Verbos que van en -ing o en infinitivo

Para aprobar el examen Cambridge English First es muy importante saber bien qué verbos van seguidos de otro verbo en infinitivo y qué verbos van seguidos de uno en gerundio o -ing. Este tipo de verbos se usan mucho en parte 4 del Reading y Use of English, en las transformaciones.

No hay ninguna norma específica que nos indica claramente qué verbos van con infinitivo y cuales van con gerundio o -ing. Por ello hay que aprenderlos de memoria. Aquí va un listado de los mismos:

I. Introduction: Gerunds and Infinitives

Knowing when to use a gerund (-ing) or infinitive is not easy because there is no logical rule or reason. You have to learn them by heart or by repitition. It all depends on usage:

  • after some verbs we use gerunds.
  • after other verbs we use to +  infinitives or bare infinitives.
  • after some verbs we can use both gerunds and infinitives without changing the meaning.
  • after some verbs if we use a gerund or an infinitive the meaning changes.
  • after prepositions, we use gerunds always.

II. Use of gerunds (-ing)

We use gerunds (verb + ing):

  • After certain verbs – I enjoy golfing (see box below)
  • After prepositions – I slept eight hours before leaving the hotel.
  • As the subject or object of a sentence – Running is good exercise.

Most common verbs followed by gerund (-ing form):

enjoy We enjoyed visiting my sister in San Francisco
anticipate They anticipated losing the match so they were not disappointed.
recall  I don’t recall speaking to Susan yesterday.
understand I don’t understand your complaining about everything all the time.
involve Running a marathon involves training hard five days a week.
complete He completed painting the room 5 minutes ago.
tolerate My sister doesn’t tolerate smoking in front of her children.
imagine She imagines owning a luxury sportscar one day.
mention They mentioned going to the cinema.
deny He denied telling his mother lies.
admit He admitted stealing the money. 
risk He risked losing his life when he saved the cat from the fire.
can’t help She can’t help getting nervous before sitting an exam.
can’t stand My mom can’t stand listening to death metal.
consider He is considering changing jobs.
practise They practised playing the song until it sounded perfectly.
postpone They postponed working on the project.
delay She delayed becomming a mother all she could.
appreciate I appreciate you explaining this to me.
miss He misses walking his dog.
avoid She avoids talking to her ex-husband.
keep He kept running, even though he was injured.
suggest My father suggested buying this car model.
mind I don’t mind waiting outside.
finish We’ve finished cleaning the kitchen.
dislike He dislikes waiting for people who are late.
discuss They discussed watching a film his weekend.
fancy She fancies going for a walk and eating ice cream this afternoon.
recollect She recollects going for a walk with her grandfather through Central Park when she was young.

III. Use of to + infinitive

Most common verbs followed by to + infinitive:

claim He claimed to be the owner of the company.
arrange  They arranged to book a hotel near the city centre.
appear  He appears to be healthier.
deserve I don’t deserve to lose my job.
tend Runners tend to have long legs.
refuse He refused to clean his room.
swear She swore to serve her country with pride when she was in the military.
pretend My sister used to pretend to be a princess when she was a child.
intend She intends to buy a flat in Ibiza.
seem They seem to be disappointed with the results.
wait He waited to phone me until the following night.
offer He offered to help with the washing up.
choose He chose to leave Arizona because of the weather.
demand She demanded to speak to the shop manager.
manage My mom managed to fix the microwave all by herself.
can afford He can’t afford to pay for that car.
promise They promised to pay me back soon.
learn They learnt to swim when they were babies.
hope  She hopes to find her lost cat soon.
plan I plan to visit you next summer.
decide He decided to marry his high school girlfriend.
agree She agreed to come with me to the gig.
recommend* I was recommended to buy a new car. / He recommended me to buy a new car.
ask* I asked him to leave soon. / I asked to leave soon.
help* My father helped us to carry the weight.  / My father helped to carry the weight.
want* I don’t want him to wait outside. / I don’t want to wait outside.
prepare* We’ve prepared our son to learn the truth. /  We’ve prepared to learn the truth.
expect* He expects Paul to win the tournament. /  He expects to win the tournament.
would like* They’d like me to join the club. / They’d like to join the club.
would hate* She’d hate to leave the party now. / She’d hate me to leave the party now.
would love* They’d love me to see the house. / They’d love to see the house.
would prefer* I ‘d prefer my daughter to eat fruit. / I’d prefer to eat fruit.

*We can use an object before the infinitive with these verbs.

IV. Verbs followed by either a gerund or to-infinitive: no change in meaning

In this list the verbs have almost no difference in meaning. Passive infinitives are also common (example: She was allowed to go to the party).

advise The help desk advised checking the “Advanced Settings” option.

The help desk advised me to check the “Advanced Settings” option.

I was advised to check the “Advanced Settings” option.

allow In many countries, they don’t allow drinking alcohol in public places.In many countries drinking alcohol is not allowed in public places.

In many countries, they don’t allow people to drink alcohol in public places.

In many countries people aren’t allowed to drinking alcohol in public places.

permit The laws do not permit keeping dogs on the premises.

Keeping dogs is not permitted on the premises.

The laws do not permit tenants to keep dogs on the premises.

Tenants are not permitted to keep dogs on the premises.

forbid The authorities forbade entering the park because of a crime investigation.

The authorities forbade everyone to enter the park because of a crime investigation.

It was forbidden to enter the park because of a crime investigation..

require The project required working closely with other classmates

The project required us to work closely with other classmates.

We were required to work closely with other classmates.

begin I began to learn languages when I was eleven,

He began using this software one year ago.

start I started wondering what would happen if I lost my job.

After a while, I started to wonder why she’d said that.

continue Kate continued wearing her wedding ring after her husband’s death.

You continue to surprise me!

cease After ten years of use, the TV ceased to work.

They ceased fighting when they signed the peace treaty.

intend I hate being / to be late for class.
love  I love studying/to study grammar.
hate I hate being/to be late for class.
like She likes eating / to eat healthy food.
prefer I prefer attending/to attend evening classes.

V. Verbs followed by either a gerund or to-infinitive: change in meaning

These verbs can be followed by either the gerund or the infinitive with a change in meaning:


A. Remember

Remember + gerund

This is when you remember something that has happened in the past. You have a memory of it, like being able to see a movie of it in your head.

  • I remember going to the beach when I was a child. (= I have a memory of going to the beach).
  • He remembers closing the door. (= He has a memory of closing the door).

Remember + to + infinitive

This is when you think of something that you need to do. (And usually, you then do the thing).

  • I remembered to buy milk. (= I was walking home and the idea that I needed milk came into my head, so I bought some).
  • She remembered to send a card to her grandmother.

B. Forget

Forget + gerund

This is the opposite of remember + gerund. It’s when you forget about a memory, something that you’ve done in the past.

  • Have we really studied this topic before? I forget reading about it.
  • I told my brother that we’d spent Christmas at Granny’s house in 1985, but he’d forgotten going there.

Forget + to + infinitive

This is the opposite of remember + to + infinitive. It’s when you want to do something, but you forget about it.

  • I forgot to call my mother. (= I wanted to call my mother, but when it was a good time to call her, I forgot. I was thinking about something else, and the idea to call my mother didn’t come into my head).
  • She keeps forgetting to bring his book back.

C. Try

Try + gerund

This is when you do something as an experiment. The thing you do is not difficult, but you want to see if doing it will have the result that you want.

  • I wanted to stop smoking, so I tried using nicotine patches. (= Using nicotine patches was easy, but I wanted to know if it would help me stop smoking).
  • She tried giving up chocolate, but it didn’t help her lose weight. (It was easy for her to give up chocolate. She gave it up to see if it would help her lose weight, but it didn’t).

Try + to + infinitive

This is when the thing you do itself is difficult and you don’t succeed in doing it.

  • I tried to lift the suitcase, but it was too heavy.
  • She tried to catch the bus, but she couldn’t run fast enough.

Look at the difference:

  • I tried giving up chocolate (it was no problem to stop eating chocolate) but it didn’t make me feel more healthy.
  • I tried to give up chocolate, but it was too hard. I always ate some when my friends offered it to me.
    • It was too hot in the room. I tried opening the window (it was easy to open the window). It didn’t help though, because it was very hot outside too.

• I tried to open the window, but I couldn’t because it was stuck.


D. Stop

Stop + gerund

When we stop doing something it means the verb in the gerund is the thing that we stop. It can mean ‘stop forever’ or ‘stop at that moment’.

  • I stopped working when I was expecting a baby. (Working is the thing I stopped).
  • My grandmother stopped driving when she was 85. (Driving is the thing she stopped).
  • My boss came into the room, so I stopped browsing the internet.
  • There was a fire alarm, so I stopped eating and went outside.

Stop + to + infinitive

In this case, we stop something else in order to do the verb in the infinitive.

  • I stopped to eat lunch. (I stopped something else, maybe working or studying, because I wanted to eat lunch.
  • She was shopping and she stopped to get a cup of coffee. (She stopped shopping because she wanted to get a cup of coffee).

Look at the difference:

  • I stopped smoking. (I gave up cigarettes OR I threw away my cigarette at that moment).
  • I stopped to smoke. (I stopped doing something else because I wanted to have a cigarette).

E. Regret

Regret + gerund

This is when you are sorry about something you did in the past and you wish you hadn’t done it.

  • I regret going to bed so late. I’m really tired today.
  • She regrets leaving school when she was sixteen. She wishes that she had studied more and then gone to university.

Regret + to + infinitive

We use this construction when we are giving someone bad news, in quite a formal way. The verb is almost always something like ‘say’ or ‘tell’ or ‘inform’.

  • I regret to tell you that the train has been delayed.
  • The company regrets to inform employees that the London office will close next year.
Publicado en Cambridge English: First, Examen First Cambridge, First Certificate in English, Reading First Certificate Cambridge, Use of English First Certificate Cambridge

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