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Gerunds and infinitives

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Gerund or Infinitive

The gerund form of a verb ends in -ing
Grammar Focus

2 Infinitive and Gerund

After verbs, we can use a noun, a noun clause, beginning with that, an infinitive (with or without to), or an -ing form of another verb:

The infinitive without "to"

This is a small group of verbs. The infinitive without "to" is used:

  1. after modal verbs (except ought to)
  2. after "let" + object
  3. after "make" + object
    N.B. The to-infinitive is used after make in the passive (I was made to laugh.)
  4. after the following expressions: had better
    would rather (not)
    would sooner (not)
  5. after verbs of perception if we perceive the entire action (from start to finish) see, hear, feel, watch
    N.B. If we observe only a part of the action, we use the -ing form!! - I saw him crossing the street (=He was already in the middle of the street when I saw him)


The infinitive with "to"

Most English verbs are followed by the infinitive with to. Some can be with or without an object depending on meaning.
  1. Here are only a few examples of verbs that use this pattern: agree, appear, afford, choose, decide,expect, fail, hesitate, hope, intend, learn, manage, mean, offer, plan, prepare, pretend, promise, refuse, tend, want, wish ......
  2. Some verbs are followed by an object and the to-infinitive: allow, ask, encourage, expect, invite, order, persuade, remind, teach, tell, want
    N.B. We do never use want with a "that"-clause. We cannot say "I want that you come."

The Gerund(-ing)

  1. Some verbs MUST be followed by the gerund:
    admit, anticipate, appreciate, avoid, can't help, can't resist, complete, consider, delay, deny, discuss, dislike, enjoy, escape, fancy , finish, imagine, include, involve, justify, keep, mention, mind, miss, postpone, practise, quit, reject, resist, risk, suggest, tolerate, understand.
    N.B. allow - advise - forbid - permit are followed by the gerund in general statements (They don't allow smoking in the library.)
    If the person is mentioned, the infinitive must be used!! (They don't allow people to smoke in the library.)
  2. a preposition MUST always be followed by the gerund:
    (adjective) + (prepositon) + (-ing)
    He is good at swimming. She was proud of having won the match.
    (noun) + (preposition) + (-ing)
    John has no excuse for being late. He had no hope of getting a job.
    (verb) + (preposition) + (-ing)
    We are looking forward to seeing you. I apologise for coming late.
  3. after certain expressions:
    to be busy, to be like, to be near to, to be no good, to be no use, to be worth

Infinitive or Gerund with NO difference in meaning

The following verbs can be followed by either an infinitive or a gerund with no difference in meaning:

  1. begin, can't bear, can't stand, continue, hate, like, love, prefer, start
    It began to rain. / It began raining
    N.B. would + hate/like/love is usually followed by the infinitive (I'd like to go now)

Infinitive or Gerund WITH a difference in meaning

We can use some verbs with both the to-infinitive and the gerund but with a change of meaning. The most common of these are:
forget, go on, regret, remember, stop, try

  1. She'll never forget making her first phone call abroad.
    She forgot to post the letter to John. forget doING something
    forget to do something

The same rule applies to the other words

Verbs of perception

As mentioned above, verbs of perception (feel - see - watch - hear - notice) can be followed by the to-infinitive or the gerund with a difference in meaning.
  1. The -ing form is used when we are talking about observing part of a completed action - in other words, when we start looking, listening, etc., the action is already going on and/or will not be completed.
    When I looked out of the window, I saw Henry crossing the road. (Henry was already in the middle of the road when I looked.)
    I saw the man crossing the river. (=I saw how he was fighting against the current.)
  2. The infinitive is used if we observe the whole action from start to finish
    I watched the man open a can of beer, pour it into a glass, and drink it in one go.
    I saw the man cross the river (I saw him leave the one bank and reach the other.)

Gerund or infinitive?

Complete the following sentences with either a gerund or infinitive. In some cases the verb to use is indicated in brackets.
  1. You'll remember ____________ the car up with petrol, won't you?
  2. Try ____________ a cup of camomile tea before you go to bed.
  3. She remembered ____________ his face in a police identikit picture.
  4. You must try ____________ down on the number of cigarettes you smoke.
  5. Being a doctor means
    very long hours and ____________ a fragmented social life.
  6. During the meeting we came
    _____ (realise)
    that not only were we not getting a pay rise but probably a pay cut!
  7. I regret ____________ him he was pathetic, I got a bit angry, that's all.
  8. I regret ____________ you that there is very little chance of recovery.
  9. Having defeated the champion in the opening match, she went on ____________ the tournament.
  10. Isn't it time you stopped ____________ on your parents so much and tried ____________ on your own two feet?
  11. You can't expect ____________ the exam if you spend all day ____________ video games.
  12. I can't help ____________ (wonder) why Julie keeps ____________ home so late.
  13. It's no good ____________ (worry) about things you can't be expected ____________ (know).
  14. Would you mind not ____________ in here? I can't stand ____________ in other people's cigarette smoke.
  15. I hate ____________ in small, confined places. I was once trapped in a lift and tried ____________ (smash) the doors down.
  16. Don't forget ____________ the car to the garage on Monday - the brakes need ____________ again.
  17. It's not worth ____________ (risk) ____________ (get) a fine by ____________ the car here even for five minutes.
  18. There was no point in ____________ (promise) ____________ (help) if you don't like ____________ (get) your hands dirty.

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-ing forms, infinitive with or without to In the following sentences choose the correct form of the verb in brackets.

  1. I'd rather not (to go / ____________ / going) very far in the new car until I've got used (to drive / drive /
    ) it.
  2. Max dreads (to be / be / ____________ ) made redundant as he's too old (
    to get
    / get / getting) another decent job.
  3. I spent all afternoon (to listen / listen / ____________ ) to the neighbours (to argue / argue /
    ) about whose turn it was to mow the lawn.
  4. I noticed the girl (to put / ____________ / putting) the watch into her pocket without (to pay / pay /
    ) for it.
  5. Hadn't you better (to start / ____________ / starting) ( ____________ / revise /
    ) for the exam?
  6. I think Rodney rather resents Jessica (to participate / participate / ____________ ) in the conference.
  7. The fire brigade had ( ____________ / be / being) called (
    to get
    / get / getting) the boys down from the roof.
  8. Why not (to go / ____________ / going) by train rather than (to take / take /
    ) the car?
  9. Louise always hated her father (to tell / tell / ____________ ) her what to do.
  10. The council was ( ____________ / ban / banning) all parking in the city centre but there were so many complaints they've decided not to.
  11. I didn't dare ( ____________ /
    / showing) them the damage I'd done to their car.
  12. We're bound ( ____________ / run / running) out of cash so don't forget (
    to bring
    / bring / bringing) your credit card.
  13. If this is a private matter, perhaps you'd prefer me ( ____________ / leave / leaving).
  14. Our physical education teacher used ( ____________ / make / making) us (to go /
    / going) in an outdoor pool even in winter.

Study Tip -ing or infinitive
With the verbs remember, forget, regret and stop the choice between -ing or the infinitive depends on whether the verb following them happens before or after.
-ing = before
infinitive = after
e.g. Do you remember meeting me last year?
meeting happened before remember

Did you remember to post that letter?
to post happened (or not) after remember

Love The Universal Migraine

Speaking: what is love? What do you think about these quotes.
  1. Decide which ones are negative about love, which are positive and which are neutral.
  2. Discuss with other students what point you
    think each quote is trying to make and whether you agree with it.
Love is a universal migraine,
A bright stain on the vision,
Blotting out reason.
(Robert Graves 1895-1985)

Love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it, and it darts away.
(Dorothy Parker 1893-1967).

Grammar check: gerund v. infinitive

6 Read the following article and answer these two questions.
  1. Is Jin Ye married to the man she loves?
  2. Is Lien Hua married?

The Lost World:

Where women sing to get a husband
Sound Silence Jin Ye, 23, sings all the time. She sings to her children, she sings while tending the small vegetable path behind her house, and singing was a crucial ingredient in the romantic 5-year courtship with her husband. In the mountains of southern China, home to the ethnic Dong community, people communicate largely in song.
Jin Ye tells the story she remembers her parents (1)
her as a child about a young man called Jing Bi (Golden Coin) who introduced songs to the people. 'One day he decided (2)
on a long walk. He walked so far that he reached the Kingdom of Heaven. The gates were opened and he saw some young girls who were singing and dancing marvelously. He stayed for seven days and nights and managed (3)
the songs by heart. Then, when he returned home, he tried (4)
his people what he knew. Songs have been important to us ever since.

Continued ....

'Here, ' says Jin Ye, 'we love (5)
and dance. We enjoy (6)
alone or accompanied by a violin. By singing love songs, we fall in love.' Singing plays such an important part of life that married couples are not allowed (7)
together until their families rule that their voices are in perfect harmony. Only then can they hope (8)
a long and happy union. Jin Ye and her husband lived apart for five years, meeting each day to sing 'separation' songs until their songs were compatible. 'Song stirs the soul,' says Jin Ye. 'When our voices harmonise well, it proves we will get along.' There is even a Dong proverb 'Whoever cannot sing cannot expect (9) marry.' Jin Ye laughs as she talks about her husband's singing.
'The first time my husband offered (10)
me I thought he sang really badly. My boyfriend was much better.'
ding dong
Although some young people do now marry by mutual consent, even independent-minded girls like Jin Ye will agree (11)
by the decision of their elders. ' Every parent wishes an easier life for their children, which is why I listen to them. It was love at first sight with my boyfriend we met at the evening singing meetings but he came from a poor family and my parents wouldn't accept him so I couldn't continue (12)
him. They preferred (13)
the man who is now my husband.' Jin Ye doesn't regret (14)
her husband and sees no conflict between the freedom girls enjoy before marriage, when they are allowed (15)
different boyfriends, and having a husband chosen for them. 'Love and marriage are two different things,' she says. Some couples rarely see each other after their marriage, either because they live a long way apart or, quite simply, because they are not in love. Divorce is rare, but is accepted if a marriage fails. Jin Ye's best friend, Lien Hua, managed (16)
her husband to marry the man she loved, but it was difficult and expensive. 'She married a man from another village,' Jin Ye explains. 'As they only met rarely she started (17)
her old lover. When her husband's family found out, they demanded that the liaison should end, but Lien Hua wanted a divorce. Her husband refused (18)
to the divorce at first, so they had to negotiate and Lien Hua's family had to hand back the entire dowry, and a prized buffalo.'
Read the article again and decide if the numbered verb in each case should be a gerund, an infinitive or if it could be either.

Love prepositions - Complete the gaps

As soon as John met Amanda, he fell head over heels (1)
with her. They got to know each other when John noticed her loaded (2) ____________ with shopping and offered to give her a hand. Amanda is a bit of a dreamer and her mother always says she has her head (3) ____________ the clouds.

Nevertheless, she has a very good position as an MP's personal Assistant and she has set her heart (4) ____________ getting a job in the prime Minister's office. She says that having to cope (5) ____________ the demands of life in politics keeps her on her toes. Amanda talks a lot about her job, and, at first, John was all ears. But now he has to bite his tongue to stop himself (6) ____________ telling her how bored he is with hearing (7) ____________ everything 'her' MP says or does.

Today when I bumped into him (8) ____________ town, John was down (9) ____________ the mouth because Amanda had decided to go to a conference with her MP rather than (10) ____________ the holiday they had planned together. 'She is breaking my heart', John said. 'I'm sure she likes her MP more than she likes me'. I racked my brain but I could not think of anything that would put his mind (11) ____________ rest. All I could do was promise to keep my fingers crossed (12) ____________ him.

Grammar focus


Complete the sentences using a gerund or an infinitive.

  1. I would have done better ____________ bought the car.
    1. to having
    2. have
    3. to have
    4. having
  2. I wouldn't risk ____________ him, if I were you.
    1. upsetting
    2. to upset
    3. upset
    4. to upsetting
  3. I don't recollect ____________ him.
    1. meet
    2. meeting
    3. to meet
    4. to meeting
  4. After high school, Sally went on ____________ medicine.
    1. study
    2. studying
    3. to study
    4. to studying
  5. As soon as Ann turns 18, she means ____________ to Hollywood.
    1. move
    2. moving
    3. to move
    4. to moving
  6. Alan thinks it's worth ____________ every effort.
    1. make
    2. making
    3. to make
    4. to making
  7. The builders needed ____________ overtime to finish the extension.
    1. working
    2. to work
    3. work
    4. to working
  8. The sponsorship enables her ____________ work and concentrate fully on her sport.
    1. leaving
    2. to leave
    3. leave
    4. to leaving
  9. The cashier told me ____________ the product back if it wasn't suitable.
    1. bringing
    2. to bring
    3. bring
    4. to bringing
  10. We look forward ____________ your entry form before the deadline of May 31st and to seeing you in July.
    1. receiving
    2. to receive
    3. receive
    4. to receiving

Gerund or infinitive.

The gerund form of a verb ends in -ing

  1. The first verb sets the pattern.
  2. Pronouns after the first verb can change the form of the second verb.
  3. Sometimes there is more than one possible form of the second verb.
  4. Different forms of the second verb can have either the same meaning or different meanings.
  5. Often the gerund is used to indicate the past and the infinitive is used to refer to the future.

Which of the following sentences are grammatically possible? Correct those that aren't

  1. Did you remember to get the soap powder?
  2. You shouldn't expect passing your driving test on the first attempt.
  3. I started playing the piano when I was six.
  4. I wouldn't advise driving tonight.
  5. We don't allow to smoke anywhere in these buildings.
  6. Have you tried using nicotine patches to help you give up smoking?
  7. I regret to leave school when I was only 16.
  8. I'm not accustomed speaking in public.
  9. I stopped to run and sat down on a nearby bench.
  10. He denied to be anywhere near the scene of the crime.
  11. They admitted to take the money from their father's wallet.
  12. Would you mind to open the window a little?
  13. I like to go for a walk before breakfast.
  14. He suggested to go back when it was a little less crowded.

Complete the following sentences in a way that is true for you.

  1. As a child I generally wasn't allowed...
  2. I once tried ... but ...
  3. On Sunday mornings, I generally like to ...
  4. I'm not really accustomed to ...
  5. I generally avoid ...
  6. I must admit that I rather regret ...

Make a grammatically correct sentence using all the words given. You may add articles, prepositions and nouns. You may change the verb forms.

  1. bedroom leave window remember
  2. remember borrow
  3. evidence overwhelm
  4. can't buy put off
  5. search read find.
  6. call name.
  7. close eye / imagine / lying.
  8. sun set / appear / sky.


Bill Brown was arrested for stealing a car. Here are some of his answers to questions during his trial. Report what he said with the verbs given + an -ing form. (A-C) admit consider deny notice recall regret.

"Yes, I was certainly in town around midnight... I saw two men looking into all the parked cars... now you mention it, I think I did hear a car being driven away... I didn't think about telling the police... I certainly didn't steal the car... I wish I hadn't gone out that night! " Example: He admitted being In town around midnight. Which of your sentences could be rewritten with having + past participle with little difference in meaning? (D) 12
If possible, rewrite these sentences using the possessive form of the object, as in 1. If it is not possible, write X.
  1. I disapproved of him smoking in the house. I disapproved of his smoking...
  2. We discovered the children hiding the chocolates under their beds.
  3. The plan envisages Tony becoming Director next year.
  4. If the authorities catch anyone breaking the rules, the punishment is severe.
  5. I could imagine the car failing its annual inspection.
  6. We objected to the company building a petrol station in our road.
  7. It amuses me to think of him sitting at a desk in a suit and tie.
  8. My mother disapproved of the cat sleeping in my bedroom.
13 Consider which verb form is more likely and why. (F)
  1. I heard the baby cry/crying for most of the night.
  2. I felt the snake bite/biting me and saw it slither off into the bushes.
  3. When you came out of the station, did you notice the children play/playing musical instruments across the street?
  4. I noticed her quickly slip/slipping the necklace inside her coat and leave the shop.
14 On special occasions, people often make toasts beginning -Here's to .... - .
Complete the
below with a suitable gerund / present participle or infinitive form. Use the correct tenses where needed.

1) Here's to .......

  1. an old friend - someone who remembers all the secrets of our youth, but is discreet enough ____________ (mention) them.
  2. babies - they make our days shorter, nights longer, the past forgotten and the future worth ____________ (live) for.
  3. happiness - the only thing which is increased by ____________ (share).
  4. my husband - who buys football tickets six months in advance, but waits until Christmas Eve ____________ (buy) Christmas presents.
  5. my darling wife - since I met you I have known what it is to love someone, and what it means for that love ____________ (return).
  6. my parents - for ____________ (spoil) me ever since I was a little baby. please feel free to continue.
  7. our second marriage - we are so fortunate ____________ (give) a second chance at happiness.
  8. success - it takes time ____________ (be) a success, but time is all it takes.
  9. true love - which we find not ____________ (look for) a perfect person and ____________ (not/see) their faults.
  10. your retirement - and while you're sitting at home with nothing to do, think of us all at work - we're sure ____________ do) the same.

Gerund / Infinitive Practice Sentences

  1. It takes time to do that.
  2. It takes to become successful
  3. to be a success.
  4. I dreamt of going there.
  5. I wanted to go there.

Find the correct option for each.

  1. Man smoking
    1. I have just stopped to smoke.
    2. I have just stopped smoking.

Find the correct form of the second verb.

  1. I can't imagine Peter____ (go) by bike.
  2. He agreed _____ (buy) a new car.
  3. The question is easy_____ (answer).
  4. The man asked me how_______ (get) to the airport.
  5. I look forward to_____ (see) you at the weekend.
  6. Are you thinking of _____ (visit) London?
  7. We decided _____ (run) through the forest.
  8. The teacher expected Sarah______ (study) hard.
  9. She doesn't mind______ (work) the night shift.
  10. I learned _______ (ride) the bike at the age of 5.

Make correct Sentences

Fill in the blanks with any number of words to make a correct sentence. You may choose to leave gaps empty with no words added.

  1. ______ as well as he swam ____.
  2. ______ as well as swimming _____
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Gerund and continuous verb forms in English grammar.

If a priest says "I can't stand to give a sermon" - Can you explain what he means?

Verbs not regularly used in -ing form

There are some verbs that we do not normally use in the continuous. There are other verbs that have different meanings in the continuous form.
There are some verbs that we do not normally use with continuous tenses. We can make sentences where they must be in continuous form but usually they are in simple form.

imagineknowmeanrealiserecognise remembersupposeunderstand
belongconcernconsistcontaininvolve matterneedowe

Certain phrases and verbs are followed by verbs in -ing form.

Eg. I wrote this sentence without understanding the grammar.
But usually these verbs take simple forms.
  1. I want a coffee. (NOT - I am wanting a coffee.)
  2. I don't believe you are right. (NOT - I am not believing you are right.)
  3. Does this pen belong to you? (NOT _ Is this pen belonging to you?
  4. It seemed wrong. (NOT _ It was seeming wrong.)
  5. I don't hear anything. (NOT - not I am not hearing anything.
  6. We appreciate you being here (NOT - We appreciate you to be here)
  7. I can not help snoring while I sleep (NOT I can not help to snore ......)
Fill in the gaps with the correct verb form.
  1. It is worth
    a good dictionary.
  2. He apologized for
  3. They objected to
  4. He prevented her from
    to the party.
  5. She complained about
    a headache.
  6. They insisted on
    to the manager.
  7. They enjoyed
    Northern Exposure.
  8. She avoided
    through the Common.
  9. She didn't mind
    the letter again.
  10. She considered
    for a post at that company.
  11. She suggested
    a play at school.
  12. They decided not to risk
  13. He prefers
  14. I dislike
    in cold water.
  15. She would not even think of
    in the exam.
  16. He succeeded in
    a famous physician.
  17. He isn't interested in
    to the U.S.A.
  18. He dreams of
    a rich man.
  19. We look forward to
    them again.
  20. He is proud of
    good at English.
  21. She doesn't feel like
    out tonight.
  22. He couldn't help
    when he saw her in that dress.
  23. I can't stand people
    while I am concentrating at work.
  24. It's worth
    that the shop closes early today.
  25. It's no use
    about that.
  26. It's no use just
    there, you have to actually
  27. It's no good
    time on that, you should do your work now.
  28. There's no point
    about it, just
  29. I'm in two minds whether
    shopping before it's too late.

Verbs with Two Meanings


Some verbs have two different meanings or senses. For one sense we must use a simple tense. For the other sense we can use a continuous or simple tense.

For example, the verb to think has two different senses:

  1. to believe, to have an opinion OR I think Leon Wooldridge is talented.
  2. to reflect, to use your brain to solve a problem (I am thinking about my homework.)
4 When there is no real action it is called the stative but when there is some kind of action, it is called dynamic.

The stative uses an infinitive form. The dynamic sense may use a continuous form of the verb.
Stative sense Dynamic sense
No real action Some kind of action
Infinitive or bare infinitive May be continuous or infinitive
I think she is beautiful. I will think about this problem tomorrow. Be quiet. I'm thinking.
I don't consider that he is the right man for the job. We are considering your job application and will give you our answer in a few days. We consider every job application very carefully.
This table measures 4 x 6 feet. She is measuring the room for a new carpet. A good carpenter measures his wood carefully.
Does the wine taste good? I was tasting the wine when I dropped the glass. I always taste wine before I drink it.
We have dinner at 8pm every day. We are having dinner now.

Be and Continuous Tenses


The verb be can be an auxiliary verb (Marie is learning English) or a main verb (Marie is French). We are looking now at to be as the main verb

usually we use simple tenses with the verb be as a main verb. For example, we say:

  1. London is the capital of the uK. (not London is being the capital of the uK.)
  2. Isn't she beautiful? (not Isn't she being beautiful?)
  3. Were you late? (not Were you being late?)

Sometimes, however, we can use the verb be in a continuous form. This is when the real sense of the verb be is "act" or "behave". Also, of course, the action is temporary. Compare the examples in the table below:

Here is the conjugation of the verb to be in the continuous present form

  1. I am being
  2. You are being
  3. He, she, it is being
  4. We are being
  5. They are being
  1. Mary is a careful person. (Mary is always careful - it's her nature.)
  2. John is being careful. (John is acting carefully now, but maybe he is not always careful - we don't know.)
  3. Is he always so stupid? (Is that his personality?)
  4. They were being really stupid. (They were behaving really stupidly at that moment.)
  5. Andrew is not usually selfish. (It is not Andrew's character to be selfish.)
  6. Why is he being so selfish? (Why is he acting so selfishly at the moment?)

The Gerund

The present gerund active

1. Put the verbs in brackets into the gerund. 

1) I just didn't feel like (go) to pack my stuff so I threw the burden on Bob. 

2) She hasn't finished (do) her exercise yet. 

3) I can't help (laugh). 

4) My father doesn't mind (wash up) on Sundays. 

5) My sister enjoys (travel) by train, but some people may prefer (fly)

6) He suggest (go). 

7) It seemed impossible that he could avoid (be) discovered.

8) Don't keep (ask) me. 

9) We are looking forward to (see) you. 

10) I could have died (laugh). 

11) How can I help (see) what is in front of my eyes. 

12) We expect our unemployment to keep (increase) even if an economic 
recovery arrives. 

13) Not that I minded your (spend) the night here, but I thought you were in Munich. 

14) He had polished the suitcase with a special English leather dressing, not that it 
needed (polish) because he took such good care of it, but for its protection. 

15) The relief of seeing her was so great that he could not resist (stare) directly at 
her for several seconds. 


2. Put the following nouns which are gerund into the corresponding sentence. 

feeling    meaning    beginning    crossing    building    dining-room    driving-test
blessing    meeting    shopping    being    living    freezing point /drinking water
landing    training    misunderstanding    opening    saying    planning    liking


1) At the ......of the nineteenth century, a canal was opened between
the Hudson River and Lake Erie.

2) A group of men had come on to the balcony of the ........... across
the street. 

3) The driver didn't stop at the ......... He went on at full speed. 

4) I walked into the .....-....... and sat down to breakfast. 

5) In the dim, grey light of early morning he woke up with a 
strange ...........

6) Synonyms are words which have similar ........s, but no the same 

7) I regret to tell you that the ........will not take place. 

8) Do you want Bob to do the .......this morning?

9) Try to be a human..........

10) It is a .........for her to get that job.

11) Although it was summer, the temperature dropped below .......
and our .......... ....... froze solid. 

12) If an American moves to a new state he must pass its .......-........
before he can get a licence. 

13) As private citizens we have to work for our ...... as well. 

14) These Scottish piper are playing at the ......of a High-land games

15) The .....of roads and streets, houses and factories and commercial 
zones, occupies both local and central government more and more. 

16) There is a popular ........ that Australia lives on the sheep's back. 

17) America's third attempt at a moon......... in April 1970 failed 
because of an explosion of fuel cells on board the spacecraft. 

18) They took a ......... to the beer as soon as they had tasted it. 

19) If the .........and qualifications are equal, nine times out of ten 
the job will go to a man. 

20) There appears to be a .........


3. Put the verbs in brackets into the gerund. 

1) Father likes the idea of (go) to Scotland.

2) He does not take any interest in (read). 

3) He pretended to have difficulty in (express) himself. 

4) I went on (eat) breakfast. 

5) Jugglers are always very good at (toss) and (catch) balls. 

6) Keep on (try). 

7) Lee was so good at (jump) that he nearly won the prize. 

8) She had a habit of (break) off her sentence in the middle. 

9) She insisted on (get) the address. 

10) She is interested in (read) stories about crime.

11) Such a campaign has little chance of (be) successful. 

12) They did not discuss the possibility of (get) married. 

13) He hurried to the child's room, but was prevented from (enter) by his brother. 

14) It gave me an opportunity of (settle) the affair. 

15) Rockets are the only known motors that are capable of (propel) a vehicle 
in empty space. 

16) She succeeded in (convince) him. 

17) The computer is extremely good at (work) rapidly, at (work) in a unique way 
on well-presented data. 

18) Whom did Mr Winterbottom suspect of (be) the thief?

19) Far from (be) necessary this agreement will help in (solve) the problem.

20) He smiled apologetically, as though conscious of (say) something slightly ridiculous. 

21) It is no use talking on the subject of (drive), without first laying really tremendous 
emphasis on the importance of (read) the Highway Code. 

22) Miners are always warned against (cave) in. 

23. The commercial supremacy which England possessed in the nineteenth century
further preserved the Englishman from he necessity of (learn) foreign languages. 


4. Replace the following sentences in bold type using the gerund and 
rewrite the sentences. 

1) After they had defeated the Norwegians at Stamford Bridge, King Harold and 
his tired men marched south. 

2) We asked a solicitor for advice before we went to court

3) She taught the class although she was feeling bad. She taught the class in spite of ..............

4) Her father smiled , then looked at her seriously before he replied

5) She had a headache because she was sitting in the sun

6) Although he had a cold, the swimmer succeeded in crossing the channel. In spite of ........

7) Although I trust you, I must make some inquiries. In spite of .........

8) He was sent to prison because he stole

9) The boy was reprimanded because he was disobedient

10) They quarrelled, then left each other and didn't make friends again

11) She had been waiting for the traffic lights to change, when they didn't turn green 
but went out. 

12) Since he finished college Mr Miller has partly supported himself by teaching 
creative writing in several colleges and universities. 

13) You can walk for miles and don't meet anybody

14) I studied him quietly but did not appear to do so


5. Decided whether to use the gerund or the infinitive or both. 

1) In the afternoon she sat down in front of the cabin and began (knit) a jacket for Mike. 

2) Have you started (learn) to drive yet?

3) I hate (interfere) in other people's affairs. 

4) The tramp said he didn't like (work). 

5) I think I prefer (stay) outside. 

6) Simon proposed (leave) before the show was over. 

7) You must remember (post) the letter.  

8) Bob remembered (go) to a cocktail party at the Stevens' with Simon Atkinson. 

9) I don't know what you want me (say). 

10) Mother didn't mind Betty (climb) mountains. 

11) I couldn't help (cry) when I heard the news. 

12) He took his shoes off so he could put his feet up on the sofa, lay back on a pillow, 
and continued (read) Bob's letter. 

13) A growing number of people prefer (watch) sporting events on TV to (attend) them. 

14) All the petunias want (water), very badly. 

15) When the girls saw that Mary did not like the questions, they at once stopped (ask). 

16) He had not stopped (rest). 

17) It's no use (object) to his taking risks. 


6. Put the verbs in brackets into the gerund and the personal pronouns into the 
object case or use the corresponding possessive  pronoun. 

1) I strongly resent (you come) late. 

2) My sister Caroline hates (I, eat) with dirty fingers. 

3) That shouldn't prevent (you, go). 

4) Forgive (I leave) you alone. 

5) Laura likes (her friend, read) aloud. 

6) I rely on (you, return) the book soon. 

7) She taught the class in spite of (her mother, be) ill. 

8) You know, your father's very concerned about (you, come) home. 

9) How do you think I can do only Latin with (you, interrupt) every few seconds. 

10) Mary can't remember (he, post) the letter. 

11) I won't have you (you, smoke) at your age. 

12) Will the new job involve (you, be) away. 

13) I don't think there'll be any trouble now about (you, have) Christmas Day off. 

14) It can get hold of you without (you, know) it. 

15) There is no avoiding (he, leave) the club.

16) We shall not always expect to find (they, support) our view. 

17) I won't have (you, talk) me over with him. 


The present gerund passive

1. Put the verbs in brackets into the present gerund passive. 

1) She kept quiet for fear of (fire). 

2) He said nothing for fear of (misunderstand).

3) I came as near to them as I could without (see). 

4) She hates (stare at). 

5) Adults rightly resent (treat) as children. 

6) It seemed impossible that he could avoid (discover). 

7) After (welcome) by the headmaster, they were shown round the building. 

8) After (capture), escaping and finally (recapture), Charles I was executed 
in London on 30 January, 1649. 

9) If there was any sensation be hated, it was that of (follow) by anybody. 

10) He is faced with the danger of his secret (know). 

11) Nobody likes (laugh at). 

12) Attempts at controlling the 10% of fifteen year-olds who resent (oblige) to stay 
at school absorb much of the teachers' efforts.

13) When the lady protested at (tell) to open her suitcase for inspection, the customs 
official firmly but politely pointed out that she must to as she was asked. 


2. Decide whether to use the present gerund active or he present gerund passive. 

1) He avoided (answer) directly. 

2) Mary and Bob burst out (laugh). 

3) On a rainy day the girls couldn't go (swim). So they went to the museum. 

4) He was not a man who would forgive (deceive). 

5) He bit hungrily into his bread and swallowed a couple of mouthfuls, then continued 

6) He may have an opportunity of (appoint) a Queen's Counsel. 

7) Kennedy's success, first in (choose) as Democratic candidate and then in (elect
President, was partly due to the fact that very many Catholics voted for him because 
he was a Catholic. 

8) He passed by with studied indifference, his face averted, eyes fixed straight ahead, as 
though to avoid (see) her. 

9) Not (bind) to the direction of time - as so many other media are - the printed book is 
still the most valuable medium for teaching and learning. 

10) Suppliers of software for personal computers are locked in a battle of wits with their 
customers over the making and breaking of devices designed to stop programmes from 

11) There is virtually no erosion on the moon and footprints can last for 500,000 years 
before (erase) by the invisible rain of micrometeorites. 

12) There was a deal table under the window where he and the old man could talk without
fear of (overhear). 


The perfect gerund active

1. Put the verbs in brackets into the perfect gerund active

1) First we thank you for (accept). 

2) At least you have the satisfaction of (do) your duty. 

3) She denied (eat) it.

4) We remember (leave) the book on the table. 

5) He got an award for (save) the boy's life. 

6) He remembered (see) the man the evening before. 

7) Does he regret (study) so hard?

8) I told him not to bother about (fail). 

9) Of course he could not pay at once, (give up) all his money. 

10) After (grow) outward, Los Angeles is now in the process of growing upward. 

11) After (appoint) a Prime Minister the Queen appoints other ministers and public
servants on his advice. 

12) The police had questioned three youths on suspicion of (do) the horrible deed, but 
the servants on his advice. 

13) M.P.s often vote without (hear) a debate, and perhaps without knowing exactly what
is the question. 

14) I am forty years old, in perfect health never (know) a day's illness. 

15) After (receive) Mr and Mrs Barton graciously, the Consul proposed a stroll 
around the garden. 


The perfect gerund passive

1. Put the verbs in brackets into the perfect gerund passive. 

1) Both President Ford and Vice-President Rockefeller held office without (elect), but 
appointed through consultation. 

2) After (recognize), he could not go and sit at a table with an unattended girl. 

3) His sister, conscious of (rob) of something, had set up a feeble wail. 

4) After (tell) the news, the men returned to work. 

5) After (sentence) to death for his crimes Cunningham was taken to a small 
single room with a fireplace and a barred window. 


2. Put the verbs in brackets into the present gerund active or the perfect gerund active 
or both.

1) I regret (trouble) you, Sir. 

2) Please return the enclosed letter after (read) it. 

3) He remembered (see) the man. 

4) After not (find) this article he left the shop without (buy) anything.

5) After (reach) the mouth of the River Thames, Roger joined a gang of smugglers. 

6) After (try) to get a job in a restaurant without success, he wanted to find 
a place to sleep in a park. 

7) When questioned by the master about the disappearance of a bicycle from the 
school cycle shed 2 days before, the boy flatly denied (have) anything to do with it. 

8) Finding the evening extremely dull, Mr Burton cursed himself for (accept
the invitation. 

9) After (leave) the bus, he was suffused by an agitation so acute he scarcely dared
approach the solitary house. 





The Participle


The present perfect active

1. Put the verbs in brackets into the present participle.

1) I heard her (whistle). 

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