Explanations » A1 Grammar Explanations » Verbs + to + infinitive and verbs + -ing

Verbs + -ing

Some verbs in English are followed by another verb in the -ing form. The most common of these verbs are verbs of liking and disliking: love, like, enjoy, don’t mind, don’t like, hate. If we use another verb after these verbs, it often takes the -ing form.

  • I love going to the gym. 
  • I like reading
  • I enjoy travelling
  • I don’t mind cooking
  • I don’t like doing homework. 
  • I hate getting up early. 

The second verb is in the -ing form in the past too.

  • When I was a child I hated going to school. (NOT I hated went to school.)

-ing spelling

You can check the spelling of the -ing form of the verbs in the table below.
-ing spelling

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Verbs + to + infinitive

Many verbs in English are followed by to + infinitive. Some of these verbs are: forget, hope, learn, need, offer, plan, remember, start, want and would like.

  • I forgot to turn off the light. 
  • I hope to see you soon. 
  • I‘m learning to drive
  • We need to arrive early. 
  • She offered to help us. 
  • We are planning to go to France. 
  • Remember to lock the door. 
  • I want to go home. 
  • I would like to buy a new computer. 

The second verb takes the to + infinitive form in the past too.

  • I wanted to go home. (NOT I wanted to went home.)

would like

The verb would like (or ‘d like) is different from like. We use would like + to + infinitive and we normally use like + -ing verb to talk about general preference.

  • I‘d like to study English. 
  • I like studying English. 

The meaning is also different.

  • I‘d like to study English. (=I want to do it.)
  • I like studying English. (=I enjoy it.)

We use the question would you like… when we offer or suggest something.

  • Would you like a cup of coffee?
  • Would you like to dance with me?