“Verb+ing” or “to + verb” 1

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Welcome to your “Verb+ing” or “To + Verb” 1 lesson! In this topic we talk about:
• When do we use these forms?
Verbs whose meanings change
Verbs with no difference in meaning
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When do we use these forms?

Some verbs are followed by “verb+ing” and some are followed by “to + verb”. Here are some verbs usually followed by “verb+ing”:

admit avoid consider deny enjoy
fancy finish imagine keep (on) mind
postpone risk stop suggest

Here are some verbs usually followed by to + verb:

afford agree arrange decide deserve
fail forget hope learn manage
offer plan promise refuse threaten

Verbs whose meanings change

Some verbs can be followed by either “verb+ing” or “to + verb” with a difference of meaning:

  • Remember:
Remember + verb+ing means
“I did it, and now I remember doing it”You “remember doing” something after you have done it.
Remember + to + verb means
“I remembered that I had to do it, so I did it”You “remember to do” something before you do it.

I remember closing the window.

(I closed it, and I remember that I did this)

I remembered to close the window.”

(I remembered that I had to close it, so I did)

I remember taking the chicken out of the freezer.

(I took the chicken out of the freezer and I remember that I did this)

Please remember to pay the electricity bill.”

(Don’t forget to do this)

  • Regret:
Regret + verb+ing means
“I did it and now I’m sorry about it”
Regret + to + verb means
“I’m sorry that I have to say something”

I regret doing that, I’m so sorry.”

I regret to inform you that you haven’t passed your exam.”

  • Go on:
Go on + verb+ing means
“continue doing something”
Go on + to + verb means
“do or say something new”

Things need to change, we can’t go on living like this.”

After living in Alaska, he went on to live in California.”

Verbs with no difference in meaning

These verbs can be followed by either “verb+ing” or “to + verb” without a change in meaning:

begin bother continue intend start

“I started raining.” ↔ “It started to rain.”

“Don’t bother taking off your shoes.”“Don’t bother to take off your shoes.”

But we don’t normally use “verb+ing” after “verb+ing”:

“It’s starting to rain.”
(not “It’s starting raining.”)

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