Gerund or infinitive?

Posted on Jul 2 2015 - 3:15am by Zdenda

Engames and Fluency MC have joined forces again to bring you a post that will help you decide whether you should use a gerund or an infinitive after a verb. This post is not going to provide a comprehensive overview of the grammar. Our aim is to give your students a simple guide to help them decide correctly between the two parts of speech most of the time.
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The post contains a song, an infographic, an interactive online quiz and a game.

Gerund or Infinitive – pretest

Do you think you know the grammar already and don´t need to read the article? Try the following test and see how well you do.

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Gerund or Infinitive – song

Watch the following song and complete the lyrics. The aim of this song is to introduce the topic.

Here are the lyrics in a pdf file:
Lyrics gerund
Here are the lyrics as supplied and created by Fluency MC:
Gerund-or-Infinitive

Gerund-or-Infinitive-2

Gerund and Infinitive – infographic

The following infographic does not contain a comprehensive list of all the verbs. Only the verbs that are used in the song appear here.
Gerund or infinitive infographic

Gerund or infinitive infographic

These rules are so called rules of thumb. They work in most cases but not all. However, to use the rules correctly, students first have to understand them.
The rule goes like this: “If the first verb happens before the second verb, use TO. If the second verb happens at the same time or before the first verb use the ending -ING with the second verb. “ Thus in the sentence “I hope to go to the party,” I first hope and then go to the party. That is why you use TO. On the other hand, in the sentence “I enjoyed going to the party,” I enjoyed the party at the same time as I was there.

Assess your students understanding of the rules using the following test. Choose 10 verbs at random and ask your students to write them down and write if they think they should be followed by TO or -ING. Then go through their responses and elicit the correct answers.

Once you feel that the students know the grammar, it is time to practise it.

Gerund or infinitive – online quiz

The best way to remember the verb patterns is by using them. The following quiz is in HTML5 and will work on all mobile devices.

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To display the quiz on full screen click the button below.
Gerund or infinitive? – quiz

The second game is in Flash and will play only on desktop computers. It is called On Target, and your task is to choose the correct option and then shoot all the bad cows and ducks. You can shoot one of the bottles on the wall to get a bonus. Enjoy.
Gerund or infinitive – On target game

Gerund or infinitive – links

At engames.eu I have already published two posts on the use of gerunds and infinitives in English. The first post is called Verb Patterns – preintermediate, and the second is called Verb Patterns again – final solution. You can practise the grammar there as well.

Gerund or infinitive

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