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POR RRHH Digital, 00:04 - 20 de Enero del 2014

 V + bare infinitive (infinitive without ‘to’):

The following verbs are followed by the bare infinitive:

  • Help can be used with or without ‘to’.

I helped Sarah (to) carry the bags.

  • Make and expressions with make.

They made me leave.

In the passive, to is used.

I was made to leave.

  • Let and expressions with let.

They didn’t let me leave.

Let me go!


  • V + infinitive or gerund:
    • Certain verbs can be followed by gerunds or infinitives, but their meaning changes. The most common ones are:


+ infinitive

I stopped to write the report

I stopped what I was doing in order to write the report

+ gerund

I stopped writing the report

I was writing the report, then I stopped


+ infinitive

He must remember to buy the presents

He has the obligation of buying the presents in the future

+ gerund

He remembers buying the presents

He bought the presents earlier and he remembers doing so


+ infinitive

They forgot to book the room

They did not remember to do it and the room is not booked

+ gerund

They forgot having booked the room

They booked the room but do not remember doing so


+ infinitive

He tried to study for about 8 hours a day

He made an effort to do so

+ gerund

He had even tried working at weekends

He tried as an experiment


+ infinitive

I regret to tell you that I cannot come

I am sorry to have to tell you that I can’t come now

+ gerund

I now regret being so mean

I regret something I have done

go on

+ infinitive

The President went on to praise the Minister

He continued his speech by praising the Minister

+ gerund

She went on working even though it was late

She continued working


+ infinitive

I only meant to tell you about the party

Synonym of intend

+ gerund

If we leave at 6:00 it will mean getting up at 4:15

Synonym of involve


+ infinitive

He is considered to be the best tennis player

Reporting an opinion

+ gerund

At one point I considered emigrating.

Meaning ‘think about


+ infinitive

They required him to fill out a form

He was obliged/asked to do so

+ gerund

These letters require typing

It needs to be done

hear, see, watch

+ infinitive

We watched all the cars cross the finishing line

The action is complete

+ gerund

I heard someone coming up the stairs

The action is still in progress

allow, forbid, permit

+ object + infinitive

The school forbids the students to smoke

These verbs are followed by ‘to’ infinitive if an object is in between. If not, they are followed by gerund.

+ gerund

The school does not allow smoking


+ infinitive

We like to go out to lunch on Sunday

Habitual specific preferences

not like

+ infinitive

I don’t like to disturb colleagues at home

think it is wrong’


  • The verbs attempt, begin, continue, intend, plan, propose, start can be followed by gerund or infinitive, without changing the meaning:

There is no difference in meaning whether we use gerund or infinitive. Intend, plan and propose can be followed that + clause. This may include should.


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