Gerund or infinitive?

 

Q:

After my students accept the fact that some verbs are followed by gerunds and some are followed by infinitives, they always want to know if there is a system to making this choice. In other words, is there any way a person can figure this out on the spot, without having memorized a list or having familiarized himself/herself with each verb?

Dorothy Avondstondt
[email protected]

A:

I agree with Ann Raimes, a respected grammarian, who says:

“Grammarians have attempted to establish systems to explain the use of the infinitive or -ing after certain verbs, but these systems are, for the most part, complex and full of loopholes and exceptions. Rather than trying to master these systems, you can save time by simply memorizing the verbs that are regularly followed by either ... . “

Barbara Matthies