Gerunds and infinitives can replace a noun in a sentence. Gerund = the present participle (-ing) form of the verb, e.g., singing, dancing, running. Infinitive = to + the base form of the verb, e.g., to sing, to dance, to run. Whether you use a gerund or an infinitive depends on the main verb in the sentence.
A gerund always acts as a noun. A present participle is always part of a verb phrase. Examples: Sarah enjoys. In this example, “Sarah” is the subject, “enjoys” is the verb, and “singing” is a noun acting as the direct object of the sentence.
It is as if the verb phrase puts on the costume of a noun, adjective or adverb and plays the role of a part of speech other than itself. Any verb that is preceded by the word ‘to’ is an infinitive. Here are some examples: ‘to love, to eat, to run, to believe, to follow, to laugh, to stare, to wonder.
Take the below quiz to check your understanding.
Gerunds & Infinitives Quiz
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