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Starter - Infinitives

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An infinitive is normally used with the word ‘it’ which is the subject. The structure of this use of an infinitive is 'It is ___________ + infinitive'. 'It' refers to the infinitive. This structure is used in many ways:

It is time to start work.
It is common to think this.
It is nice to see you.
It was a pleasure to meet you.
It is good to see you.
It was great to be with you.

Gerunds and infinitives

Gerunds ( _ ing) and infinitive phrases can function as nouns in different ways. Gerunds ( _ ing) and infinitives can be used after certain verbs but not all. You need to make notes and remember which verbs can have a gerund or infinitive after them.

These are some verbs that only have a gerund ( _ ing) after them:
Consider, suggest, enjoy, deny, avoid, miss, mind, practise, postpone, resist, finish.

These are some verbs that only have an infinitive after them:
Offer, decide, hope, attempt, promise, agree, afford, deserve, refuse, learn, fail, seem, appear, tend, pretend, choose, demand, desire, claim, manage, determine, expect, want, wish

Some verbs can have a gerund ( - ing) or an infinitive after them and there is no change in meaning:
Continue, like, love, begin, start, stand, hate

Some verbs have a gerund or an infinitive after them but the meaning is different:
Forget, remember, stop, try

When I go for a walk in the morning I stop to see the sun come up. (I stop one action to do another)

I stopped walking in the morning. I don't have time anymore. (I do not go walking)

Now complete the following by choosing the correct form:

Lesson by Tristan, teacher at EC Malta English school

  • 1) I decided _ the job.

  • 2) She was pleased _ me.

  • 3) He wants _ a pilot.

  • 4) The manager considered _ two new sales assistants

  • 5) I expect _ the test with a high mark.

  • 6) We really enjoyed _ your new girlfriend.

  • 7) It is always great _ you.