Verb + -ing or verb + infinitive

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


As you watch the video, look at the examples of verbs + ing (the gerund) and verbs + infinitive. They are in red in the subtitles. Then read the conversation below to learn more. Finally, do the grammar exercises to check you understand, and can use, verb + ing and verb + infinitive correctly.


Daisy: What's up, Oli?
Oliver: Hm? Oh, nothing.
Alfie: Oh come on, something's wrong.
Oliver: No, seriously ...
Daisy: Don't tell me, you invited Amy to go to your class dinner but she decided to go with Elliot instead ...
Alfie: Well, you like cooking, so lunch isn't the problem. I know! You want to wear your favourite T-shirt but it's got tomato on it.
Oliver: No! Well, yes, that too – I don't know how to clean it but, no, that's not the real problem. It's … well ... it's Mum.
Daisy: Have you had an argument? When did she phone? Oh, I hate missing her calls!
Oliver: She hasn't called yet, don't worry.
Daisy: So what's up? Come on! Just tell us! I don't like seeing you like this, Oli!
Oliver: Well, she's in Italy. And she promised to take me there. I was looking forward to going. I planned to go to some real Italian restaurants to, you know, have some real Italian food, so I could try to make some at home. And I wanted to visit Rome and Venice and Florence and Siena and ... well, she hasn't even remembered to phone or to send an email or anything!
Daisy: No, but she will. You know she's always so busy. She never stops working. Or maybe she's had a problem. But it'll be cool, she'll phone.
Alfie: Do you know what you need? You need to have some fun! We can pretend to be in Italy!
Daisy: Pretend to be there?
Alfie: Yes! Let's do it! You wanted to practise cooking Italian food, didn't you? So ... here's a cookbook. We just need to choose a dish and then we need to buy ingredients. You cook, Oliver, and I know how to make a great tiramisu. Daisy, you get some Italian music – we can eat in the garden, like at a pavement café.
Daisy: Alfie, you're mad. You're wonderful and mad, and I love doing mad things ...
Sophie: Hi, guys!
Oliver/Daisy: Hi, Mum!
Alfie: Hi, Sophie!
Daisy: How's Italy?
Sophie: Oh, it didn't stop raining all day yesterday, and today it's foggy! It's impossible! I can't see anything or go anywhere. I'll have to come back next month. Oh, and Oli, would you like to come too then? Gennaro Falcone, the famous restaurant owner, has offered to teach you some of his most popular recipes. I told him you really enjoy cooking.
Oliver: I'd love to go, Mum! Thanks!
Sophie: So. What are you doing? It looks ... interesting! 

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 bo th er.

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.



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

Average: 4.3 (14 votes)
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Submitted by ayhon on Mon, 08/07/2023 - 09:13

I enjoy training in the gym and I like watching tv shows while eating pasta, I don't mind studying some stuffs to improve my skills and I hate waking up late and not completing my tasks.

Submitted by d3loscobainn_ on Wed, 07/19/2023 - 12:52

I enjoy watching TV, reading a book, listening music, playing piano and playing electric guitar. These are things I do in a day. I avoid from bad things, like run away from home, lying to parents etc.

Submitted by cherry00 on Sat, 07/30/2022 - 11:12

I love listening to music and meeting my friend. I don't mind going to school and I avoid doing the vacuuming and doing my homework.

Submitted by Ostapuser2021 on Sun, 12/19/2021 - 19:26

You’ve received a letter from your friend in which he/she • asks you to tell about some online safety tips and what they mean • wants to know which of them is the most important for you and why • is interested in any web site where it is possible to get to know about these tips and practice English for teens

Submitted by Leticiadv1405 on Tue, 11/30/2021 - 03:41

The activity is very creative and simple to perform 5•A TLOG

Submitted by fernasilv18 on Tue, 11/30/2021 - 00:23

The activities facilitate the learning of the topics. 5-A T- LOG

Submitted by Juana_Valerio on Mon, 11/29/2021 - 15:37

The activities of this topic allowed me to better understand the topic and that is very fun because they are very fun and interesting activities 5ºA T-LOG

Submitted by jesica_tomas on Sat, 11/27/2021 - 07:12

The activities allow me to understand the subject more easily and I really like that. 5A T-LOG

Submitted by GUADALUPESIXTOS on Tue, 11/23/2021 - 19:23

The activity was easy, with these games the theme became more complementary to me.

Submitted by Arivelde on Wed, 03/24/2021 - 20:56

During my week I realy enjoy listening to music, playing football with my brothers, I like very much waching movies.... I don't mind waking up early, it is a quite beautiful time, and is very silent to, I don't mind studying, doing homework, because it is kind of important for my future. But what I avoid with all my heart is washing the dishes, I don't really like it.
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Submitted by Cfvdv on Wed, 03/24/2021 - 20:50

What I enjoy doing in my week is watching television and playing football with my brothers. I don´t mind doing homework. And I avoid when I can waking up early if it´s possible.

Submitted by Didik on Tue, 03/16/2021 - 19:39

I realy enjoy doing barbecue, this is what we do on sundays and I love it! I don´t like wakeing up early and that is what I´d like to avoid when I can. During the weak my brothers want me to play football every day with them, and I don´t mind about that.

Submitted by hermione123 on Wed, 03/17/2021 - 13:06

I dunno, but personally i guess everyone will avoid waking up early if they can.

In reply to by Didik

Submitted by hermione123 on Sun, 01/24/2021 - 07:40

I really enjoy doing my homeworks and studying. I don't even know why, I can really love homeworks sometime :D I avoid going out of my house.

Submitted by Luna on Fri, 08/28/2020 - 08:02

I enjoy listen to music, I going to cinema, I watching anime ( special is one piece). I don't mind washing the dishes
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Submitted by Giovannichoi on Sat, 08/01/2020 - 04:39

I enjoy to go to British Council! There aren't particular activities I enjoy at weekend, but I go to BC every saturdays. But today is the last time of this term, so I feel sort of sad. And my school's vacation is just around the corner too! And the matter is I LOVE going to school! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
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Submitted by Sherry4869 on Sun, 05/17/2020 - 14:46

I love to go picnic, camping, swimming , barbeque. I don't mind going to the cinema and concert. I avoid going noisy and crowded place.

Submitted by bea_mara on Sun, 04/05/2020 - 21:07

During my week I didn't do many things. What I like most is to go to training and obviously go out with my friends, but I also like to fix my room. I don't mind studying, while the things I hate to do is wake up early in the morning to go to school and make the bed.

Submitted by giorgia_marchetti on Wed, 05/06/2020 - 08:42

During my week I do many things. I enjoy go to dance and Meet my friends. I don’t mind go to school but i hate wake up early.

In reply to by bea_mara

Submitted by Ely on Fri, 04/03/2020 - 07:21

i enjoy listen to music,i going to the cinema. i avoid clear.

Submitted by BttChiara on Thu, 04/02/2020 - 19:37

I enjoy chatting with my friends, I don't mind doing my homework but I avoid, if possible, playing the guitar.

Submitted by MatildePace on Thu, 04/02/2020 - 14:42

I enjoy drawing, listening to music, cooking, sleeping and reading. I not mind doing clear my room. If possible I avoid doing set the table.

Submitted by Desy on Wed, 04/01/2020 - 19:25

I enjoy listen to music, cook a lot of cakes, watch films and TV series and read book. I don't mind play with my brother, create new recipes of cakes and do science experiment with my brother. If possible I avoid clear the table, wash the dishes and make my bed.

Submitted by gattifederica on Tue, 03/31/2020 - 16:35

I enjoy listening to music, watching TV series and films and cooking cakes and muffins. I don’t mind learning new recipes and cooking for my family. If possible I avoid washing the dishes and cleaning the bathrooms.

Submitted by MythTW on Sun, 07/21/2019 - 10:17

Hello LearnEnglish Team, The following 2 sentences All we can do is trying our best. All we can do is try our best. Which one is correct? Or both are correct but carry different meanings? Thanks, James
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Submitted by Tina - Coordinator on Mon, 07/22/2019 - 09:34

Hi James (MythTw)
Your second sentence is correct.
- All we can do is try our best.
Best wishes,
Tina (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

In reply to by MythTW

Submitted by helloman on Tue, 05/14/2019 - 15:22

Which one is correct? He left the room without ..... 1. explaining 2. explanation Plz help us.
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Submitted by JoModerator on Wed, 05/15/2019 - 07:25

Hi helloman,

They are both correct!

Sentence 1 has a preposition (without) followed by verb+ing.

Sentence 2 has a preposition (without) followed by a noun.

I hope that helps.


Best wishes

Jo (LearnEnglish Teens team)


In reply to by helloman

Submitted by helloman on Wed, 05/15/2019 - 14:12

thank you very much! that really helps!

In reply to by JoModerator

Submitted by smiley_jp on Fri, 04/05/2019 - 02:39

Which one is correct? 1) Where did you learn to speak Japanese? or Where did you learn speaking Japanese? 2) She waited to see what would happen next. or She waited seeing what would happened next.

Submitted by editor_rachael on Fri, 04/05/2019 - 12:26

Hi smiley_jp,


In both cases, the first option is correct. The verbs learn and wait are both usually followed by the infinitive.


Hope that helps!


LearnEnglish Teens team

In reply to by smiley_jp

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Submitted by Assia75 on Mon, 02/04/2019 - 13:10

Thank you very much. You help me.
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Submitted by Youjiro on Fri, 02/01/2019 - 13:19

I enjoy reading book and listening music after high school .I do lot of homework after class. In morning I do household such as cooking,clean up room.I cook Chinese food because it is delicious .I avoid watching TV program.I thing watching TV is waste of time.I also avoid go out side during holiday.I don't like place where many people gather .
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Submitted by empty on Thu, 08/08/2019 - 07:45

Hi Youjiro ! You are so hardworking and I really appreciate it ! I also agree with you about TV being a waste of the time.

In reply to by Youjiro

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