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Verbs with infinitives and '-ing'
a model
Claudia from Argentina asks:

Why after some verbs (like decide) can you write to + the infinitive or sometimes the verbs ending with -ing?
For example: I decided to model.
I decided modeling.
Roger replies:more questions
It is really a matter of learning which verbs take 'to-infinitive' clauses and which take an '-ing' clause, Claudia.
For example, 'hope', 'expect', 'learn' normally take 'to-infinitive':
  • 'I learnt to swim in Portugal last summer.'
  • 'I expect to get high marks in this exam because I put in a lot of work for it.'
  • 'I hope to recover in time for my business trip to Thailand in August.'

After some verbs, e.g. 'tell', 'advise', 'ask', 'to-infinitive' follows the object:

  • 'We asked them to show us the way.'
  • 'He advised me to drive more slowly through the village.'
  • 'I told him to be quiet.'
Other verbs, such as 'enjoy', 'finish', 'admit', 'mind', 'feel like', 'can't help', 'look forward to' take an '-ing' clause:
  • 'I can't help feeling that it's going to rain before we get home.'
  • 'I feel like stopping work now and coming back to it later. '
  • 'Do you mind not talking in here? Speaking is not allowed in the library.'
  • 'He admitted taking the bribe and leaking the documents to the press.'
  • 'I always enjoy listening to Mozart whenever I'm feeling stressed.'
  • 'She finished cleaning the floor and then she hoovered the room.'
  • 'I look forward to hearing from you.'

'Prevent' is followed by an object + (from) + an '-ing' clause.

  • 'I prevented him from stealing the painting.'
Some verbs such as begin, start, like, love, hate, continue, cease can take either a 'to-infinitive' or an '-ing' clause and there is usually little or no difference in meaning between them:
  • 'I like to read in the bath.'
  • 'I like reading in the bath.'
  • 'I continued to work till Sally came in and then we had supper.'
  • 'I continued working till Sally came in and then we had supper.'
Sometimes the meaning does change:
  • 'I stopped smoking when I married Joan.' = I gave up smoking when I married Joan.
  • 'I stopped to smoke a cigarette.' = I stopped what I was doing in order to smoke a cigarette.
In your example, 'decide to' would be the norm:
  • 'She has decided to model clothes for both the English and the Italian fashion houses this year.'
'Decide' + '-ing' would only be possible if the '-ing' form functions as a gerund, as in:
  • 'She decided modelling was the best career for her.'
  • 'I decided smoking was bad for me.'

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