Misuse of Infinitive
Use the gerund and not the infinitive:
Fond of + -ing.
- Don’t say: She’s always fond to talk.
- Say: She’s always fond of talking.
Insist on + -ing.
- Don’t say: Simon insisted to go to London.
- Say: Simon insisted on going to London.
Object to + -ing.
- Don’t say: I object to be treated like this.
- Say: I object to being treated like this.
(a) After prepositions or preposition phrases:
Without, etc. + -ing.
- Don’t say: Do your work without to speak.
- Say: Do your work without speaking.
Instead of, etc. + -ing.
- Don’t say: He went away instead to wait.
- Say: He went away instead of waiting.
(b) After words which regularly take a preposition:
Capable of + -ing.
- Don’t say: They’re quite capable to do that.
- Say: They’re quite capable of doing that.
Note: Also incapable of; to + the infinitive follows able or unable: He is unable to do anything
Prevent from + -ing.
- Don’t say: The rain prevented me to go.
- Say: The rain prevented me from going.
Succeed in + -ing.
- Don’t say: Paula succeeded to win the prize.
Think of + -ing.
- Don’t say: 1 often think to go to England.
- Say: I often think of going to England.
Tired of + -ing.
- Don’t say: The customer got tired to wait.
- Say: The customer got tired of waiting.
Used to + -ing.
- Don’t say: She’s used to get up early.
- Say: She’s used to getting up early.
(c) After certain verbs:
Avoid + -ing.
- Don’t say: You can’t avoid to make mistakes.
- Say: You can’t avoid making mistakes.
Note: Also can’t help (= can’t avoid): I can’t help laughing.
Enjoy + -ing.
- Don’t say: I enjoy to play football.
- Say: I enjoy playing football.
Note: Use the gerund or to + infinitive after verbs meaning to like or to dislike: He likes reading English books, or He likes to read English books.
Go on (continue) + -ing.
- Don’t say: The music went on to play all day.
- Say: The music went on playing all day.
Note: Also keep on: She kept on playing the piano.
Mind (object to) + -ing.
- Don’t say: Would you mind to open the door?
- Say: Would you mind opening the door?
Have another look at…
Excuse + -ing.
- Don’t say: Please excuse me to be so late.
- Say: Please excuse my being so late.
- Or Please excuse me for being so late.
Finish + -ing.
- Don’t say: Have you finished to speak?
- Say: Have you finished speaking?
Mote: to + infinitive or the gerund follow verbs meaning to begin: She began to speak, or She began speaking.
Use of the gerund
Use the gerund (and not the infinitive):
- 1. After prepositions.
Examples: He worked without stopping. She played instead of working.
2. After words which regularly take a preposition, such as fond of, insist on, tired of, succeed in.
Examples: I’m tired of doing the work again. He succeeded in catching the rat.
3. After certain verbs, such as avoid, enjoy, finish, stop, risk, excuse.
Examples: They enjoy playing football. The wind has stopped blowing.
4. After the adjectives busy and worth.
Examples: Lena was busy writing a book. This date is worth remembering.
5. After certain phrases, such as it’s no use, it’s no good, I can’t help, would you mind, look forward to.
Examples: I think it’s no use trying again. I can’t help feeling angry about it.
Use the gerund or the infinitive after certain verbs, such as begin, like, dislike, hate, love, prefer,
Example: He began to talk or He began talking.
Practice + -ing.
- Don’t say: You must practice to speak English.
- Say: You must practice speaking English.
Remember + -ing.
- Don’t say: I don’t remember to have seen him.
- Say: I don’t remember seeing him.
- Or: I don’t remember having seen him.
Risk + -ing.
- Don’t say: We couldn’t risk to leave him alone.
- Say: We couldn’t risk leaving him alone.
Stop + -ing.
- Don’t say: The wind has almost stopped to blow.
- Say: The wind has almost stopped blowing.
Note: Also give up (= stop): He gave up smoking.
(d) After certain adjectives:
Busy + -ing.
- Don’t say: He was busy to revise the exams.
- Say: He was busy revising for the exams.
Worth + -ing.
- Don’t say: Is today’s film worth to see?
- Say: Is today’s film worth seeing?
(e) After certain phrases:
Have difficulty in + -ing.
- Don’t say: She has no difficulty to do it.
- Say: She has no difficulty in doing it.
Have the pleasure of + -ing.
- Don’t say: I had the pleasure to meet him.
- Say: I had the pleasure of meeting him.
Note Also take pleasure in He takes great pleasure in helping others
It’s no use + -ing.
- Don’t say: It’s no use to cry like a baby.
- Say: It’s no use crying like a baby.
It’s no good + -ing.
- Don’t say: It’s no good to get angry.
- Say: It’s no good getting angry.
Look forward to + -ing.
- Don’t say: I look forward to see him soon.
- Say: I look forward to seeing him soon.
There is no harm in + -ing.
- Don’t say: There’s no harm to visit her now.
- Say: There’s no harm in visiting her now.
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