Grammar | Gerund or Infinitive Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

Our previous grammar lesson looked at Verb Substitution. Now we will study gerund and infinitive verb forms.
​A gerund is an ing verb that acts as a noun.

For example: 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.


1. She chose the red one as it was less expensive.
2. I really don’t mind you out with your homework.
3. They decided in the park close to the big lake.
4. The last thing I remember was really scared.
5. Remember your essays the way I have taught you and you will get the score you want.
6. I like before I go to bed.
7. I would like at a foreign university.
8. My mum often reminds me my homework.
9. We prefer at home because it’s cheaper than going out somewhere.
10. I agreed the living room if she would help me in the garden after.
11. Many students try and avoid difficult questions when they are preparing for a test but this is the wrong thing to do.
12. They admitted on the test.
13. People really appreciate others them in times of need.
14. I wouldn’t refuse some money if I saw that somebody living on the street needed it.
15. We started the second series straight after the first one aired.

How did you do?
If you have any questions about gerund and infinitive verb patterns, then leave them below in the comments.

For another lesson on infinitives, check out our previous post on Infinitives of Purpose.

Now you are ready to go to our Gerund or Infinitive Quiz 2!