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1. Following a verb (gerund or infinitive)

Both gerunds and infinitives can replace a noun as the object of a verb. Whether you use a gerund or an infinitive depends on the main verb in the sentence. Consult the lists below to find out which form to use following which verbs.

I expect to have the report done by Friday.[INFINITIVE]
I anticipate having the report done by Friday.[GERUND]

Some common verbs followed by a gerund (note that phrasal verbs, marked here with *, always fall into this category):

acknowledgeShe acknowledged receiving assistance.
* accuse ofHe was accused of smuggling contraband goods.
admitThey admitted falsifying the data.
adviseThe author advises undertaking further study.
anticipateHe anticipates having trouble with his supervisor.
appreciateI appreciated having a chance to read your draft.
avoidHe avoided answering my question.
completeI finally completed writing my thesis.
considerThey will consider granting you money.
deferShe deferred writing her report.
delayWe delayed reporting the results until we were sure.
denyThey denied copying the information.
discussThey discussed running the experiments again.
entailThis review procedure entails repeating the test.
* look afterHe will look after mailing the tickets.
* insist onHe insisted on proofreading the article again.
involveThis procedure involves testing each sample twice.
justifyMy results justify taking drastic action.
mentionThe author mentions seeing this event.
* plan onThey had planned on attending the conference.
postponeThe committee has postponed writing the report.
recallI cannot recall getting those results before.
resentHe resented spending so much time on the project.
recommendShe recommends reading Marx.
resistThe writer resists giving any easy answers.
riskShe risks losing her viewing time.
sanctionThey will not sanction copying without permission.
suggestI suggest repeating the experiment.
* take care ofHe will take care of sending it to you.
tolerateShe can't tolerate waiting for results.

Some common verbs followed by an infinitive:

affordWe cannot afford to hesitate.
agreeThe professors agreed to disagree.
appearThe results appear to support your theory.
arrangeThey had arranged to meet at noon.
begI beg to differ with you.
careWould you care to respond?
claimShe claims to have new data.
consentWill you consent to run for office?
decideWhen did he decide to withdraw?
demandI demand to see the results of the survey.
deserveShe deserves to have a fair hearing.
expectThe committee expects to decide by tomorrow.
failThe trial failed to confirm his hypothesis.
hesitateI hesitate to try the experiment again.
hopeWhat do you hope to accomplish?
learnWe have learned to proceed with caution.
manageHow did she manage to find the solution?
neglectThe author neglected to provide an index.
needDo we need to find new subjects?
offerWe could offer to change the time of the meeting.
planThey had planned to attend the conference.
prepareHe was not prepared to give a lecture.
pretendI do not pretend to know the answer.
promiseThey promise to demonstrate the new equipment.
refuseShe refused to cooperate any longer.
seemSomething seems to be wrong with your design.
struggleWe struggled to understand her point of view.
swearHe swears to tell the truth.
threatenThe team threatened to stop their research.
volunteerWill you volunteer to lead the group?
waitWe could not wait to hear the outcome.
wantShe did not want to go first.
wishDo you wish to participate?

2. Following a preposition (gerund only)

Gerunds can follow a preposition; infinitives cannot.

Can you touch your toes without bending your knees?
He was fined for driving over the speed limit.
She got the money by selling the car.
A corkscrew is a tool for taking corks out of bottles.

Note: Take care not to confuse the preposition "to" with an infinitive form, or with an auxiliary form such as have to, used to, going to

He went back to writing his paper.[PREPOSITION + GERUND]
I used to live in Mexico.[AUXILIARY + VERB]
I want to go home. [VERB + INFINITIVE]

3. Following an indirect object (infinitive only)

Some verbs are followed by a pronoun or noun referring to a person, and then an infinitive. Gerunds cannot be used in this position.

Some common verbs followed by an indirect object plus an infinitive:

askI must ask you to reconsider your statement.
begThey begged her to stay for another term.
causeHis findings caused him to investigate further.
challengeWilkins challenged Watson to continue the research.
convinceCan we convince them to fund our study?
encourageShe encouraged him to look beyond the obvious.
expectThey did not expect us to win an award.
forbidThe author forbade me to change his wording.
forceThey cannot force her to reveal her sources.
hireDid the department hire him to teach the new course?
instructI will instruct her to prepare a handout.
inviteWe invite you to attend the ceremony.
needThey need her to show the slides.
orderHe ordered the group to leave the building.
persuadeCan we persuade you to contribute again?
remindPlease remind him to check the references.
requireThey will require you to submit an outline.
teachWe should teach them to follow standard procedures.
tellDid she tell him to make three copies?
urgeI urge you to read the instructions before you begin.
wantI do not want you to have an accident.
warnWhy didn't they warn me to turn down the heat?


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