Oliver, Daisy and Alfie are at Oliver and Daisy's home. Oliver is upset, so Daisy and Alfie decide to cheer him up.

After certain verbs we use the -ing form, and after other verbs we use the infinitive. Sometimes we can use either form and there is no change in meaning. Occasionally we can use either form and there is a change in meaning.

So what’s the rule for whether we use the -ing form or the infinitive?

Sorry, there isn’t a rule. You have to learn which verbs go with which pattern.

The verbs followed by  -ing include enjoy, mind, stop and recommend.

I told him you really enjoy cooking.
Would you mind helping me?
It didn't stop raining all day yesterday.
Daisy recommends trying Alfie’s tiramisu.

The negative is verb + not + -ing.

Imagine not having pizza! I eat it all the time.

Verbs usually followed by -ing

stop     finish     imagine     suggest     recommend      avoid      mind      miss      risk      enjoy 

I thought you could say: 'I recommend that you see that film'?

Yes, you’re right, you can. But we’re not looking at the more complex patterns with that or an object today.

OK, what about the verbs followed by the infinitive?

These include decide, want, promise, plan and forget.

She decided to go with Elliot instead.
I wanted to visit Rome.
She promised to take me there.
I planned to go to some real Italian restaurants.
She didn’t forget to phone.

The negative is verb + not + infinitive.

They decided not to make pizza.

Here are more verbs that are usually followed by the infinitive:

hope     offer     fail     agree     forget     manage     learn     afford     arrange     ask     expect     would like     decide     plan     promise     want     invite

What about the verbs that can be followed by either form?

These include start, begin, continue and bother.

It started raining. or  It started to rain.
Don’t bother waiting for me. 
or  Don’t bother to wait for me.

The verbs like, love and hate can be followed by -ing or the infinitive when talking about repeated actions.

I love reading long novels.   (British English or American English) 
I love to read long novels.    (American English)

But when we are talking about situations, we use the -ing form.

Paulo loves living by the beach in Rio.
Do you like working as a waitress?

So, 'I love learning grammar rules' or 'I love to learn grammar rules' are both OK?

Exactly. But there are some more verbs which can be followed by -ing or the infinitive, but the two options have different meanings, for example remember and stop.

I never remember to lock the door, and my mum gets really angry!
     (remember + infinitive =
remember something and then do it)
I never remember locking the door, but when I go back and check I always have.
     (remember + -ing =
remember something you did before)

She stopped smoking three years ago.
     (stop + -ing =
to not do something any more)
It was hot, so we stopped to have a drink.   (we stopped walking)
     (stop + infinitive =
to not do something in order to do something else)


Let’s stop to have a rest now.

OK, later on you can try to remember all the patterns.

 

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Discussion

Think about your week. What do you enjoy doing? What do you not mind doing? And what do you avoid doing if possible?

Comments

Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 12 September, 2013 - 08:49

I enjoy sports too, especially running, and I recently tried yoga and I enjoyed that. It's really good for flexibility. I like watching TV too but what I most enjoy is going to the cinema. I like the big screen, the dark room and eating popcorn. :) And I really enjoy learning languages. 
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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Natalija's picture
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Natalija 24 May, 2013 - 20:45

I enjoy attending dance and ballet classes, listening to the music, playing sport, hiking, going to my friend's place, watching films, going shopping, reading, practicing English language, studying for the next day at school, cooking sometimes, playing with my darling cat etc. I avoid watching TV, because it's boring, and dull. And I don't like studying chemistry, but I must:(.

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