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The Gerund and the Simple Infinitives of Verbs are in fact (not in form) kinds of Abstract Nouns, the following sentences all mean the same thing:

Service is better than idleness (Abstract Noun)

Serving is better than idleness. (GERUND)

To serve is better than idleness. (Infinitive)

Note- No article is usually used before an Abstract Noun, but when it is specified, it takes the definite article ‘The’.

Kindness is a great virtue. (But) the kindness of The Holly Prophet is known to all.



A Gerund is that form of the Verb which ends in –ing, and has the force of a Noun and a Verb.

As you know that both the Gerund and the Infinitive have the strength of a Noun and a Verb, they have the same uses in sentences. Therefore, in countless sentences either of them may be used without any special difference in meaning;



Teach me how to swim.

To see is to believe.

To walk is a good exercise.

To give is better than to receive.

Teach me swimming.

Seeing believes.

Walking is a good exercise.

Giving is better than receiving something.



A Gerund has the same form as the ‘Present Participle’, Verb +Ing: eating, swimming, walking, cutting etc. but the Gerund is partly a Verb and partly a Noun;


Swimming is good for health.

Eating is essential for life.

Teaching is an art.

A Gerund is that form of the verb which ends in –‘ing’ and has the force of Noun and a Verb.(Wren & Martin)

A Present participle also ends in –‘ins’. It expresses an unfinished action; as,

Hearing the noise I came out of my room.

I saw him weeping.

The crying child gets milk.

A P resent Participle is that form of the verb which ends in ‘-ing’ and has the force of a Verb and an Adjective.

Both the Present Participle and Gerund are the ‘-ing’ forms of the verb according grammatical rules. The broad distinction between the two is that whereas the former is used like an Adjective, the latter is used like a Noun.

Present Participle


A dancing doll is a beautiful toy.

The driving car crushed the boy.

I saw him overeating.

Dancing is a good exercise.

Driving a car is not difficult.

Overeating has made him fat.



a)      As the subject to a Verb:

1.      Walking is a good exercise.

2.      Speaking is easier than writing.

3.      Smoking is prohibited.

b)      As the Object of the Verb:

1.      I like swimming.

2.      I hate waiting at bus stop.

3.      I don`t mind standing in a queue.

c)      As the Object of a Preposition:

1.      He is found of swimming.

2.      He was praised for saving the child.

3.      He is thinking of accepting his offer.  

d)     As Subject Complements:

1.      Seeing believes.

2.      What I hate most is smoking

3.      Talking to him is wasting time.

We have seen that both the infinitive and the gerund can be objects of verbs. But some verbs usually take the infinitive after them, some take the gerund and some others take both the infinitive and the gerund.

Verbs followed by Gerund:

The Gerund must be used after the following verbs: stop, finish, dread, detest, prevent, avoid, risk, admit, deny, recollect, delay, enjoy, forgive, pardon, excuse, suggest, keep (=continue), understand, mind, consider, miss, involve, resist, save, can`t stand (=endure), can`t help (=prevent/avoid), it`s no use, etc.

He acknowledged making a mistake.

He admitted tellinglies.

I don`t anticipate meeting any opposition.

Try to avoid travelling on the foot board.

I considered approachingthe minister.

The police denied usingforce.

My grandmother dislikes seeingfilms.

He detests writingletters.

She dreads gettingold.

Most women enjoy shopping.

He favored closing down the business.

Forgive my sayingso/forgive me for saying so.

They finished countingthe votes at four.

He can`t help sneezingbecause he has bad cold.

They kept (on) discussingthe subject.

I don`t mind waiting an hour or so.

We missed seeing that film.

My mother postponed her goingto Murree.

She practiced singingevery day.

Stop talking.

 He stopped advising others.

I suggest going for a walk.

It is no use waitingfor him for long time.

Either Gerund or Infinitive can be used after:

a)      Begin, start, and continue.

b)      Attempt, intend, can`t bear.

c)      Love, like, hate, prefer.

d)     Remember, regret, and forget.

e)      Permit, allow, advise, recommend.

f)       It needs/ requires/wants.

g)      Try, propose, mean, go, on, used to, be afraid (of).

With some of these infinitive is more frequent and with the others the gerund.

I began to understand.

He hates waiting for buses.

I prefer walking to bicycling.

I remember seeing this drama last December.

He remembers to shut the door.

We don`t allow smoking.


The infinitive may be used

(I)                without ‘to’:

(II)             with ‘to’:

The Infinitive without ‘to’:

a)      After the verbs to make, to bid, to let, to see, to hear, to which, to have; as,

I made him run.

I bade him go home.

We saw him leave.

I heard the postman back at the door.

But when the above verbs are used in the Passive Voice ‘t’ is not omitted: as,

He was made to run.

He was seen to leave.

The postman was heard to knock at the door.

b)      After the model auxiliaries ‘dare’ and ‘need’.

He dares not to do it.

You need to go there.

But when need and dare are used as main verbs they form questions and negativeeeeees with ‘do’ and take ‘to’ infinitive.

Does he dare to do it?

He doesn`t dare to do it.

Do you need to go there?

c)      After the modal auxiliaries can , could, may, might, will, would, shall, should, must: as,

I will go to Multan tomorrow.

You can go and play.

You must obey the laws of the land.

He may come tomorrow.

d)     After had better, had rather, would rather: as

You had better finish your work soon.

You had rather do it quickly.

I would rather starve than beg.

e)      After but, except, than: as,

She did nothing but weep.

He did nothing to except work hard.

You are likely to miss than catch the train.


a)      After the verbs of knowing or understanding —know, think consider, feel, etc.: as,

I know how to operate his machine.

I consider him to be a fool.

b)      After a Noun or Pronoun as an Adjective: as,

Give me some water to drink.

I have no clothes to wear.

I have some letters to sign.

Please give me a pen to write with.

c)      After a Verb as an Adverb: as,

He got up to ask a question.

I went to see the minister.

He goes to school to get education.

We don`t live to eat, but we eat to live.

This Infinitive is often called the Infinitive of Purpose.

d)     After an Adjective as an Adverb; as,

I was delighted to see him.

He was angry to find his pen broken.

She was astonished to read the result.

Some of the adjectives used in this way are –happy, glad, astonished, amazed, surprised, horrified, disgusted, disappointed, sad, etc.

e)      After too + adjectives/adverb; as,

He is too weak to walk.

The milk is too hot to drink.

f)       After adjective/adverb + enough; as,

He is strong enough to lift this box.

He is intelligent enough to understand what you say.

g)      In place of a clause while combining two sentences into one; as,

1.      He went to the market. He wanted to buy frit. = he went to the market to buy fruit.

2.      He rushed home. He found his house burning. = He rushed home to find his house burning.

3.      He was the first man who left the ship. = He was the first man to leave the ship.

Note: Infinitive is a Verbal Noun. It can be used instead of Noun and it performs all the functions of a noun, viz.

(i)                 As the Subject to a Verb:

To tell lie is a sin.

To be or not to be is the question.

To save you or not is in the hands of God.

Note:  When to + infinitive is used as subject, two constructions are possible; as,

    To tell lie is a sin.

Or   it is a sin to tell lie.

    To advise others is easy.

Or it is easy to advise others.

    In the alternatives, ‘it’ is a dummy subject. The real subject is the infinitive which follows the verb.

(ii)               As the Object to a Verb:

He likes to do it.

The children want to play.

I promise to help you.

(iii)             As the Object of a Preposition:

He was about to set out on his journey.

He stood up to ask question.

(iv)             As the complement of a Verb:

She appeared to be sad.

His aim in line is to be a pilot.

Her hobby is to collect stamps.

(v)               As an Objective Complement:

The teacher made him leave the class.

I asked her to give away the prizes.

They helped us to push the car.






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