Gerund or Infinitive as Object of Verb?

Requested and Answered by Frank on 23-Feb-2010 12:47

Gerund or Infinitive as Object of Verb?

Gerunds and infinitives can both be used as subjects, subject complements, and direct objects of verbs. The choice of whether to use a gerund or infinitive as a subject, subject complement, or object of some verbs is left to the speaker/writer. This choice can indicate shades of meaning.

But the choice between which to use as a direct object is sometimes dictated by the verb, leaving no choice. Which verbs can be followed by gerunds, which by infinitives, (and which by either) must be memorized. In addition, some verbs require that an infinitive object have a different subject (agent) from that of the first verb, for others no other agent is possible, and for some both are possible. Again, these must be memorized. The general meanings associated with gerunds and infinitives can offer clues, but do not always predict which forms are possible.

Remember, the question here concerns verbs which control gerunds and infinitives as their objects. Of course, both infinitives and gerunds can follow an unlimited number of verbs for other reasons. For example, infinitives can also follow verbs to show purpose, in reduced adjective or adverb clauses, or with other meanings. Gerunds with noun modifiers can be the objects of many different verbs. And present participles, which may look like gerunds, are not controlled by preceding verbs. And remember that noun clauses can also be used as objects of many of these same verbs

VERBS THAT CAN HAVE INFINITIVE OR GERUND OBJECTS,
with little or no difference in meaning:
____ studying.
____ to study.


can afford
can't bear
begin
cease
commence
continue
dread
hate
like
loathe
love
neglect
prefer
propose
(can't) stand
start
undertake


VERBS THAT CAN HAVE GERUND OBJECTS, BUT NOT INFINITIVES:

(usually actual events, often past)

_____ (his) studying

gerund subjects (agents) are usually possessive (his , etc.)

admit
anticipate
appreciate
avoid
complete
consider
defend
delay
deny
detest
discuss
dislike
enjoy
escape
excuse his
finish
get through
give up
go on
can't help
imagine
involve
keep (on)
would like (him)
mention
(not) mind
miss
postpone
practice
put off
quit
recall
recollect
recommend
report
resent
resist
resume
risk
(can't) see
stop
suggest
take up
tolerate
understand


VERBS THAT CAN HAVE INFINITIVE OBJECTS, BUT NOT GERUNDS:

(often suggesting a potential or unreal event)

_______ to study


him = infinitive must have a subject (agent)
for him = infinitive must have a subject introduced by for
(him) or (for him) = subject (agent) of infinitive is optional
(none of the above = verb is followed directly by the infinitive)


agree
aim
appear
appoint him
arrange (for him)
authorize him
ask (him)
beg (him)
(not) care
cause him
challenge him
choose (him)
claim
command him
condescend
consent
convince him
dare (him)
decide
demand
deserve
desire
direct him
enable him
endeavor
expect (him)
fail
force him
get (him)
happen
hesitate
hire him
help him
hope
instruct him
intend
invite him
lead him
learn
long
manage
motivate him
need (him)
oblige him
offer
order him
pay him
persuade him
plan
prepare (him)
pretend
proceed
promise
refuse
remind him
resolve
seem
select him
send him
strive
struggle
swear
tell him
tend
threaten
train him
trust him
volunteer
vow
wait (for him)
want (him)
warn him
wish (him)
yearn


VERBS THAT CAN HAVE INFINITIVE OR GERUND OBJECTS,
but with a difference in meaning:


attempt
forget
mean
regret
remember
try


________ studying
actual:
(first it happens; then there is mental activity)


do it, hoping for success
do it, then have a mental lapse
it exists, it has a significance
do it, then feel bad
do it, then be aware of it
do it, hoping for success


________ to study.
potential:
first there is mental activity about a possible future event)


make an effort, hoping to do it
have a mental lapse, and therefore not do it
have an intention to do it
feel bad, but then do it
think about it, and then do it
make an effort, hoping to do it


VERBS THAT CAN HAVE INFINITIVE OBJECTS WITH AGENTS, OR GERUNDS :
_______ studying
___ him to study


advise
allow
encourage
forbid
permit
require
teach
urge

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