Verbs plus ing form or plus infinitive? This is really a confusing question. There are a few verbs which if you put an ing or infinitive after them, the meaning changes.

Verb + ing form

Some verbs are followed by an -ing form if the next word is a verb.

enjoyfinishimagine — (don’t) mind — can’t stand (= hate) — feel like (= want/desire) — give up (= stop doing something for the last time) — avoid (If you avoid something, you keep away from it; if you avoid someone, you stay away from them. You do these things by intention.) — admit (If you admit something, you agree it is true, and usually it is something bad.) — deny (= the opposite of admit; in other words, you say something isn’t true)

Look at these sentences to help you with the meaning of the more difficult verbs.

— I stayed in last night but I feel like going out this evening.

— At the police station, he admitted stealing the woman’s money but denied hitting her.

— Cigarettes are very expensive, so he’s decided to give up smoking.

— I’ve lived in New Zealand all my life; I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

— Some people can’t stand working at the weekend but I don’t mind. (= it’s not a problem)

— I always try to avoid driving through the city centre during the rush hour.

Verb + infinitive

Some verbs are followed by an infinitive if the next word is a verb.

offerwant — seem — decide — hope — forget — mean (= intend, plan) — expect (= think or believe something will happen) — manage (= be able to do something, even when it is difficult) — refuse (= say ‘no’ when someone asks you for something) — promise (= say you will definitely do something, or that something will definitely happen)

Look at these sentences to help you with the meaning of some of the verbs.

— We were very busy but we managed to finish before 6 p.m.

— It was getting late and there were no buses so I offered to take them home in my car.

— He hit one of the boys but he didn’t mean to do it; I meant to go but I forgot.

— I asked her to carry the suitcases but she refused to help.

— I don’t expect to see them before next week.

— They promised to phone as soon as they arrive.

Verb + infinitive without ‘to’

There are two common verbs followed by an object + infinitive without ‘to‘. They are: make someone do something, and let someone do something.

— My parents make me do my homework every night. (= they force me to do my homework)

— My parents let me go out after I’ve done my homework. (= they allow/permit me to go out)

Verb + ing form or infinitive

Some verbs can be followed by an -ing form or infinitive, but the meaning is very similar, e.g. love, like, hate, and prefer. But with some verbs there is a difference in meaning.

— I remembered to buy a present for my brother. (= I didn’t forget to buy a present :feeling oblige or ordered to do something)

— I remember buying her a present. (= it’s in my memory; it happened and I remember)

Verbs plus ing form or plus infinitive – Quiz

Test your knowledge now by passing the test below:


Bonus

This a related video presented by ‘Learn English with Papa Teach Me‘ youtube channel :

Verbs plus ing form or plus infinitive – Exercises

Cross out the incorrect answers.

1. We decided to work / working during our holiday.

2. She promised to help / helping us.

3. I don’t feel like to go / going for a walk at the moment.

4. He forgot to take / taking the cake out of the oven.

5. Do you really hate to drive / driving when it’s wet?

6. I can’t imagine to eat / eating pasta every day of the week.

7. Most of the time she prefers to work / working on her own.

8. I don’t remember to go / going to the zoo when we stayed in Madrid.

9. He hopes to finish / finishing his thesis by the end of the month.

10. I don’t mind to help / helping you if I’m not busy.

Complete part (c) of each number in a suitable way.

1. Most people want:
a) to be rich — b) to get married — c)……………

2. A lot of people can’t stand:
a) getting wet — b) getting up early — c)…………..

3. Most people enjoy:
a) going to parties — b) lying on a beach — c)………………

4. On hot days most people don’t feel like:
a) working — b) eating big meals — c)…………….

5. Most people expect
a) to be happy — b) to find a job they will like — c)……………

6. A lot of people don’t mind:
a) washing-up — b) ironing — c)………………..

7. Some parents make their teenage children:
a) wear certain clothes — b) do housework — c)……………..

8. Other parents let their teenage children:
a) wear what they like — b) stay out all night — c)……………….

Now think about each of the above statements. Are they true, and are they (or were they) true of you? If possible, compare and discuss your answers with someone else.

Read the story and answer the questions below.

When Julie was 17, her father said she could go on holiday with two school friends. He also said that he would lend her the money for a hotel, but she must pay for the air fare and her entertainment. Julie was delighted and said she would bring him back a wonderful present and pay him back in six months. But first they had to decide where to go.They looked at lots of brochures and finally agreed on a two-week holiday in the south of France.They had a great time, but unfortunately Julie spent all her money and forgot to buy a present for her father.

1. What did Julie’s father let her do when she was 17?
He let…………………………………………………………………….

2. And what did he offer to do?
He offered……………………………………………………………..

3. But what did he refuse to do?
He refused……………………………………………………………..

4. In return what did Julie promise?
She promised…………………………………………………………

5. What did the three girls decide?
They decided………………………………………………………….