Gerunds vs. Infinitives

Another grammar point that goes with gerunds is using infinitives (ex. to sleep). The big question is, when do you use an infinitive and when do you use a gerund??? There are lots of rules and cases where you use one or the other, for this post, I will give an overview and go into more detail in future posts.
Both gerunds and infinitives can be used as the subject of a sentence:
Surfing at the beach is fun.
To surf at the beach is fun.

Both can be used as the object of a sentence:
I like surfing at the beach.
I like to surf at the beach.

Only gerunds can be used as the object of the preposition:
I like speaking about surfing at the beach. – correct
I like speaking about to surf at the beach. – incorrect

Here are a few generalizations when deciding to use one or the other:

Gerunds are used when the actions are finished or they are real.
I finished surfing.
I stopped surfing.
(I have completely finished surfing.)

Infinitives are used when the actions take place in the future or they are not real.
I stopped to surf.
(This means I was doing something else, like walking and I stopped doing that and then soon I will begin to surf.)

4 thoughts on “Gerunds vs. Infinitives”

  1. Yes, there are a few tenses that use verb+ing. Verb+ing are only called gerunds when they are used as nouns. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Another important lesson! Sometimes I get confused with this, too. Hope you explain this in more detail in future posts 🙂

  3. I will! I think it will take several posts. There are lots of various aspects to it! Thanks for reading it! I appreciate your support, as always!

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