Exploring the Intricacies of Gerunds and Infinitives


Welcome to our language learning oasis, where we embark on a journey to demystify English grammar. In this article, we delve into the fascinating realm of gerunds and infinitives—two grammatical constructs that add depth and versatility to your language skills. By understanding their differences, applications, and usage, you’ll master the art of expressing actions, intentions, and more. Let’s dive into the world of gerunds and infinitives and unlock their linguistic magic.

Gerunds: The Action in Motion

A gerund is a verb form that acts as a noun and is formed by adding “-ing” to the base verb. It represents an action or activity in progress, serving as the subject, object, or complement of a sentence.


  • Swimming is my favorite exercise.
  • I enjoy reading novels in my free time.

Infinitives: The Essence of Potential

An infinitive is the base form of a verb, often preceded by “to.” It can function as a noun, adjective, or adverb, making it a versatile building block of sentences.


  • She wants to travel the world someday.
  • I have a book to read this weekend.

Gerunds vs. Infinitives: Choosing the Right Form

Choosing between gerunds and infinitives can be a linguistic puzzle. Here are some guidelines to help you decide:

  1. Gerunds:
  • Use gerunds as subjects or objects of a sentence.
  • Gerunds are commonly used after prepositions.
  • Example: She’s interested in learning new languages.
  1. Infinitives:
  • Use infinitives after certain verbs (e.g., want, need, plan) or as the subject of a sentence.
  • Infinitives are often used after adjectives.
  • Example: He plans to visit the museum tomorrow.

Common Verb Patterns

  1. Verb + Gerund:
  • He enjoys painting landscapes.
  • They discussed watching the new movie.
  1. Verb + Infinitive:
  • She wants to learn to play the guitar.
  • I need to finish this assignment.
  1. Verb + Gerund/Infinitive (No Change in Meaning):
  • He started reading the book.
  • He started to read the book.

Using Gerunds and Infinitives with Different Verbs

  1. Remember/Want/Forget + Gerund:
  • I remember meeting her at the party.
  • She wants to forget about the incident.
  1. Try/Need + Infinitive:
  • Let’s try to solve this puzzle.
  • He needs to study for the upcoming test.


Congratulations! You’ve navigated the intricacies of gerunds and infinitives, unlocking a world of linguistic possibilities. By distinguishing between these verb forms and practicing their usage, you’ve added depth and variety to your language toolkit. As you venture forth in your language journey, remember that gerunds add action, while infinitives hold potential. Embrace these constructs to convey your intentions, describe activities, and express ideas with precision. Your dedication to mastering the nuances of language is shaping you into a confident communicator. Happy learning!


About the Author

Eleanor Mitchell

I'm Eleanor Mitchell, and I've been fortunate to teach English for a little over 20 years now, which has deeply enriched my teaching.

My aim is simple: to make English more understandable and to nurture better communication. I always strive to learn from my students, adapting my methods to suit your preferences.

Let's learn and explore language together—I'm excited to embark on this journey with you.

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