2 Let’s recap…Some verbs must be followed by a gerund for example admit, consider, postpone etc…Some verbs must be followed by an infinite for example agree, decide, hope etc…Some verbs can be followed by either a gerund or an infinitive with no difference in meaning for example:(a) I like watching movies.(b) I like to watch movies.other examples are begin, start, intend, continue,bother, etc…
3 But…Some verbs can be followed by either a gerund or an infinitive with a difference in meaning.
4 Let’s study these sentences. How is the meaning different? I’m absolutely sure I locked the door. I clearly remember locking it.I remembered to lock the door when I left, but I forgot to shut the window.I locked it, and now I remember this.I remembered that I had to lock the doorand so I locked it.
5 Some more sentences to study… He could remember driving along the road just before the accident happened, but he couldn’t remember the accident itself.Please remember to drive me to the airport tomorrow.I drove and I could remember that I drove.Don’t forget to drive me to the airport.
6 So, what can we conclude?Remember + verb-ing = You remember doing something after you have done it.Remember + to + base verb = You remember to do something before you do it.The same rules apply with ‘forget’ except that forget + verb-ing usually occurs in a negative sentence or in a question for example:(a) I’ll never forget seeing the Alps for the first time.(b) Can you ever forget saying ‘I love you’?
7 What about these sentences? How are they different in meaning? I regret saying what I said. I shouldn’t have said it.We regret to inform you that we are unable to offer you the job.Regret + verb-ing = I did something before and now Iam sorry.Regret + to + base verb = I have to say / tell / inform some bad news and because of this I am sorry I have to do it.
8 Study these sentences. How are they different in meaning? The minister went on talking for two hours.After discussing the economy, the minister then went on to talk about foreign policy.The minister continued doing the same thing.The minister continued the discussion, but talkedabout something new.
9 Compare these sentences. I tried to move the table, but it was too heavy. In other words, I couldn’t move it.I didn’t like the way the furniture was arranged, so I tried moving the table to the other side of the room. But it still didn’t look right, so I moved it back again.I made an effort to move the table.I moved the furniture as an experiment / test.
10 What similarities and differences can you see in these sentences? (a) I need to change the batteries.(b) The batteries need changing.(c) Do I need to clean my room?(d) Does my room need cleaning?Need + to + base verb = it is necessary toNeed + verb-ing = needs to be done (passive)
11 What similarities and differences can you see in these sentences? Everybody helped (to) clean up after the party.I can’t help cleaning up all the time. I think I’m too fussy.My best friend helped me (to) think of a solution to the problem.My mother can’t help thinking about us. She calls us every night asking how well we are coping.(I can’t stop myself from doing it.)(She can’t stop herself from doing it.)
12 To summarise…The verbs that can be followed by either a gerund or an infinitive with a difference in meaning are:(a) remember(b) forget(c) regret(d) go on(e) try(f) need(g) help