Gerund vs Infinitive – Part 1

Hiii everyone!! I got this amazing invitation from Jennifer to be here contributing to the blog and your learning and I am sooo excited for it. Why? Because I was/am Jennifer’s student just as you are, so as an ESL learner, I am sure we have a lot to share on this journey of learning English.

Let me tell you a bit of my own journey…Last year I lived in San Diego for almost 10 months and it was the best time of my life (if you’re thinking about going for an exchange year, I encourage you to do it! You won’t regret it, actually you won’t want to go home haha). When I moved, I already knew a few things in English and I started school at a High Intermediate level. I could understand and read well, but I couldn’t speak and that was my main goal: to speak the best I could, with the least accent possible (I warn you from the beginning: You will always have an accent and that’s fine, it shows your identity). I got to Proficiency level, then I decided to take a TOEFL preparation course and, later, the test. Besides school, I lived with a host family whom I loooove ♥ and I’m certain they had a huge contribution to my learning. Ok, let me cut to the chase (idiom: to focus on what is important; to skip the unnecessary part) and go to what really matters here..

I chose GERUNDS for today’s post so we can kill two birds with one stone (idiom: when you solve two problems at one time): 1) clarify a topic commonly confused or misunderstood and 2) write for week 3 of #AugLP.

As you all might know, a gerund is the “ing” form of the verb, but how is it used? What part of speech or functions does it fit under? Well, this varies by the context. The gerund is used as a noun and it can fit the subject or object position.

  • As subject: when it’s in the beginning of a sentence working as the subject of the verb (verb MUST be singular)

Eating is the best thing to do in Italy.
Living abroad is a good way to learn a new language.

  • As a direct object: when complementing the verb directly

I love running by the sea.
I consider littering a serious crime.

  • Preposition + gerund: after every preposition that is followed by a verb, the verb comes in its gerund form

After waiting for 45 minutes, it was finally my turn to ride the roller-coaster.
I always feed my dog before going out.
I don’t know much about selling stocks.
I congratulated her for passing the exam.

  • As a subject complement: the subject complement can be a noun, an adjective or a pronoun that describes the subject. Between the subject and the complement there must be a linking verb (most common one is the verb to be).

My favorite activity is swimming.
The best tip for a good performance on a test is sleeping well the night before.

  • As an object complement: just like the subject complement, the object complement gives more detail to the object by describing it with a noun, pronoun or adjective.

I found the student sleeping during the class.
I had issues getting used to the blog editor.

The last part I consider the hardest to associate since there is no rule, only memorization and practice. But, seriously, with practice it starts coming naturally and you will not find it challenging anymore.

  • Verbs and phrases always followed by the gerund: the list below contains the most common verbs and phrases for this category
    • admit
    • advise
    • avoid
    • be used to
    • can’t help
    • can’t stand
    • consider
    • deny
    • discuss
    • dislike
    • end up
    • enjoy
    • feel like
    • finish
    • get used to
    • give up
    • go on
    • have difficulty
    • have problems
    • have trouble
    • imagine
    • it’s no use
    • it’s worthwhile
    • keep
    • look forward to
    • mention
    • mind
    • miss
    • recommend
    • quit
    • spend time
    • suggest
    • understand
    • waste time
    • work at

Besides that, there is still more specific content comparing the use of gerunds and infinitives, which is going to be discussed on a future post, part 2.

Let’s practice???

Create examples about yourself using each of the cases we’ve studied for the gerund and let me know more about you!! Does it sound good?? :))

Overall, I hope this post has been helpful so far and feel free to get in touch with me or Jennifer for any questions or explanations. Don’t forget to practice!!! Have a nice week, guys!

One thought on “Gerund vs Infinitive – Part 1

  1. Pingback: Gerund Vs Infinitive- Part 2 | Learn English Online | English Outside the Box

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