A gerund is an ing
verb that acts as a noun.
: I like swimming
A ‘to infinitive’ is to + the base form of the verb.
For example: I like to swim.
Notice that the verb like is used in both examples. The verb like can be followed by either a gerund or an infinitive. In the examples the gerund (swimming) and the infinitive (to swim) have the same meaning.
Some verbs can only be followed by either a gerund OR an infinitive. For example, to express a desire you might say ‘I would like to go for a walk‘. Here we use ‘to + infinitive‘ after ‘would like‘.
Note: There are no clear rules about what verb form to use, so you should learn and remember each one as you see it.
Check how good you knowledge of these verb patterns is by completing the following interactive quiz.
CHOOSE THE GERUND OR INFINITIVE VERB