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Verbs followed by the '-ing' form

Level: beginner

Common verbs followed by the -ing form are:

  • verbs of liking and disliking:

detest dislike enjoy fancy hate like love

I love swimming but I hate jogging.
They always enjoyed visiting their friends.

  • phrases with mind:

wouldn't mind (= would like)
don't mind (= I am willing to)
would you mind (= will you please …?)

I wouldn't mind having some fish and chips.
I don't mind waiting for a few minutes.
Would you mind holding this for me?

  • verbs of saying and thinking:

admit consider deny imagine remember suggest

Our leader suggested waiting until the storm was over.
Everyone denied seeing the accident.

  • others:

avoid begin finish keep miss practise risk start stop

I haven't finished writing this letter.
Let's practise speaking English.

Verb + -ing form 1


Verb + -ing form 2


verb + noun + -ing form

Some verbs are followed by a noun and the -ing form:

  • verbs of the senses
see hear listen to smell watch etc.

We saw everybody running away.
I could hear someone singing.

  • others:
catch find imagine leave prevent stop

I caught someone trying to break in to my house.
We couldn’t prevent them getting away.

Verb + noun + -ing form 1


Verb + noun + -ing form 2


Infinitive or -ing form?


Many of the verbs above are sometimes followed by a passive form of -ing (being + past participle):

I don't like being interrupted.
Our dog loves being stroked under the chin.


hello, teachers.
both of these sentences are correct, right?
.Chen turned around and saw a large man walk towards him.
.Chen turned around and saw a large man walking towards him.

Hi john cross,

Yes, that's right! But there's a slight difference in meaning.

  • saw a large man walk: the infinitive verb form means the action is complete. Chen saw the whole of the man's walk.
  • saw a large man walking: the -ing form means the action had a duration. It suggests that Chen only saw part of the man's walk, not all of it. For example, the man had started walking before Chen turned around.

We can find the same difference with other sense verbs, e.g. listen, hear, feel, watch.

Does that make sense?

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team


is there a better way to remember, when a verb is followed by to + infinitive or by -ing? Like a typical question maybe?

The following verbs:
like, love, hate and remember are also on the list of the verbs follwed by to+ Infinitive.

How can that be? Is a little bit confusing.



Hi Usnaim,

I'm afraid there's no rule which helps you to know which verbs are followed by which form. It's simply arbitrary and you need to memorise them.


Some verbs can be followed by either to + infinitive or verb-ing.

Sometimes there is only a small difference in meaning:

I love to swim in the morning. [= this is a habit which I like]

I love swimming in the morning. [= I enjoy the act of swimming in the morning]


Sometimes there is a big difference in meaning:

I fogot to meet her. [= I didn't go to the meeting]

I forgot meeting her. [= I went to the meeting but I don't remember it]

I stopped smoking. [= I no longer smoke]

I stopped to smoke. [= I stopped what I was doing because I wanted to have a cigarette]



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello :)
So confusing. We are talking about situations when we have:
sentences with a verb + verb+ing
sentences with verbs + to + verb (v1 )- In this case, does the "to" belong to the first verb or the second?

Also - can you give me a rule regarding the stative verbs. When we use them with another verb, do all of them have possibility for ing ending?

Hello Dean,

When we have a construction [verb + to + verb], the 'to' is part of the infintive form of the second verb.

For example, in the sentence I hope to go running tomorrow, we have hope followed by the infinitive to go.


I'm not sure I understand your second question completely. If you could provide an example I think it would help and we'll try to answer.



The LearnEnglish Team


I need a little help as I’m struggling with Verbals. I hope this is right but the main verb will be the predicate of a sentence, thus other ‘ing’ forms will be a gerund or participle (adjective). My grammar books contradict each other and state that a gerund can be modified by an adverbial as well as adjective, is this true?
In the sentence ‘it burns the living bush and we burn the once living coal.’ I have labelled the first living as an adjective form and the second as a gerund? Is this correct as I’m getting rather confused!

Hi Nay,

I think you're making the sentence much more complex than it really is.

A gerund is a verbal noun and functions as a noun in the sentence. In your sentence, both living and once-living (as a compound adjective pre-modifying a noun it should be hyphenated) are adjectival. The first modifies bush and the second modifies coal.



The LearnEnglish Team




The LearnEnglish Team

I have a question about the parallel structure.
For example,you have two options, consulting your staff or being a dictator. Are " consulting your staff" and "being a dictator" parallel?
I could not find a more appropriate section to ask my question.
Thank you for your time,

Hello ashazimzadeh,

Yes. Parallel structures are simply structures with the same pattern, and here you have an -ing form followed by a noun phrase.

You can read more about parallel strutures on this wikipedia page:



The LearnEnglish Team