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In English, when we want to follow a verb immediately with another verb, the second verb must take the form of either a gerund or an infinitive. The tricky part is discovering which verb is followed by what form. There is no rule that will help you to decide which is correct. You just have to discover each one as you go along and try to remember them. Once you discover the pattern, the wrong form will sound strange to you when you use it.
A. LET’S TRY SOME VERBS FOLLOWED BY GERUNDS.
We should avoid eating fatty foods.
You had to avoid hitting the car with his bike.
I dislike watching boring movies.
A boxer dislikes losing a fight.
The teacher mentioned seeing me on the weekend
I postponed meeting him for lunch.
I had to resist looking up spoilers for the new Star Wars movie.
To resist eating chocolate, you must have a lot of will power.
I have to finish eating my dinner first.
I denied knowing about the surprise birthday party.
It is very difficult to quit smoking.
B. OK, NOW FOR SOME VERBS FOLLOWED BY INFINITIVES.
He agreed to meet with me in the afternoon.
I agreed to try the soup he had made.
I attempted to learn Chinese.
One should always attempt to better themselves every day.
I take care to watch for cars when crossing the road.
Would you care to have an orange juice?
I decided to learn Spanish.
I decided to eat pizza for dinner last night.
I intended to come to the party last night, but I was sick.
I intended to eat my dinner before leaving but I lost track of time.
I hesitated to criticise her cooking.
My mother neglected to tell me that she had thrown away my bike.
Soldiers are taught to shoot to kill.
C. THERE ARE ALSO A GROUP OF WORDS WHICH CAN BE FOLLOWED BY BOTH A GERUND OR AN INFINITIVE. HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES.
I want to continue learning as many languages as possible.
I continued to talk to her while she made dinner.
I hated eating vegetables when I was a child.
People usually hate to tell lies to people they love.
I regret going to the game without my friends.
I regret to inform you that your dog has died.
I like to start eating dinner at about eight o’clock.
I started to leave before my friend stopped me.
As a child I tried learning as much as I could.
I am trying to visit as many countries in Europe as I can.
I would advise learning some English before going to Australia.
I would advise you to eat fruit to have a healthy life.
I like learning different languages.
I like to visit different countries.
I prefer drinking Pepsi rather than Coke.
I prefer to eat hamburgers rather than vegetables.
As you can see, it is quite easy to see and hear which is the right form to take after certain verbs but it is difficult to learn all of them as a person learning the language. It takes a lot of practice and you will get it wrong from time to time, but if you can have English speaking friends who can correct you when you use the wrong form, it will slowly start to make more sense to you and will make it easier to understand which is which.
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