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Mike Smith www.mjcsmith.net 1 Infinitives and Gerunds When I first started teaching I didn't even know the meaning of 'gerund‘ while 'infinitive' seemed.

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Presentation on theme: "Mike Smith www.mjcsmith.net 1 Infinitives and Gerunds When I first started teaching I didn't even know the meaning of 'gerund‘ while 'infinitive' seemed."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mike Smith 1 Infinitives and Gerunds When I first started teaching I didn't even know the meaning of 'gerund‘ while 'infinitive' seemed somehow faraway and exciting. Then I discovered the awful truth.... Mike JC Smith The ideas and many of the examples in this presentation come from Explaining English Grammar by George Yule - Oxford University Press 1998

2 The awful truth.... Mike Smith 2 Most people don’t understand this. What is worse, when we teach something we don’t, ourselves, understand we often say, “Oh, you just have to remember this. Here are some lists.” Have you ever said this to a student simply because you, yourself, didn’t or don’t understand? I did that for a while...

3 Searching for answers... Mike Smith 3 Most people don’t understand this. A quick search on Google “esl gerund and infinitive” “When two verbs are used together, the second verb is often in the gerund form (-ing) or the infinitive. There are no specific rules concerning which verbs take which form. Like irregular verbs, you will need to learn which form a verb takes. ” Kenneth Beare, ESL About.com

4 Searching for answers... Mike Smith 4 Most people don’t understand this. A quick search on Google “esl gerund and infinitive” “... in many situations, although there is a slight difference in meaning, gerunds and infinitives are used interchangeably. ” “With any luck your textbook will not address gerunds and infinitives directly but will still give students lots of practice using them” Hermione_111, busyteacher.org

5 Google “esl gerund and infinitive” Mike Smith 5 Plodding on with lists/exercises Potentially dangerous Might understand but not helping Understand and attempting to explain Understand and explaining George Yule

6 The lists... One of the best sites. Mike Smith 6 begin care choose condescend consent continue dare decide deserve detest dislike expect fail forget get happen have hesitate hope hurry intend leap leave like long love mean neglect offer ought plan prefer prepare proceed promise propose refuse remember say shoot start stop strive swear threaten try use wait want wish Verbs Followed by an Infinitive She agreed to speak before the game.

7 The lists... One of the best sites. Mike Smith 7 advise allow ask beg bring build buy challenge choose command dare direct encourage expect forbid force have hire instruct invite lead leave let like love motivate order pay permit persuade prepare promise remind require send teach tell urge want warn Verbs Followed by an Object (some don’t need) and an Infinitive Everyone expected her to win.

8 The lists... One of the best sites. Mike Smith 8 admit advise appreciate avoid can't help complete consider delay deny detest dislike enjoy escape excuse finish forbid get through have imagine mind miss permit postpone practice quit recall report resent resist resume risk spend (time) suggest tolerate waste (time) Verbs Followed by a Gerund They enjoyed working on the boat.

9 The lists... One of the best sites. Mike Smith 9 admit to approve of argue about believe in care about complain about concentrate on confess to depend on disapprove of discourage from dream about feel like forget about insist on object to plan on prevent (someone) from refrain from succeed in talk about think about worry about Verbs Followed by a Preposition and a Gerund We concentrated on doing well.

10 The lists... One of the best sites. Mike Smith 10 acknowledge admit advise afford agree allow anticipate appear appreciate ask avoid beg begin celebrate challenge choose command consent consider continue dare decide demand deny deserve discuss dislike enable encourage endure enjoy expect fail feel finish forbid force forget get give up hate have hear help (cannot) help hope imagine intend invite involve learn let like love make mention miss need neglect notice persuade plan practice prefer pretend promise recommend refuse regret remember remind see seem start stop teach tell understand want watch wish Verbs that take Gerund and Infinitives (do you agree?)

11 The lists... Understand but not helping. Mike Smith 11 attempt begin bother cannot bear cease continue hate intend love prefer start Verbs that take Gerund and Infinitives Same Meaning (do you agree?)

12 The lists... Understand but not helping. Mike Smith 12 Verbs that take Gerund and Infinitives Same Meaning But Different Use (do you agree?) WordInfinitive meaningGerund meaning forget / remember with regard to the future Remember to switch off the lights. with regard to the past Do you remember switching off the lights? go on start something new Go on to read. continue with the same action Go on reading. regret with regard to the future I regret to say that. with regard to the past I regret saying that. stop interrupt another action I stopped to smoke. terminate I stopped smoking. try do something complicated Try to solve this riddle. do it and see what happens Try talking to him.

13 The lists... Understand but not helping. Mike Smith 13 Verbs that take Infinitives or Present Participle WordsInfinitive meaningGerund meaning feel hear see Emphasises that the action is completed. Example: I saw him go up the stairs. Action can be completed, but not necessarily. Example: I saw him going up the stairs. go come expresses a purpose Example: She is coming to show us the pictures. in connection with activities Example: Let’s go shopping / dancing.

14 Let’s become more helpful... Mike Smith 14

15 Mike Smith 15 Major Concepts We look at three major concepts to give the learner a better chance of producing correct or acceptable language ● time sequencing ● 'noun-ness' ● factuality and reality Does not put the whole truth, but it is the truth and can be confidently applied by learners. Avoids 'negative learning’.

16 Mike Smith 16 Native Utterences Do you surf? Yep I like/enjoy surfing. Like to surf this afternoon? Sure, surfing is better than studying. Hmm, the surfing is better at Bondi than Manly. Yep, I saw people surfing there today. Let’s go surfing now... Can you explain all this to a learner of English?

17 Mike Smith 17 Time Sequence Infinitive This rule of thumb (by itself) is about 80% correct and works for both transitive and intransitive verbs. Would you like to surf? Do you want to eat? My doctor encouraged me to get fit. He entered the competition to win a holiday. All these are simple time sequences of verbs: first like then surf first want then eat first encourage then get fit first enter then win

18 Mike Smith 18 Reverse Time Sequence Gerund This rule of thumb (by itself) is about 60% correct. It is sometimes called ‘experiential’. I like/love/enjoy surfing He resented cooking for her. He finished working at 4pm. All these are reverse time sequences of verbs (often as a consequence): enjoyment follows surfing resentment follows cooking finish follows working

19 Mike Smith 19 Contrasting Time Sequences He stopped to buy a magazine yesterday. first stop then buy She stopped buying magazines last year. stop follows (and concludes) buying You must remember to pay the bills. first remember then pay You must remember paying the bills. remember follows pay

20 Mike Smith 20 Same Time Gerund/Pres Participle This rule of thumb overlaps with ‘reverse time’ and also covers sensory verbs. I enjoy surfing. (enjoyment happens whilst surfing) He resented cooking. (resentment during cooking) He finished working at 4pm. (may refer to packing up) I saw him going up the stairs. (see/go concurrent) We heard her singing. (hear/sing concurrent) Let’s go shopping. (go/shop concurrent) Seeing is believing. (see/is/believe concurrent)

21 Mike Smith 21 Sensory Contrasts Sensory verbs can refer to completed actions or actions that are felt to be repetitive or ongoing. I saw him go/going up the stairs. We heard her sing/singing. I felt her touch/touching my hand. I heard him knock/knocking. He was talking*. Completed – second verb is so close to the first verb that it is part of it and becomes tenseless (non-finite) Ongoing – action is continuous, progressive (*)

22 Mike Smith 22 Noun-ness of Gerunds Gerunds can name an activity. (take articles, possessives, determiners like nouns) The surfing is better at Bondi today. I like her singing. Gerunds can also name an event / course of action (focus not on event / course of action, and the performer / agent can be a different person) He considered walking to the city. She suggested driving. (conveys a sense of time duration)

23 Mike Smith 23 Verb-ness of Infinitives Infinitives cannot name an activity (cannot work with determiners and possessives). The *to surf is better at Bondi today. I like her/his *to sing. Infinitives focus on action and actor/agent. He wanted to eat. (never to be completed) She told him to cook. (completed) (no sense of time duration)

24 Mike Smith 24 Factuality and Reality Gerunds convey a sense of fact and reality He denied shooting the bank teller. a statement of fact meaning “I did not shoot the teller.” although the teller had been shot (fact – something happened) Infinitives convey a sense of action or inaction. He refused to talk further. a statement of action or lack of action cannot be true/false (action – something was done or not done)

25 Mike Smith 25 Verb Types and Distance Commitment Self-directed NP V inf demand, agree, decide, apply, ask, consent, aim, attempt, beg Other-directed NP V NP inf order, command, tell, convince, persuade, urge, advise, ask, permit Aspectual Point Time – infinitive Period time - gerund begin, commence, finish, remain, start, continue, cease, carry on, quit, stay, stop, Sensory feel, look at, hear, see, smell, watch, sense, observe, notice time limited, completed, single act -> bare inf time unlimited, incomplete, series of acts -> gerund Linguistic Distance reflects Conceptual Distance (reality, factuality, future, formality) I told her to leave (separate) I saw her leave (concurrent) I saw her leaving (concurrent, incomplete)

26 Mike Smith 26 Discussion 1 ● Complements following adjectives It’s hard (find) a parking place here. (time sequence) I was sorry (miss) you. (‘miss’ is a point-in-time verb) It’s awful (work) here. (conceptual distance = formality) It was good (see) you again. (conceptual distance = formality) ● Try these adjectives afraid, curious, first, kind, slow, annoying, delighted, free, quick, stupid, careful, difficult, glad, reluctant, unkind, certain, eager, impossible, ridiculous, unlikely, crazy, easy, keen, rude, willing ● Can you apply any of the rules-of-thumb? time sequencing, 'noun-ness‘, factuality and reality ● Who is helping whom? He is quick to help. vs He is hard to help. Categorise the adjective set accordingly

27 Mike Smith 27 Discussion 2 ● Complements following prepositions He left without … I thought about … He stopped me from … I dream of … We decided against … ● Complements following nouns It’s a nice change (go) somewhere different. He regrets his decision (sell) the land. Do you have enough money (pay) for all this? She never has a kind word (say) about him. hint: duration, course of action hint: time sequence

28 Mike Smith 28 Teaching Ideas 1 ● Simple Sequences -> Infinitives (Choose verbs carefully) encourage / stay warn / be careful tell / keep quiet convince / stay ● Clause elements -> Infinitives We tell / they come early -> We told them to come early. We ask / we leave -> We asked to leave. You promise / you help He order / we stand up She pretended / she is ill They permit / we enter We agree / we work harder ● Plans and Goals -> Infinitives

29 Mike Smith 29 Teaching Ideas 2 ● Turning over a new leaf. -> gerunds I should start/stop … begin, start, stop, quit, give up ● Rules prohibiting and encouraging The following are prohibited: running, smoking, eating, chewing gum The following are encouraged: doing your homework, coming early, talking to native speakers, drinking ● Personal ads Blonde, enjoys running and dancing

30 Mike Smith 30 Real teaching ideas... It (was / is / will be) a nice change (go) somewhere different. I should stop (smoke cigarettes). I really want (stop). We decided against (see a movie). We decided (not see a movie). We decided (go walk in the park.) ** He denied (rob the bank). Really? I thought he (suggest rob the bank) in the first place. I’m afraid (of) (ask for a raise). I’ve always been (too) nervous (about) (ask for raises). I’ve always been curious (try yoga / about try yoga). Nah, I’m reluctant (try). I propose/suggest (try it). ** I was sorry (miss you) yesterday. Yes, I regret (miss my train). *** I loved (hear you / your sing) yesterday. Oh yes, I (see you leave) afterwards. It was kind of you (come). I (feel her brush past me) as I stood on the crowded platform. Later, I (notice her brush her hair). *** Identify Verb 1 and 2 Verb 1: sensory AND Verb 2: complete? (verbs are joined as one) Yes => bare infinitive Verb 2: course of action, activity OR time duration OR V2 before OR concurrent with V1? Yes => gerund Verb 2: after Verb 1? point-in-time-verb? Yes =>infinitive ** leads into non-finite relative clauses *** point-in-time verbs (like stative verbs they change in meaning in the v-ing form)


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