A gerund is a verb form that ends in –ing and is used as a noun: sleeping, dreaming; or as an adjective a working woman,a sleeping bag. An infinitive is the base form of the verb preceded by the word to: to sleep, to dream. The word to is not a preposition in this use but an infinitive marker. A few verbs may befollowed by either a gerund or an infinitive; others may be followed by a gerund but not by an infinitive; still others may be followed by an infinitive (either directly or with a noun or pronounintervening) but not by a gerund.
Verb + gerund or infinitive
These commonly used verbs may be followed by a gerund or an infinitive, with little or no difference in meaning:
begincontinue like start
can’t stand hate love
I love skiing I love to ski
With a few verbs, however, the choice of a gerund orinfinitive changes the meaning dramatically:
forget remember stop try
She stopped speaking to Lucia. (she no longer spoke to Lucia)
She stoppedto speak to Lucia. (she paused so that she could speak to Lucia)
Verb + gerund
These verbs may be followed by a gerund but not by an infinitive:
admit discuss imagineput off risk
appreciate enjoy miss quit suggest
appreciate consider escape postpone recalltolerate
deny finish practice resist keep
Have you finished decorating ( not to decorate ) the tree?
Bill enjoys playing (not to play ) the piano.
Note: Gerunds are used after verbs expressing attitudes
Verb + infinitive
These verbs may be followed by an infinitive but not by a gerund: