Grammar notes: Gerunds & Infinitves
CAREFUL with the following VERBS. They can be followed by either the gerund or the infinitive with a CHANGE IN MEANING.
Forget + to + infinitive
- Have we really studied this topic before? I forget reading about it.
- I told my brother that we'd spent Christmas at Granny's house in 1985, but he'd forgotten going there.
- I forgot to call my mother. (= I wanted to call my mother, but when it was a good time to call her, I forgot.)
- She keeps forgetting to bring his book back.
Regret + to + infinitive
- I regret going to bed so late. I'm really tired today.
- She regrets leaving school when she was sixteen. She wishes that she had studied more and then gone to university.
- I regret to tell you that the train has been delayed.
- Iberia regrets to annouce that Flight IB504 to London has been cancelled due to bad weather conditions.
Remember + to + infinitive
- I remember going to the beach when I was a child. (= I have a memory of going to the beach).
- He remembers closing the door. (= He has a memory of closing the door).
- I remembered to buy milk. (= I was walking home and the idea that I needed milk came to my mind, so I bought some).
- She remembered to send a card to her grandmother.
Stop + to + infinitive
- I stopped working when I was expecting a baby. (Working is the thing I stopped).
- My grandmother stopped driving when she was 85. (Driving is the thing she stopped).
- My boss came into the room, so I stopped browsing the internet.
- There was a fire alarm, so I stopped eating and went outside.
- I stopped smoking. (I gave up the habit of smoking).
- I stopped to eat lunch. (I stopped something else, maybe working or studying, because I wanted to eat lunch.
- She was shopping and she stopped to get a cup of coffee. (She stopped shopping because she wanted to get a cup of coffee).
- I stopped to smoke. (I stopped doing something else because I wanted to have a cigarette).
Try + to + infinitive
- I wanted to stop smoking, so I tried using nicotine patches. Using nicotine patches was easy, but I wanted to know if it would help me stop smoking).
- She tried giving up chocolate, but it didn't help her lose weight. (It was easy for her to give up chocolate. She gave it up to see if it would help her lose weight, but it didn't).
- I tried to lift the suitcase, but it was too heavy.
- She tried to catch the bus, but she couldn't run fast enough.
- I tried to open the window, but I couldn't because it was stuck.