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Understanding Gerunds and Infinitives: A Simple Guide

Are you confused about gerunds and infinitives in English? Don’t worry! Knowing the difference between these two verb forms is super important. Let’s break it down so you can use them confidently.

What Are Gerunds and Infinitives?

Gerunds end in “-ing” and act like nouns. They can be subjects, objects, or complements.

Infinitives start with “to” and also act like nouns. They have different jobs in sentences too.

When to Use Gerunds and Infinitives:

  1. As the Doers:
    • Gerunds: Swimming is fun.
    • Infinitives: To swim is fun too.
  2. As the Actions:
    • Gerunds: She loves dancing.
    • Infinitives: He wants to dance.
  3. After Certain Words:
    • Gerunds: She’s good at painting.
    • Infinitives: She wants to learn to paint.
  4. After Some Verbs:
    • Gerunds: He enjoys playing soccer.
    • Infinitives: She needs to finish her homework.
  5. After Adjectives:
    • Gerunds: She’s afraid of losing.
    • Infinitives: She’s happy to help.
  6. After Some Nouns:
    • Gerunds: Her hobby is swimming.
    • Infinitives: Her dream is to travel.

You can sometimes use gerunds and infinitives together in one sentence. But be careful! It’s best to keep it clear and simple.

For example:

  • She enjoys swimming and likes to dance.

If it gets confusing, try to make it clearer:

  • Confusing: She enjoys swimming and to dance.
  • Clearer: She enjoys swimming and she enjoys dancing.

So, now that you know the basics, go ahead and practice using gerunds and infinitives. You’ll get the hang of it in no time!

To check your understanding of gerund vs infinitive, do the quiz:

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