to – infinitive is used
- to express purpose
he went to a bank to get some money
- after certain verbs (agree, appear, decide, expect, hope, plan, promise, refuse)
he promised to help us
- after adjectives which
- describe feelings/emotions (happy, glad, etc.)
- express willingness (willing, eager, reluctant, anxious, unwilling, etc.)
- refer to person’s character (mean, clever, etc.)
- with adjectives lucky and fortunate
I was annoyed to hear it
He is reluctant to help
You were clever not to believe them
Note: Also impersonal construction possible
It was clever of you not to believe them
- after certain nouns and pronouns: something, somewhere, anyone, nothing, etc.
Take something to drink
- after too/enough
she is too young to stay there
- with it+be+adjective/noun
it is great to buy a car
- to talk about unexpected events (usually with only)
They rushed to airport (only) to be informed that flight had been canceled
- after: be + last, first, second, next, best
he was the first to arrive
- after: ask, learn, find out, wonder, want to know, decide, explain, etc. when they followed by question words (who, what, where, how)
he explained how to operate the machine
I don’t know why he left
bare infinitive is used
- after modal verbs
he should apologise
but: ought + to infinitive
- after: let, make, see, hear, feel (complete action)
they saw her talk to the manager.
but: be made, be heard, be seen + to-infinitive
she was seen to talk to the manager.
but: I saw her getting into a taxi. She was seen getting into a taxi.
but: can/could + see/hear + ing
we could see smoke coming out of the building
- after had better and would rather
you had better see a doctor.
- help is followed by either to-infinitive or bare
she helped me (to) fill in a form
ing form is used
- as a noun
cycling is a form of exercise
- after: admit, anticipate, appreciate, avoid, consider, continue, delay, deny, discuss, enjoy, escape, excuse, fancy, finish, forgive, go, imagine, involve, keep (= continue), mention, mind, miss, postpone, practise, prevent, quit, recall, recollect, report, resent, resist, risk, save, stand, suggest, tolerate, understand, etc.
He avoided answering my question.
They considered moving abroid.
- after: dislike, enjoy, hate, like, love, prefer to express general preference
she likes painting
but: would like / would love / would prefer to express specific preference
I’d like to paint your portrait
- after: be busy, it’s no use, it’s (no) good, it’s (not) worth, what’s the use of, can’t help, there is no point, can’t stand, have difficulty in, have trouble, have a hard time, etc.
what’s the use of waiting for an answer
- after: spend, waste, lose (time, money)
we wasted a lot of time trying to find a parking.
he lost money investing
- after prepositions
he was found guilty of lying in court
- after preposition ‘to’: look forward to, be used to, get round to, object to, in addition to, prefer, etc.
she objects to working on saturday
- after: hear, listen to, notice, see, watch, feel to describe an incomplete action
I listened to James singing a song (means he listened to part of song, not the whole)
but: bare infitivite to describe a complete action
I listened to James sing a song
We use for + noun/pronoun to introduce the subject of the intinitive:
- with the verbs: arrange, hope, long, prepare, ask wait, etc.
we have arrange for the plumber to come tomorrow
- with adjectives: anxious, cheap, convenient, dangerous, difficult, important, necessary, etc.
I’m anxious for Ben to go to university.
- with nouns: advantage, disadvantage, demand, disaster, idea, mistake, etc.
It was a mistake for you to lend him the money.
- with too/enough
it was easy enough for her to find a job
- when infinitive express purpose
there are benches for people to sit on in the park
change in meaning
- forget + to-inf = not remenber (I forgot to buy newspaper)
forget + ing = not recall (I’ll never forget travelling by plane for the first time)
- remember + to-inf = not forget (Did you remember to tell him )
remember + ing = recall (I remember talking to him before)
- go on + to-inf = then (She introduced herself and went on to talk about her new book)
go on + ing = continue (He went on writing letters until 2pm)
- mean + to-inf = intend to (She means to buy new car)
mean + ing = involve (she wants to go to the concert even if it means paying a lot of money)
- regret + to-inf = be sorry to (we regret to inform you…)
regret + ing = feel sorry about (he regretting selling his house)
- try + to-inf = attempt, do one’s best (we tried to move that branch)
try + ing = do sth as experiment (if you can’t go to sleep, try drinking some milk)
- stop + to-inf = stop briefly to do smt else (
stop + ing = finish, give up (
- be sorry + to-inf = apologise for a present action ( I’m sorry to say this)
be sorry for + ing = apologise for an earlier action ( we are sorry for keeping you waiting)
- like + to-inf = think that sth is good or right to do ( I like to pay my bills)
like + ing = enjoy (Tom likes meeting people)
would like + to-inf = want
- be afraif + to-inf = the subject is unwilling to do sth ( he is afraid to touch the dog in case he bites him)
be afraid of + ing = the subject is afraid that it happen (she does not want to drive the car. She is afraid of crashing it)
- present (staying, leaving, etc)
- past (stayed, left, etc)
- perfect (having left, etc)
- Present answers the question ‘What kind’
Past answers the question ‘How do you feel’
It was an embarrassing situation. He was embarrassed.
- can be used instead of a relative pronoun and full verb.
the new shampoo advertised on tv is very expensive
- to express reason
Feeling shy, she didn’t talk to Ben (because she was shy…)
Having seen the film before, I did not go to cinema (because I had seen …)
- to express time
after taking his master’s degree, he applied for a job.
having taken his master’s degree, he applied for a job.
we met John while shopping.
- actions happening immediatele one after the other
hearing the news, she fainted
- to avoid repeating
he was walking down the street whistling a tune