores. / He neglected to do his daily chores.                                                                                     
prefer           He prefers eating at 7 PM. / He prefers to eat at 7 PM.
propose        Peter proposed paying for the trip. / Peter proposed to pay for the trip.

Verbs Followed by Gerunds List
Verbs Followed by Infinitive List