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Tu cita con el inglés (vol. 12) – El gerundio

Tu cita con el inglésUno de esos aspectos más que nos traen de cabeza a todos los que intentamos hacernos con la lengua inglesa, es saber cuándo demonios debemos utilizar los gerundios y cuándo los infinitivos.

En el artículo de este mes de Tu cita con el inglés, el profesor Ronan O’Donnell explica cuándo y cómo emplear el gerundio y el infinitivo de un verbo. Aunque no parezca demasiado complicado, esta serie de normas seguro que le será de mucha utilidad a más de uno.

Como siempre, os animamos a que nos comentéis de qué temas os gustaría que Ronan hablara en su próximo artículo, así como que compartáis con él vuestras ideas y sugerencias en su página de Facebook: facebook.com/A2BEnglish, donde encontraréis, además, muchos consejos y curiosidades sobre la lengua de Shakespeare y sobre cómo mejorar vuestro nivel de inglés.

To be or not to being

I hope that you are all well. When to use a gerund and when to use an infinitive form? Bare infinitive (go) or to-infinitive (to go)?

Some verbs are followed by a to-infinitive and others take a gerund.

She offered to help with the babysitting.
The job involves driving aroundLondon.

 Gerund

Verbs followed by a gerund 

Hope, involve, finish, suggest, imagine, consider, appreciate, avoid, face, give up, deny, resist, resent, quit, postpone, practice, risk.

– After adjective and preposition combinations

John is very good at playing football.

Common examples: Good/ bad/ terrible at, capable of, worried about, afraid/terrified of.

– After expressions expressing liking/disliking

I don’t like cycling inLondon.

He can’t stand playing football in the rain.

Common examples: like, love, detest, hate, can’t stand, enjoy

 – After verb + preposition

He apologised for breaking the vase.

Paul is worried about travelling alone.

Common examples: consist of, believe in, insist on, approve of

 

Infinitive

– Verbs followed by an infinitive

Afford, agree, appear, attempt, choose, decide, expect, hope, learn, manage, offer, prepare, pretend, promise, refuse.

– After certain adjectives

The problem was difficult to solve.

Common examples: difficult, necessary, interesting, easy

– To express purpose

 I went to town to do some shopping

 – Verb + object + to-infinitive

 I expected John to answer all the questions

 Common examples: expect, persuade, believe, enable

Infinitive (without to)

– After certain expressions

– had better
– would rather

– After certain verbs

– can, must, should, let, make

Test

  1. I can’t afford buy/ to buy/ buying a new car.
  2. I am late. I must go/ to go/ going now.
  3. He insisted on carry/ to carry/ carrying the bags.
  4. I enjoy walk/ to walk/ walking by the sea.
  5. I came to London study/ to study/ studying English.
  6. I would rather take/ to take/ taking the bus.
  7. It was interesting see/ to see/ seeing the way in which older people live.
  8. I want find/to find/finding a new job.
  9. It is difficult solve/ to solve/ solving this problem.
  10. Paul is afraid of walk/ to walk/ walking alone at night.

 

Answers:
1. to buy, 2. go, 3. carrying, 4. walking, 5. to study, 6. take, 7. to see, 8. to find, 9. to solve, 10. walking

 

If you wish do some more work take a look at the sentences on this webpage: http://www.writing.utoronto.ca/advice/english-as-a-second-language/gerunds 

Practice using the examples by creating your own sentences that you can memorise.

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Ronan O'Donnell

English teacher in London. Founder of A2B English, providing English Teachers to Individuals and Businesses in London.

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