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Learning Zone
Learning Zone
Grammar

Use of infinitives & verbs with ending “ing”

Level: A1, A2
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INFINITIVE WITH “TO”
INFINITIVE WITHOUT “TO”
"ING" FORM AFTER VERBS

INFINITIVE WITH “TO”

An infinitive in English is a verb in basic form preceded by to”:

to come
to see
to read

Appears usually after another verb in sentences:

I want to be alone.
We agree to help him.

Some popular English verbs where the infinitive is used after:

verbexample
agree The manager agreed to pay in advance.
decide We decided to move out.
learn I learned to ice skate when I was 4.
planThey are planning to build another hotel. 
promiseHe promised to leave me alone.
wantMy sister wants to go with us. 
can’t waitI can’t wait to meet your friend.

INFINITIVE WITHOUT “TO”

The second verb being put after verbs is usually used as infinitive with “to”, but there are situations in which an infinitive appears without “to.”

Most of all, it concerns auxiliary verbs: can and could:

Mia can sing and play the piano.
could swim when I was three.
Can you open the window, please?


“ING” FORM AFTER VERBS

There are also verbs, after which another verb is put -not an infinitive, but in a form with ending -ing.

Most common verbs, after which another verb get an ending -ing:

verbexample
dislike I dislike dancing.
enjoy Do you enjoy meeting new people?
finishWhen are you going to finish reading this book?
give up I gave up smoking two years ago. 

After some verbs use of another verb both infinitive and with ending -ing is possible. It does not affect the meaning of a sentence:

verbexample
likeI like watching / to watch TV in the evening.
hateShe hates getting up / to get up early. 
loveMike loves reading / to read books.
startThe little girl started crying / to cry.
preferDo you prefer taking / to take a taxi? 
worryShe began worrying / to worry about her son

GO SKIING

The form with an ending -ing appears often after the verb “to go” and is used to express any physical activities:

verbexample
go shoppingWould you like to go shopping with me?
go swimmingI often go swimming in the river.
go skiingWe usually go skiing in the Alps in winter.
go sailingThey went sailing for the whole month. 

 

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