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.

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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

Hi, 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. regards Usnaim

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 and 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

Hi, 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

Hello, 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, Ash
Hi Can I say I like drinking or to drink a cup of coffee now. I have a headache What's the difference between ving and to inf with like and perfer
Hello, My question isn't 100% related to the topic of this section but I haven't found a more appropriate section to ask it. I came across a few sentences with the following structure: Noun/adjective + to + gerund. Here are some examples: 1. California is on its way to developing robust laws governing the sale of cannabis and cannabis products. 2. The primary obstacle to obtaining CBD from mature cannabis stalks is that it is illegal under Federal law to grow cannabis. 3. I’ve put together a list of materials that I think are vital to understanding the law on hemp-derived CBD. 4. Asking questions is the first step to ensuring the products you are receiving are legal. I scoured the internet to find some grammar explanation regarding this structure but haven't found something useful. Can you please clarify this grammatical structure and when it should be used? Many thanks!

Hi Or Yahalom,

In all of these cases, 'to' is followed by a noun phrase. For example, you can be 'on your way to failure', there can be an 'obstacle to success', an action can be 'vital to good health', etc. When we want a verb form to follow a preposition (like 'to'), we use the gerund form of the verb. This is why there are gerunds after all of these phrases.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Can i use-ing clauses after vanish when used as a noun Example:as the vanishing of reading was only getting worse we had to do something


Yes, that is grammatically correct. Whether it is the best way to express the idea is a different question, of course. Vanish suggests something disappearing suddenly and without warning, which does not seem likely with reading skills, which might be more likely to deteriorate or fade over time.



The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, If I invite somebody to a cafe (I am going to pay for them) can I say *I offer to go and have dinner*?

Hello Goncharush,

I'm afraid that wouldn't be natural or correct in standard American or British English; if I didn't know what you meant, I would probably understand that to mean something like 'I will go and have dinner with you'.

We don't use 'invite' with this meaning in English. One common way to communicate this idea is to use the verb or noun 'treat': 'I'd like to treat you to dinner' or 'Dinner is my treat'. It's also common to say 'Dinner's on me' (to mean you will pay for it) in an informal context.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, Learn English team, Is the second sentence correct? 1. She can't afford to buy expensive clothes. 2. She can't afford buying expensive clothes. And if it is, is there any difference in the meaning of the sentences?

Hi Goncharush,

No, I'm afraid the second sentence is not correct. 'afford' is typically followed either by a noun phrase or a to + infinitive (not an -ing form). If you follow the link, you can see several examples of each.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello The LearnEnglish Team, Could you help me, please? Is it somehow possible to use a gerund after "try" in the following sentence: I would never try... Is it OK to say "I would never try jumping out of a helicopter" instead of "I would never try to jump out of a helicopter"? Thanks a lot for your help. I need your help badly.

Hello Yuriy,

'try' can be followed by both a 'to' infinitive and a gerund, but there is a difference in meaning. 'try to do something' means 'make an effort to do something', whereas 'try doing something' means 'do something and see what happens'. So in your case, 'try jumping' would be the correct choice.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello, Does "Weren't houses small in those days." mean I know houses were small before and I am trying to emphasize that fact? Thank you.

Hi learning,

I'd need to know the context to say for sure. If the context were appropriate and the sentence ended with a question mark, then it could be that you're surprised and are checking to see that you've understood. This would make sense, for example, if someone else said that houses were bigger at that time, whereas you had understood they were smaller.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Teacher, I was wondering if you could take the trouble to help me figure out the usage of need in some sentences in which someone writes," we don't need anyone getting advance notice and I need someone managing my paperwork. Sir, my question is are both sentences correct? If the answer is yes, would it be okay for us to write I don't need him or her telling me what to do or I need someone giving me instructions? Could you explain for me? Thanks. Best Regards.

Hello johnart,

The construction here is need + object + verb-ing. We use it to talk about potential situations in the present or future and express our attitude towards them. It's helpful to contrast the meaning with the use of an infinitive form. For example:

We don't need anyone getting advance notice.

We don't need anyone to get advance notice.

The meaning here of the first sentence is 'this situation would not be good', with the implication that this should be prevented. The meaning of the second sentence is that it is not necessary for us to arrange this.


I need someone managing my paperwork

I need someone to manage my paperwork

The meaning here is a little different in each case. In the first sentence the speaker has someone doing this job and does not want to lose that person. In the second sentence the speaker may or may not have someone doing the job, and is simply speaking about whether or not the role is necessary.



The LearnEnglish Team

Peter, thanks for taking the time to answer this question. I'd like to ask you a related question if you don't mind my asking, which is would it be possible for us to write I don't need him telling me how to get the job done? And there is another question concerning English grammar, which is the usage of going to be doing. President reportedly told a roomful of journalists that " " I am going to give a major speech on probably Monday of next week, and we're going to be discussing all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons." My question is would it be okay to replace we are going to be discussing with we are going to discuss in this example? By which I mean we are going to discuss and we are going to be discussing have the same meaning. Am I right? Sorry for asking two questions like this. I'd be grateful if you could explain it to me. Thanks.

Hello johnart,

'I don't need him telling me how to get the job done' is perfectly fine.

The difference between going to do and going to be doing is often one of emphasis rather than fact, but in certain contexts it does change the meaning. The first form, with the simple infinitive, describes the action as a whole, while the second form, with the continuous infinitive, describes the process.

In most contexts, as I said, this is simply a difference in emphasis. Your example with discuss/discussing is like this: there is no real difference in meaning.

However, in some contexts the simple form can imply competion and the continuous form can imply non-completion:

I'm going to read a book. [I will finish it]

I'm going to be reading a book. [I will be in the middle of it]



The LearnEnglish Team

I am not sure my question is related to this grammar. If not, please guide me to the right one. In the following sentence: "Cloud Lab implements activities ranging from:" why "ranging" is followed by ing?

Hello Salem249,

The -ing form here has an adjectival function. It means the same as a relative clause:

...implements activities which range from...

...implements activities ranging from...


This is an example of one way in which a relative clause can be reduced or simplified. You can find more information on this and on other ways of reducing relative clauses on this page.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Ilariuccia,

I'm afraid that is not correct. The phrase 'Finished eating' is a participle phrase with a passive meaning and you need an active meaning here. The best choice would be 'Having finished eating...'.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there, QUESTION A: Kindly advise if whether using "is" or "are" is correct: (1) Developing your child's brain and immunity is equally important. (2) Developing your child's brain and immunity are equally important. QUESTION B: Is it better to use "both" instead of "equally" for the above sentence? Thank you!

Hi May2,

The correct verb here is 'are' because the subject is two things 'your child's brain' [1] and '(your child's) immunity' [2].

You could use 'both' but it changes the meaning. When you say 'equally' you tell the reader/listener that neither is more important than the other. When you use 'both' you could still mean that one of these is more important than the other, though both are important.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello teachers, I have a question on the usage of "-ing" form. For native speakers, the sentence "Don't leave water running" sounds totally natural. What about "Don't leave running water"? In my personal feeling, the second sentence is not so colloquial as the first one, but I'm also thinking about the possibility of saying "there might be running water in this building and don't leave it when you find". And in this case, "don't leave" implies "don't ignore" and "it" should indicate "running water". So I just want to clarify whether "Don't leave running water" is grammatically incorrect or is widely used as well. Best Regards, YSATO201602


There is a difference in meaning between the two forms.

Don't leave the water running means remember to turn it off. The verb 'leave' is one of a number of verbs which can be used with an -ing form (or an -ing clause) in this way. For more examples see this page.

Don't leave running water means stay with it. The verb 'leave' here has a literal meaning - to physically remain - and the -ing form has an adjectival role, describing the noun 'water'.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi there, Would you please elaborate on the passive forms of -ing? I keep hearing - and saying myself - these two sentences: 'I don't mind my picture being taken.' and 'I don't mind having my picture taken.' Are both correct in terms of grammar? Is it OK to put an object before a verb in the present continuous passive in similar constructions? Thank you for the answer in advance.

Hi Paul_the_teacher,

Both of those sentences are correct. The construction here is as follows:

not mind + -ing

I don't mind eating pasta.

I don't mind going to the party.


You can replace 'mind' with other verbs like 'hate', 'love', like', 'enjoy' and so on. In this structure the -ing form is a gerund and acts as a direct object; it is not part of a present continous verb phrase. You could use a noun in place of the gerund (e.g. 'I don't mind pasta').

The object can be a longer phrase:

I don't mind eating pasta at the weekend.

I don't mind going to the party with my friends on Saturdays.


Note that these are still objects. You can use the same -ing phrases as subjects:

Eating pasta at the weekend is nice.

Or, to use your example:

Having my picture taken always makes me feel self-conscious.

My picture being taken doesn't bother me.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi peter, I have gone through clause Analysis and its rules but I am still not clear with clause. Would you please help. I am eagerly waiting for your response. Thank you.

Hello Aamir khan,

We are happy to help you understand the explanation on this page, but could you please ask a more specific question? Thanks in advance.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, I'm going to be joining an exam, so I have to figure this out now., Please don't delete it again, duh, albeit my question may have nothing to do with this section. Thanks.
Hi Peter..Can you confirm if the following sentences are correct? 1. I am seeing new errors on the circuit. (I feel 'observing' is the right word to be used here.) 2. The network is having a connectivity issue. (I feel 'facing' is the right word to be used here.) Is seeing only used in the sense of dating someone? Like, Ayesha is seeing Randy. Is having only used in the following senses: having a baby, having sex, having fun (experience), having lunch (food)? Are there any other uses apart from the above listed ones?

Hello harmilapi,

'Seeing' is fine in your first sentence. 'Observing' would also be fine, as would 'noticing'.

Both 'having' and 'facing' are possible in the second sentence.

'Having' is used in many contexts beyond those you mention. You can talk about 'have a shower', 'having a party' and many other things. Any good dictionary, including online dictionaries, should have a list of the ways 'have' can be used for meanings other than possession.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

"The British capital is also the preferred destination for Pakistani politicians fleeing the country to avoid persecution." Sir, shouldn't we use "who are fleeing" instead of just "fleeing"?Would the former use be grammatically correct? Looking forward to hearing from you.
Hi Sir; "The advantages of living abroad" living abroad is not easy. In the above sentence, living is a noun (verb+ing) and abroad is an adverb. How does the adverb come after a noun ?.

Hi pumbi,

I have already answered this question on another page. Please post questions once only. It may take us a day or even two to provide an answer but the process is only slowed by multiple postings.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello. i wanna ask something about this course. i'm still confused and hesitate to use which verb i will use. according to your course i above, there are some verbs following by "verb-ing" and how about the other verbs? as we know there are some many verbs. please help me to fade my hesitation.

Hello RyanApriadilAdha,

I'm afraid it's not possible for us to list all of the possible forms which can follow all verbs in the comments section! Some verbs take an object (transitive verbs) while others do not (intransitive verbs) and may be followed by nothing. Verbs can be followed by many forms but some of the most common can be seen in the links on the right:

verbs followed by to + infinitive

verbs followed by -ing clauses

verbs followed by that clause

You might also find this page on verb patterns helpful.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

They always enjoyed visiting their friends. They always enjoyed to visit their friends. is there any difference between two sentences?