Explanations » B1+ Grammar Explanations » Gerund or infinitive – verb patterns
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  • When to use gerund or infinitive

    In the table below, you can see when to use gerund or infinitive.

    A grammar chart explaining the use of infinitives and gerunds with various verb patterns. It includes sections on "Use to + infinitive," "Use infinitive without to," and "Use -ing verb," with multiple examples for each section.

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    Verbs that take gerund or infinitive with a change of meaning


    Forget to do something: Used to talk about things that we need to do, and we forget to do them.

    • I think I forgot to lock the door when we left. 
    • Don’t forget to call me when you finish.

    Forget doing something: It’s normally used in negative sentences. Used to talk about memories, normally about things that we did in the past and that we will not forget.

    • I’ll never forget walking on that amazing beach for the first time. 


    Remember to do something: You remember first, and then you do something. Used to talk about things we need to do.

    • He didn’t remember to turn off the heating after class. 
    • Will you please remember to close the windows if you leave?

    Remember doing something: Used to talk about memories. We remember things from the past.

    • I remember eating on this same chair the day I graduated. 
    • I remember mentioning the issue to Elisabeth last week.


    Try to do something: When we try to do something, we make an effort to achieve something that maybe we will or will not accomplish.

    • Could you please try to be a bit less rude?
    • I’ll try to convince him, but I’m not sure that’s going to change anything. 

    Try doing something: Used when we want to achieve something and try something as an experiment to see if it helps us achieve what we want. We try a method (one of the many we could try) to achieve something.

    • A: “I need to sleep, but I can’t.” B: “Why don’t you try drinking a glass of hot milk?”
    • I can’t contact Jane. I‘ve tried calling her home number and also on her mobile, but nothing. 


    Stop to do something: Used when we stop doing an activity so as to start doing a different one.

    • We had been driving for hours, so we had to stop to eat something and go to the toilet. 

    Stop doing something: It means to finish doing something that we are doing.

    • Could you stop biting your nails? 
    • I need to stop smoking once and for all. 


    Need to do something: It’s necessary to do something

    • I need to see you immediately.

    Something needs doing: It has a passive meaning. It means that something needs to be done.

    • Your car needs cleaning(=Your car needs to be cleaned.)