You are here

Verbs followed by '-ing' or by 'to' + infinitive 2

Do you know the difference between stop doing something and stop to do something?

Look at these examples to see how these verb patterns work.

The bus stopped picking up the children.
The bus stopped to pick up the children. 

I want to try studying with a friend to see if it helps us stay more motivated.
I'm trying to study but it's impossible with all this noise.

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

Verbs followed by '-ing' or by 'to' + infinitive 2: Grammar test 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

Some verbs have a different meaning depending on whether they are followed by an -ing form or to + infinitive. 

stop

Stop + -ing means the action is not happening any more.

I've stopped buying the newspaper because now I read the news online.

Stopto + infinitive means that someone or something stops an activity so that they can do something else.

He stopped the video to ask the students some questions.

try

Try + -ing means that you are trying something as an experiment, especially as a possible solution to a problem, to see if it works or not.

Have you tried turning the computer off and on again?

Tryto + infinitive means that something is difficult but you are making an effort to do it. 

I'm trying to learn Japanese but it's very difficult.

remember/forget

Remember + -ing and forget + -ing refer to having (or not having) a memory of something in the past.

I remember watching this film before.
I'll never forget meeting you for the first time in this café.

Rememberto + infinitive and forgetto + infinitive refer to recalling (or not recalling) that there is something we need to do before we do it.

Please remember to buy some milk on the way home.
He forgot to lock the door when he went out.

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

Verbs followed by '-ing' or by 'to' + infinitive 2: Grammar test 2

Language level

Intermediate: B1

Comments

Dear sir,
But "go on" ... Does use this rule ?

Hello 83roman,

Go on can be followed by either the to-infinitive or by an -ing form, but the meaning is different:

 

go on + to-infinitive is used to describe the next step in a plan or sequence of actions:

He studied at Oxford and went on to have a successful career as a psychologist.

 

go on + -ing form is used to describe an action or situation which continues:

She was tired but she kept on walking nevertheless.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

HI!
what is the difference here?
I like to have the latest mobile phone.
I like having the latest mobile phone.

I like to watch people skiing.
I like watching people skiing.

thanks a bunch!

Hello fred,

Like + -ing means the same as enjoy. It tells us that we get pleasure from a particular action or state.

Like + to verb means a preference in terms of behaviour.

 

For example, we can compare these two sentences:

I like eating porridge for breakfast.

I like to eat porridge for breakfast.

The first sentence tells us that eating porridge gives the speaker pleasure. The second sentence tells us that he or she likes to organise their day to include porridge for breakfast.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Wow, I think like this answer. Terminology is difficult for me to remember.
Are you saying that verb+ing = pleasure- how we experience -(our feeling) and infinitive = a preference vs something else?
Is this only for "like" and is it correct in all tenses?

Please give me a little more, i would appreciate an explanation for :
I like coding ( i experience pleasure when I do it)
vs- I like to code. ( ? )

I like/d seeing the man playing the drums:
vs. I like/d to see the man play the drums:

Do all statives take the ing except when the meaning changes?
Confusing.

thank you very much for the answer
isn't it more common among English native speakers to say "would like" instead of "like"? any difference?
I would like to eat porridge for breakfast.
thank you sir

Hello fred

There's a difference between 'like' and 'would like'. We use 'like' to speak about things that we enjoy or which please us -- for example, 'I like running' or 'She likes apples'. In Spanish, we'd normally use 'gustar' for 'like' ('She likes apples' = 'Le gustan las manzanas').

We use 'would like' to express wishes in a polite way -- it's a more polite way of saying 'want'. For example, 'I would like an apple' (I could say this to a fruitseller) or 'I would like to see Las Fallas in Valencia'. In Spanish, we'd normally say use 'quisiera' or 'querría' ('I would like an apple' = 'Quisiera una manzana').

Does that make sense?

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hey there, 

Can U help me with this?

"Quality is critical to satisfying customers" 

Why not "to satisfy"? 

I know the task of "to" as a proposition, but I don't know the structure, 

Or 

Why don't we use "for" instead of "to" (for satisfying) ??

Thanks in advance.

Hi mehransam05,

Both of these sentences are grammatical:

Quality is critical to satisfying customers.

Quality is critical to satisfy customers.

The first tells us that quality is an important element in satisfying customers.

The secnd tells us that quality is important in order to satisfy customers - it shows a causal relationship.

 

We can use for in a similar way to to in the first example, but it is more often used when talking about the beneficiary of the action (who it is done for):

Quality is critical to satisfying customers for our company.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, I don't understand the last question of the grammar test n°2. My answer is "stop + To + infinitive" because he stops an activity so that he can do something else (spanish class). But the right answer is "stop + ing".
Can you explain me the answer?
Thank you

Pages