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York Scene 2 Language Focus

Rob and Stephen enjoy talking about grammar, so stop to watch them discuss verbs followed by gerunds, v-ing, and infinitives, to + verb, as well as chat about too and very.

Watch the video. Then go to Task and do the activities.


Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2


Hi asma gh,

There is no difference between the gerund and present participle in form - both look the same. The difference is the role which each has in the sentence. The gerund functions as a noun in the sentence, so it can be a subject or object. The present participle is a verb form, so it can be used as part of a verb construct (as part of a continuous form, for example) or as part of a clause describing a noun (a participle clause).


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

It was too difficult

I want to know what difference would appear in the meaning of sentence no 1 of task 1 if we use infinitive form instead of gerund.I am not able to figure out.I have thought it should have same

Hello archijais,

The infinitive is not used after the verb 'recommend', so the sentence would be incorrect. The only other possible form besides 'spending' would be 'that you spend'. Different verbs take different forms after them, and must be learned individually. A good resource for this is our dictionary, which shows the verb forms used along with example sentences - there you can see how they are typically used.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Excellent Explanation. Thanks Rob. I think hearing more English will help me to remember which verb take gerund or infinitive and which take both and whether there is difference in meaning or not. I have a question regarding too and very in task 3 number 7 and 8 . 7-Our house is very Old.It's got lots of character. and8- Our house is too old .We're always having problems with it.
actually I don't understand why we use( very) in number 7 and (too) in 8 , Could you explain it to me please? Thanks

Hello littlemoon86,

The adverb 'very' makes the adjective stronger but does not tell us if this is a positive or a negative thing; that is dependent only on the adjective's meaning.

The adverb 'too' tells us that something (the adjective) is more than we want or need, and tells us that it is a problem or a negative situation.

For example:

He's very rich. [stronger than just 'rich']

He's too rich. [there is a problem with how rich he is, and it would be better if he had less money]

I hope that helps to clarify it for you.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

Dear The LearnEnglish Team,

I am confuse "like". It can be followed by gerund / infinitive.
But why in Question 6, the correct answer is a.) to go out?
Can i use b.)going out?

Thanks a lot!

Dear Nicola,
You're talking about Task 1, aren't you? You are correct that 'like' can be followed by a gerund or an infinitive, but the meaning is different. We have a page about gerunds and infinitives that explains the difference here:
I hope that helps.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Adam
Why in task 1 question 6 the answer is just "going out" ?? I saw that webpage and it says that when we use "would like" we must choose infinitive form however I understand that in task 1 question 6 it is a question not a statement so maybe that makes it different but anyway I could not find the answer.
Best wishes.

Hello americogonzalez,

I'm afraid you've misread the answers; the answer to question 6 of task 1 is not 'going out'. Take another look, using the 'Finish' button to see the answers.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team