Grammar: gerund or infinitive

Grammar: gerund or infinitive

Watch a recording of our LearnEnglish webinar on the topic of motivation at work. It reviews and practises when to use the gerund or infinitive and is for B1 level learners.


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Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

Submitted by Sep80 on Wed, 06/09/2023 - 16:08


Hello The LearnEnglish Team,

I hope this message finds you well. I have a question regarding the sentence, "I don't like having my photograph taken." I am wondering if it would be grammatically and semantically correct to paraphrase it as, "I dislike the act of someone taking a photograph of me."

I would like to note that I am aware that a gerund phrase can take a subject, so I have used "someone" after "the act of," as in the example: "There are specific factors which will increase the likelihood of children leaving school early."

Additionally, I am aware that I could paraphrase my original sentence as, "I dislike the act of being photographed by someone."

Thank you for your assistance and clarification.

Best regards,

Hello Sep80,

That sentence is grammatically correct, but the construction 'I dislike the act of...' is used to talk about something the speaker does rather than something someone else does to them. When talking about something done to use we would be more likely to say 'I dislike the experience of being photographed'.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by disconzi on Fri, 16/12/2022 - 20:35


Hi Team,

In the below two examples:
1 - People use their phones to take photos.
2 - People use their phones for taking photos.
If we should use the gerund after prepositions, what is the explanation for the fist example?

Thanks in advance.


Hi Mara,

In the first sentence 'to' is not a preposition but rather a particle forming the infinitive 'to take'. The verb pattern here is >use (sth) + to infinitive<.


I hope that helps to clarify it.



The LearnEnglish Team

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Submitted by Ahmed Imam on Sat, 03/12/2022 - 09:09


Hello. Could you please help me? Which choice is correct? Why?
- If you want to stay healthy, you should try (to do - doing) more exercise
Thank you.

Submitted by Bassamtaweel on Thu, 27/10/2022 - 20:15


Motivation is one of reasons but not all reasons

Submitted by mug006 on Fri, 24/06/2022 - 15:17


Is there any trick to guess when to use gerund or infinitive?