Unit 10: Sunny's job hunt
Gerunds and infinitives
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So, when is a verb followed by a gerund - and when is it followed by an infinitive? In this session you will do some practical activities, and listen to 6 Minute Grammar, to help you improve your knowledge of this tricky area of grammar.
Do you know all four?
When is a verb followed by a gerund, and when is it followed by an infinitive? If it can be followed by either, does the meaning change?
Alice, Finn and Catherine discuss these questions and more in this unit's 6 Minute Grammar.
Here's a question for you to think about while you listen. All the four verbs of liking: like, love, prefer and hate, can be followed by either a gerund or an infinitive. But does the meaning change...? Listen to the programme to find out.
Listen to the audio
Hello. Welcome to 6 Minute Grammar with me, Alice.
And me, Finn. Hello.
Today we're talking about verb patterns.
Yes: we're looking at what happens when we use two verbs together in English.
We'll be looking at four verb patterns - and there's a quiz at the end of the programme - so listen carefully!
So, on with the show! Our first pattern is: verb plus gerund.
A gerund is the i-n-g form of a verb - words like seeing, complaining and giving are all gerunds.
And here's Catherine to give us some examples of the pattern verb plus gerund. Catherine.
I really enjoyed seeing Rachel again last night.
Jackie kept complaining, so I went home.
Would you mind giving me a lift to the station?
Thanks Catherine. So we had the verb enjoy plus the gerund seeing...
We had keep plus complaining...
And the verb mind plus the gerund giving.
Good. Enjoy seeing; keep complaining; mind giving. Other verbs that can be followed by gerunds include: finish, practise, suggest, and recommend.
So I can say: I suggest keeping a list of verbs that take gerunds.
Haha, good example.
Now for the second pattern: verb plus infinitive. An infinitive is the word to plus a base verb, for example: to see, to drive, to study. Some examples please Catherine?
I really want to see the football tonight.
My brother's learning to drive.
Mario's hoping to study medicine.
So that's: want to see, learning to drive, hoping to study... Other verbs in this group are agree, decide, choose and learn. Now for the third pattern: these verbs can be followed by either a gerund or an infinitive - without changing the meaning. Some examples please Catherine.
I've started learning Arabic - and my boyfriend's started to learn French.
So started learning and started to learn have more or less the same meaning. Now, another example please?
Snow will continue to fall in the mountains and temperatures will continue falling throughout the night.
So continue to fall and continue falling have the same meaning.
OK. Time for pattern 4.
Yes - and this one's a bit tricky. With some verbs, you can use either a gerund or an infinitive afterwards, BUT...
...and it's a big but...
Yes... the meaning changes from gerund to infinitive.
So if I say... I stopped drinking coffee last week.
Well, I probably wouldn't believe you...
Yes, well... this means I drank coffee regularly in the past, but last week, I decided to give up coffee. I completely stopped and now I never drink coffee.
But, if I say, on my way home yesterday, I stopped to have a cup of coffee...
This means that yesterday you interrupted your journey and you went into a cafe for a cup of coffee.
So, very different meanings.
Yes. Here's an example, with the verb remember:
We remembered closing the door.
We remembered to close the door.
OK, in the first one, we formed a picture in our mind of us closing the door. The second example means we didn't forget to close the door.
You're listening to bbclearningenglish.com.
And it's time for a quiz. Question one. Which is correct: a) They decided taking the train - or b) They decided to take the train.
OK, so this is: b) They decided to take the train. After decide, we need the infinitive.
Number 2: a) Catherine hates cooking in the evening. b) Catherine hates to cook in the evening.
And that's a trick question. They are actually both correct, because after hate, you can use either a gerund or an infinitive.
Yes you can. Finally, number 3: is it a) Do you want to go for a coffee? Or b) Do you want going for a coffee?
This one is: a) Do you want to go for a coffee? Because after want you need the infinitive... but Alice?
You said you'd stopped drinking coffee?!
Oh yes I did. Never mind. Thanks for listening and don't forget - there's more about this on our website at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Grammar.
Time for a coffee?
So does the meaning change if the four verbs of liking: like, love, prefer and hate, are followed by a gerund or an infinitive? No - it stays the same!
End of Session 2
Well done! That's the end of this session. We hope you now feel more confident at deciding whether to use a gerund or an infinitive after verbs.
In the next session we're going to catch up with our vlogger Sunny. She's applying for a job as a tour manager, and you're going to help her write a covering letter.
See you there!
When we use two verbs together, what form does the second verb take?
Verbs followed by a gerund
admit, advise, consider, discuss
Verbs followed by an infinitive
agree, appear, choose, decide
Verbs followed by either, same meaning
begin, continue, hate, like
Verbs followed by either, change in meaning
forget, regret, remember, stop