When to use gerund or infinitive

 
In the table below, you can see when to use gerund or infinitive.
 
Gerund or infinitive – verb patterns
 

Verbs that take gerund or infinitive with a change of meaning

 

forget

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

  • I think 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

 
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. 
  • Please, will you 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

 
Try to do something: When we try to do something, we make an effort to achieve something that we 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 help us achieve what we want. We try a method (one of the many we could try) in order 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

 
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

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

  • I need to see you immediately.

Something needs doing: It’s like a passive use. It means that something needs to be done.

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