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Capýtulo 6:

 Verbs + ing Vs. Verbs + infinitive. Verbos + ing Vs Verbos + Infinitivo en inglés

If there are two verbs together in a sentence, often the second one is either in the infinitive form (to play) or the continuous form (playing).  Have a look at this example, only one of the sentences is correct:

·       I enjoy to play piano X

·       I enjoy playing piano √

a. We use the infinitive after certain verbs:

               - forget, help, learn, teach, train

               -choose, expect, hope, need, offer, want, would like

               -agree, encourage, pretend, promise, recommend

               -allow, can/can't afford, decide, manage, mean, refuse

Have a look at these examples:

  • You forgot to water the plants.
  • I can’t decide what to wear.
  • We promise to help you if we can.
  • I hope to see you again soon.

b. We also always use the infinitive after adjectives:

- happy, sad, sorry, disappointed, angry, pleased, delighted, glad, surprised, relieved etc.

               Have a look at these examples:

  • I was sorry to hear about your recent troubles.
  • I’m happy to hear from you.
  • She was angry to discover Charles was lying to her.
  • We’re delighted to have you here in our home.
  • They were relieved to know it was all over.

c. This is also the same for the form too + adjective:

               - too cold, too hot, too windy, too sunny, too salty, too sweet etc.

Have a look at these examples:

  • This tea is too hot to drink.
  • It’s too windy to go for a swim today.
  • This soup is too salty to eat.
  • My feet are too sore to walk anymore.

d. The infinitive is also used with the form adjective + enough.

               - rich enough, clever enough, strong enough, tall enough, short enough etc.

Have a look at these examples:

  • Are you tall enough to touch the ceiling?
  • My four year old son is clever enough to read short novels.
  • Will this glue by strong enough to fix the window?
  • This sandwich is big enough to have for dinner!


a. The -ing form is used when the word is the subject of the sentence or clause.
Have a look at these examples:

  • Running is an excellent form of exercise.
  • Doctors say that eating too much butter is bad for your health.
  • It is well known that smoking damages your lungs.

b. The -ing or continuous form is used after certain verbs:

              - avoid, dislike, enjoy, finish, give up, mind/not mind, practice etc.

Have a look at these examples:

  • I dislike eating fish.
  • I practice playing piano every evening.
  • I enjoy baking cakes.
  • I don’t mind working late, as long as I get paid overtime.

c. The continuous form is also used after a preposition:

               - to, without, against, at, by, from, for, until, with, up, before, after etc.

Have a look at these examples:

  • We’re looking forward to meeting you.
  • Don’t you leave the table withoutfinishing your dinner!
  • I’m against wearing fur.
  • I’m at the café waiting for you.

Language Tip

Sometimes you can use -ing or infinitive verbs without a change in meaning:

For example:     

      -It started to rain./ It started   raining.

      -I like to play sports./ I like playing sports.

      -I hate to watch horse racing/I hate     watching horse racing.

¡ Check appendix III to have a list of these verb patterns.


Activity 1
Fill the gap with the correct form of the verb.

1.     I enjoy_______( watch) films on Saturdays.

2.     I need_______( take) a holiday!

3.     I’m against______(test) on animals.

4.     Jane was so relieved_____( see) her son again.

5.     The boat was big enough_____( fit) everyone on board.

6.     I would like_______(show) you all what I’ve been working on.

7.     ________(read) helps you learn English.

8.     I decided not____(go) to the party.

9.     She’s afraid of_____(go) by plane.

10.  The water is too shallow_____(swim)properly.

11.  I’ve decided_____(make) a change in my life.

12.  When teaching English you need______(devote) a little bit of time to each student individually.

13.  I was going to take a course on giving up_______(smoke), but in the end, it was unnecessary.

14.  Although I’m happy­­­______(fish) all morning, I dislike_______(have) to clean them afterwards.

15.  I don’t mind_______(sleep) in, but I hate______(have)to eat lunch as the first meal of the day.


Activity 2
Make sentences using the word given.

1.     Practise.

2.     Sorry.

3.     Before

4.     Too wide

5.     Glad

6.     Pretend

7.     Love

8.     To

9.     Start

10.  Enjoy

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