To + Verb / Preposition + Verb+ING

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Welcome to your free To + Verb / Preposition + Verb+ING lesson! In this topic we talk about:

• Afraid TO DO / Afraid OF DOING. 

Interested IN + Verb+ING / Surprised TO + Verb+ING. 

Sorry TO + Verb / Sorry FOR Verb+ING. 

Other verbs.


Afraid TO DO / Afraid OF DOING

“I’m afraid to do something” means “I don’t want to do it because it’s dangerous, or the results could be bad”. We use Afraid TO + VERB for things we do intentionally, we can choose to do them or not:

This restaurant is dirty, people are afraid to eat here.
(so they don’t)

She was afraid to tell her boyfriend what happened. 
(so she didn’t)

“I’m afraid of something happening” means “it is possible that something bad will happen”. We don’t use Afraid of +ING for things we do intentionally:

The path was dangerous, we were afraid of falling.

I don’t like snakes, I’m afraid of being bitten.

So, you are afraid to do something because you afraid of something happening as a result:

I was afraid to go near the snake because I was afraid of being bitten.


Interested IN + Verb+ING / Surprised TO + Verb+ING

“I’m interested in doing something” means “I’m thinking of doing it”.

Are you interested in joining the team?
(not to join)

I wanted to sell my flat, but nobody was interested in buying it.
(not to buy)

We use Interested TO to say how somebody reacts to what they hear/see/read/learn/know/find:

I was interested to hear that you got engaged.

I would be interested to know what Brian thinks.

You can use this structure with Surprised TO, Glad TO, etc:

I was glad to learn that you have a new job.


Sorry TO + Verb / Sorry FOR Verb+ING

We use Sorry TO to say that we regret that something happens:

I was sorry to hear that you lost your job.

She’s having such a good time, she’ll be sorry to leave.

We can use Sorry TO to apologise at the time we do something:

I’m sorry to disturb you, but I need your help.

We also use Sorry FOR Verb +ING, or Sorry ABOUT Verb+ING to apologise for something you did before:

I’m sorry for shouting earlier.

You can also say:

I’m sorry I shouted earlier.


Other verbs

Here are a few more verbs that use particular forms. We say:

I failed to VERB. but I succeeded in Verb+ING.
I want to VERB. 
I’d like to VERB.
I’m thinking of Verb+ING
I dream of Verb+ING.
I allowed them to VERB. I stopped them from Verb+ING
I prevented them from Verb+ING.

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