Thursday, 21 July 2016

Did you forget doing / to do your homework? Which form is correct? Both! However, the meaning changes depending whether you use the gerund (doing) or the infinitive (to do). In this case, the correct answer would probably be "Did you forget to do your homework?" as a teacher is probably asking whether a students did their homework or not. Learn the differences in meaning of using a gerund or an infinitive with these verbs that change meaning.

Verbs + Gerund OR Infinitive that Change in Meaning

Explanation and Examples
Some verbs patterns include verbs that take either the gerund (doing) or the infinitive (to do). In some cases, there is no change in meaning and in other cases there is a change in meaning depending on whether the verb is followed by the gerund - also known as the present participle - or the infinitive. Here is a list of both types of verbs, as well as numerous examples of each type of verb pattern.
Verb + Gerund OR Infinitive
The first three verbs that change slightly in meaning can be broke up into a few different groups.

The first three verbs - forget, remember and regret - refer to memory. The gerund or present participle is used to indicate that something has been done before the moment of speaking.
I remember buying him a present.
Mary forgets meeting Tim in Italy.
Peter regrets moving to Chicago.

In each of these cases, the action has taken place before the moment of speaking and the verb refers to a memory (or a lack of memory with 'forget') of that event.
 When used with the infinitive, however, these verbs can be used to speak about something that hasn't happened yet.
Don't forget to lock the door when you leave on vacation.
Make sure you remember to pick up some eggs at the super market.
I regret to inform you that you haven't been accepted to the school.

Let's take a closer look at these differences by contrasting two sentences that change only in the verb form following forget, remember and regret.
Jack remembers buying eggs at the supermarket. = Jack bought the eggs and he remembers that action.
Jack remembers to buy eggs at the supermarket. = When Jack goes to the supermarket, he buys eggs if needs.
Annette forgot to lock the door before she left her home. = Annette didn't lock the door.
Annette forgot locking the door before she left her home. = Annette locked the door, but doesn't remember the action.
I regret telling you the bad news. = I wish I hadn't told you the bad news.
I regret to tell you the bad news. = I'm not happy, but I must tell you the bad news.
Go on

These two verbs refer to actions in progress, or actions that begin directly. When used with the gerund (doing) these verbs that an action continued, or completely stopped.
I stopped smoking cigarettes. = I don't smoke any more.
I went on playing tennis. = I continued playing tennis.
When used with the infinitive, these verbs indicate an action that begins immediately, or at a future time.
Janice stopped to make a telephone call. = Janice stopped in order to make a telephone call.
Doug went on to become a doctor. = Doug eventually became a doctor later on in his career.
Let's compare the two forms side by side, changing only the second verb:
Jason stopped playing the piano at six. = Jason was playing the piano, and he stopped doing that at six o'clock.
Jason stopped to play the piano at six. = Jason was doing something else. He stopped that action, and began to play the piano at six o'clock.
Margaret went on speaking about her vacation. = Margaret continued speaking about her vacation.
Margaret went on to speak about her vacation. = Later in the conversation, Margaret began to speak about her vacation.
A number of verbs take the gerund or the infinitive with minor changes in meaning. The following verbs take both forms, sometimes there are small changes in meaning which I note, but these slight changes do not affect overall meaning.
like doing = in general
like to do = choose to do something
I like playing tennis in the afternoon. = I enjoy playing tennis in the afternoon.
I like to play tennis in the afternoon. = When I play tennis, I choose to play in the afternoon.
In both cases, the underlying meaning is that I enjoy playing tennis. Many native speakers use both forms with little or no change in meaning.

prefer to do = if there is a choice, this is my choice
prefer doing = preference for one over the other in general
I prefer to eat before five. = If there's a choice, let's eat before five.
I prefer eating before five. = In general, I choose to eat before five.

Verb Combinations in English

Verbs can be combined in English in a number of ways. Here is a look at the most important verb combinations in English with ideas to resources for further practice and study for each type of verb combination. There are two main patterns for verb combinations.

1. Verb + Verb

One verb can immediately follow another verb. In this case, the second verb is known as the object of the verb. This second verb, or object of the verb, can either be the gerund (doing, playing, singing, etc.) form, or the infinitive (to eat, to swim, to think, etc.). Here are a few examples of each type:
Verb + Gerund
Alice enjoys playing the piano in her free time.
My teacher recommended signing up for the free lecture at the university.
They dislike taking tests.

Verb + Infinitive
I hope to visit my friends in Italy soon.
She decided to close up the shop and take the day off.
Tom asked to join the soccer team at school.

You might ask yourself. Are there any rules to learn?
Unfortunately, each verb needs to be learned just like irregular verb forms. You can use resources that list learn some of the most important verb + gerund and verb + infinitive, as well as take quizzes to test your knowledge on these combinations. 
Phrasal Verb Combinations
However, there is one rule that can help with phrasal verbs. Phrasal verbs end with a preposition. For example, look into, go through, put off, look forward to, etc. Prepositions are always followed by gerunds (doing, playing, talking, etc.) Therefore, verbs that follow phrasal verbs always take the gerund. For example:
They put off meeting until next week.
We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting.
Jennifer looked into buying a new car last weekend.

Verbs + Gerund / Infinitive: No Change in Meaning
Some verbs can take both the gerund and infinitive with little or no change in meaning. For example,
She likes to wake up early to get things done. / She likes waking up early to get things done.
We started to discuss the situation. / We started discussing the situation.

Verbs + Gerund / Infinitive: Change in Meaning
Some verbs can take both the gerund and infinitive, but change in meaning. For example,
Tom forgot to say hello to Peter when he was in town. = Tom didn't say hello to to Peter.
Tom forgot saying hello to Peter when he was in town. = Tom said hello, but can't remember doing it.

There are only a few of these verbs which you can learn with this verb + gerund change in meaning resource with explanations and multiple examples.
Trust your ear. If you've studied English for a long time, you'll instinctively know if a combination is correct or not. If your "ear" tells you it doesn't sound right. It probably isn't. This is especially true if you live in an English speaking country.

2. Verb + Object + Verb

The other category of common verb combinations are verbs that are followed by an object and then another verb. For example:
She advised the students to clean up their desks.
We requested he come to the meeting next week.
Peter asked her to stay for a few hours.

In this case, the second verb always comes in the infinitive form. In other words, always use the infinitive.
Let / Make / Help
However, there are three exceptions to this rule: let, help, make. With these verbs the object is followed by the base form of the verb (take, have, play, etc.). Here are some examples:
His parents let him stay out until midnight on Saturday.
Can you help me make a decision on the project?
The teacher made the students stay after class to complete their homework.

How to Use Gerunds in English

The gerund in English is also known as the 'ing' form. The following articles describes the different uses of the gerund in English.
Base form of the verb: The verb without anything, i.e. play, go, work, eat, think, etc.
Infinitive form of the verb: The verb with 'to', i.e. to sing, to work, to play, to eat, etc.
Gerund or present participle: The verb + 'ing', i.e. studying, eating, driving, enjoying, etc.
Spelling of the Gerund
Generally speaking, spelling the gerund is as easy as adding 'ing' to the base form of the verb to make the gerund. Here are three important exceptions:
  • Double the final consonant of a one syllable word ending in consonant - vowel - consonant pattern. For example, 'dig' becomes 'digging', 'put' becomes 'putting', 'plan' becomes 'planning'. For words longer than one syllable, there is usually no need to double the final consonant. (Exception: begin - beginning).
  • Drop 'e' at then end of a verb, add 'ing'. For example: write -> writing, take -> taking
  • Verbs ending in '-ie' drop the '-ie' replaced by 'y'. For example: die -> dying, lie -> lying
The gerund can be thought of as the noun form of a verb. As such it is used in different situations:
Gerund as Subject of the Sentence
Use the gerund in a gerund phrase (i.e. playing tennis, going to church, thinking about vacation, etc.) at the beginning of a sentence as the subject of the sentence. Here are some examples:
Playing tennis takes lots of physical and mental skill.
Going to church is an important part of many people's lives.
Thinking about vacation makes me happy!

Gerund as Object of a Verb
Many verbs often combine with a second verb in the gerund form. The second verb in the gerund is the object of the verb. Here are some examples:
Mary enjoys watching TV late at night.
Alan admits cheating on the last test.
Susan imagines having children later in her life.

As you probably know, verbs can also combine with infinitives as the object of the verb. Make sure to study which verbs take the gerund or the infinitive as objects.
Gerund as Object of a Preposition
When followed by a verb, prepositions always take the gerund form. Here are some examples:
Peter arrived at work after fighting the morning rush hour traffic.
Are you able to remember all the facts without googling them?
She thinks Mary is against buying a new house.Remember that prepositions are often the last word in phrasal verbs such as 'look into', 'put up with', 'look forward to', etc.
Tim thought about buying a new car.
We are going to look into renting an apartment in Hawaii next summer.
I look forward to seeing you soon.

Gerund as Subject Compliment
Subject compliments are used to define the subject with linking verbs, most importantly 'be', but also 'seem' and 'become'. In other words, the gerund is used to define what the subject is. Here are some examples:
Her biggest wish in life is traveling around the world.
My intention is making sure you understand the gerund.
Her questions seem waiting for answers.

Making the Gerund Negative
Making a gerund negative is easy. Just add 'not' before the gerund. Here are examples of each type of gerund use using the gerund in the negative form.
Not wanting anything in life can make you very happy.
Alisan enjoys not eating fatty food, and she's lost a lot of weight!
I look forward to not working on my vacation.
His greatest wish in life is not marrying the wrong person.

Gerund as Verb? 
The gerund is often confused with the present participle. That's because the gerund looks exactly like the present participle - they both are formed by adding 'ing' to the verb. However, the function of the gerund is as a noun. The function of the present participle is in use with continuous (or progressive) tenses.
We're waiting for the bus. -> are waiting = present participle used in the present continuous 
Waiting for the bus is boring. -> waiting for the bus = gerund as subject of sentence
They've been working on the project for two years. -> have been working = present participle used in the present perfect continuous
I look forward to working on the project. -> working on the project = gerund as object of a preposition

Verbs Followed by Infinitive

Reference List to Verbs + Infinitive
Many verbs are followed immediately by the infinitive form of the verb. Other verbs are followed by the gerund form of the verb. Finally, other verbs are followed by a noun, noun phrase or pronoun and then the infinitive. All of these verbs follow no specific rules, and must be memorized.The following list provides verbs that are immediately followed by the infinitive form of another verb (verb + to do). Each verb followed by the infinitive is followed by two example sentences to provide context.
 I can't afford to go on vacation this summer.
 Can you afford to buy that sweater?
 I agreed to help him with the problem.
 Do you think he would agree to take the test again?
He appears to think I'm crazy!
They appear to be available tomorrow.
I arranged to spend the week in New York.
Mary arranges to meet everyone each time.
She asked to do the job.
Franklin will ask to be promoted.
Shelley begged to be released as soon as possible.
The minster begged to donate as much as possible.
Do you care to spend some time with me?
Tom doesn't care to ask any more questions.
We consented to adopt the measure in the next year.
Sherry will consent to marry you. I'm sure!
Those kids won't dare to break into that house.
She often dares to break convention.
I'm going to decide to appoint the teacher next week.
Mary and Jennifer decided to purchase an old house to fix up.
The protesters demanded to see the president about the economy.
The client demanded to speak with his lawyer before making a statement.
I think Jane deserves to get the promotion.
Our boss deserves to be fired!
Tom expects to finish the job soon.
The students expect to receive their grades before the end of the day.
Susan never fails to mention that she knows the president personally.
You shouldn't fail to mail in the form by the end of the week.
forget - NOTE: This verb can also be followed by the gerund with a change in meaning.
I think Peter forgot to lock the door before he left home.
We seldom forget to do our homework, but last week was an exception.
I hesitate to mention this, but don't you think ...
Doug hesitated to tell us about his plan.
I hope to see you soon!
He had hoped to have more success before he lost the election.
Have you ever learned to speak another language?
Our cousins are going to learn to mountain climb on vacation.
Ted managed to get his work done on time.
Do you think we'll manage to persuade Susan to come with us?
Tim certainly meant to finish the job on time.
They mean to do business here in town.
My daughter needs to finish her homework before she can come out and play.
They needed to fill out a number of forms in order to purchase the house.
Jason offered to give Tim a hand with his homework.
She offers to help students whenever they have a question.
Our class plans to put on a play next semester.
I'm planning to visit you when I'm in New York next month.
Our teachers are preparing to give us a test today.
The politicians prepared to debate the issues on television.
I think he is pretending to be interested in the subject.
She pretended to enjoy the meal, even though she didn't think it was good.
Yes, I promise to marry you!
Our coach promised to give us next Friday off if we win the game.
The students refused to quiet down at the assembly.
I think you should refuse to do that job.
regret - NOTE: This verb can also be followed by the gerund with a change in meaning.
I regret to tell you that it is not possible.
The officer regretted to inform the citizens of the horrific facts about the case.
remember - NOTE: This verb can also be followed by the gerund with a change in meaning.
Did you remember to lock the doors?
I hope Frank remembered to telephone Peter about the appointment.
It seems to be a beautiful day outside!
Did he seem to be nervous?
The boys struggled to understand the concepts presented in the lesson.
I sometimes struggle to stay concentrated when I'm on the job.
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Alice swore to help in any way possible.
Chris threatened to call the police.
The owner will threaten to kick you out if you don't stop making noise.
I'd like to volunteer to judge the competition.
Sarah volunteered to take Jim to the piano lesson.
I'm waiting to hear from Tom.
She waited to eat until he arrived.
Jack wants to help everyone with the new concepts.
The principal wanted to put on a teacher workshop.
I wish to see you soon.
Franklin wished to come and visit last month.

Some more

  • If she had known about his financial situation, she would have helped him out.Use the past perfect (had + past participle) in the "if" clause of the third conditional to talk about unreal past situations.
  • I'll be looking after their cat while they are away on holiday.The phrasal verb "to look after" means "to take care of".
  • He made his children do their homework every afternoon.The verbs "make, let and help (in British English)" combine with an object plus the base form (without "to") of the verb. Other verbs use the infinitive form of the verb (with "to). For example: He asked her to help him.
  • The test was so difficult she had problems finishing it on time.Use "so" with an adjective and "such" with a noun phrase. For example: It was such a difficult test....
  • By the time she arrives, we will have finished our homework.
  • With the time clause "by the time..." use the future perfect to describe something that will have happened up to that point in time.
  • She had finished lunch by the time we arrived.Use the past perfect - had + participle - to express an action finished before another action in the past.
  • The sun set at 9 last night.The verb "to set" is irregular: set - set - set.
  • When I stopped to speak to Mary, she was picking some flowers in her garden.When using the verb "to stop" use the infinitive form to express an action which you stopped in order to do. Use the gerund to express an action which you have stopped doing (and doesn't continue).
  • Despite studying hard, he failed the exam.Use the gerund or "having + past participle" following "despite". Use a verb clause when following "although". For example: Although he had studied hard ... study
  • That room is being used for a meeting today."Is being used" is the present continuous form of the passive voice which is required by this sentence.
  • We would play tennis every day when we were young."Would do something" and "used to do something" both express a habitual action in the past. "Used to do something" also expresses the idea that you do not do that action anymore.
  • If I were you, I would wait a while to begin investing.Use "were" in the second conditional if clause for all subjects.
  • He'll give you a call as soon as he arrives.In a future time clause use the present simple - the construction is the same as for the first conditional. 

    Happy Studying Folks!!!