IELTS grammar.

Lesson 14: when Gerund or Infinitive changes the meaning.


Some of the verbs can be followed by both. Either with a little to no change in the meaning (begin, continue, like, love, prefer, start etc.) or with a considerable change in meaning (forget, regret, remember, stop, try, quit)

For example:

It started raining = It started to rain. So the verb started has the same meaning with both gerund and infinitive.

When using gerund or infinitive changes the meaning:

I forgot to call her = I planned to call her, but I forgot to do so. BUT I forgot calling her = I can't remember whether I called her or not.

I remember visiting him = I remember the fact that I visited him. BUT I remember to visit him = I remember that I need to visit him.

I stopped to call her = I interrupted some other action in order to call her. BUT I stopped calling her = I was calling her but now I stopped doing so.

I regret to inform you = I wish I didn't have to tell you. BUT I regret being late = I am sorry that I am late.

I quit working here = I left my job here. BUT I quit to work here = I quit my last job in order to work here.

I tried to cook my dinner = I attempted cooking my dinner but I didn't succeed. BUT I tried playing the guitar = This was one of the options that I tried. Maybe I was bored and wanted to cheer myself.

Practice. Choose the correct sentence in each pair:

  1. You need to stop working there. It is a bad place.
    You need to stop to work there. It is a bad place.

  2. Don't forget to visit your friends during the weekend.
    Don't forget visiting your friends during the weekend.

  3. You should quit to smoke. It's very unhealthy.
    You should quit smoking. It's very unhealthy.

  4. Try opening the window. It is very hot in here.
    Try to open the window. It is very hot in here.

  5. Did you remember to call him? Because I don't.
    Did you remember calling him? Because I don't.