Engames and Fluency MC have joined forces again to bring you a post that will help you decide whether you should use a gerund or an infinitive after a verb. This post is not going to provide a comprehensive overview of the grammar. Our aim is to give your students a simple guide to help them decide correctly between the two parts of speech most of the time.
The post contains a song, an infographic, an interactive online quiz and a game.
Gerund or Infinitive – pretest
Do you think you know the grammar already and don´t need to read the article? Try the following test and see how well you do. [viralQuiz id=1]
Gerund or Infinitive – song
Watch the following song and complete the lyrics. The aim of this song is to introduce the topic.
Gerund and Infinitive – infographic
The following infographic does not contain a comprehensive list of all the verbs. Only the verbs that are used in the song appear here.
These rules are so called rules of thumb. They work in most cases but not all. However, to use the rules correctly, students first have to understand them.
The rule goes like this: “If the first verb happens before the second verb, use TO. If the second verb happens at the same time or before the first verb use the ending -ING with the second verb. “ Thus in the sentence “I hope to go to the party,” I first hope and then go to the party. That is why you use TO. On the other hand, in the sentence “I enjoyed going to the party,” I enjoyed the party at the same time as I was there.
Assess your students understanding of the rules using the following test. Choose 10 verbs at random and ask your students to write them down and write if they think they should be followed by TO or -ING. Then go through their responses and elicit the correct answers.
Once you feel that the students know the grammar, it is time to practise it.
Gerund or infinitive – online quiz
The best way to remember the verb patterns is by using them. The following quiz is in HTML5 and will work on all mobile devices.
The second game is in Flash and will play only on desktop computers. It is called On Target, and your task is to choose the correct option and then shoot all the bad cows and ducks. You can shoot one of the bottles on the wall to get a bonus. Enjoy.
Gerund or infinitive – links
At engames.eu I have already published two posts on the use of gerunds and infinitives in English. The first post is called Verb Patterns – preintermediate, and the second is called Verb Patterns again – final solution. You can practise the grammar there as well.
Hope, want and would like belong into the group of verbs which are followed by the infinitive. If you click the link above you can see a complete solution for these verbs for intermediate learners of English. In this post we would like to teach how to use only the three verbs HOPE, WANT and WOULD LIKE so it is suitable for elementary learners of English.
We are not going to explain the differences in meaning as these are very small and the best way about them is by consulting a bilingual dictionary. In this post we would like to deal with the grammar of these three verbs (they are followed by the infinitive with TO). There are two games, a mind map and a worksheet to practise or learn the given grammar point.
Verbs followed by TO infinitive – graphic
The verbs WANT, HOPE and WOULD LIKE are followed by TO and infinitive. See the mind map below:
If you are a teacher, you can ask your students to use the mind map above and make as many sentences as they are capable of. Of course, they will have to add some words to start and finish the sentences.
The second graphic features three jokes which contain the target structures and then the students should write their own jokes using the structures given.
Verbs followed by TO infinitive – games
In the following two games the students have a unique opportunity to practise the verb patterns with the verbs WANT, HOPE and WOULD LIKE. The first game is called Math Pop. Your task is to put the words into the correct order and then, if you have more than 70% correct answers, you have to pop as few balloons with the correct numbers as possible. Good luck
The second game is called Tic-Tac-Toe. Your task is to drag the words into the correct places and then win the game. Place the crosses into such places to have three in a row. There is just one way to win the game. Can you find it?
Have you ever tried to memorise the following list of verbs to know when you should use TO and when the ending ING?
Honestly, I have never been able to commit the list to memory. And even when I thought that I know the verbs I was not really sure which form follows them. And my students had the same problem.
So I have written a post on verb patterns. But it did not work. The division of the verbs was too complicated.
And when I started to be desperate I read a short comment under a post on verb patterns. There the author described his simple rule which worked in nearly 100% cases.
The rule goes like this: “If the first verb happens before the second verb, use TO. If the second verb happens at the same time or before the first verb use the ending -ING with the second verb. For example: I want to go out. (First I want and then I will go out) She stopped smoking. (First she smoked and then she stopped.) He agreed to do it. (First he agreed and then he did it)”
Simple, isn’t it? However, you have to be careful as the rule does not work for the verbs suggest, pretend and fail.
Below you can see the idea in a mind map and lower you can test it in several games.
Verb patterns – mind map
The mind map contains a graphical explanation of the rule.
Verb patterns – games
Well, once you think you understand the rules, it is time to put them into a test. The first game is called penalty and your task is to choose the correct verb and then try to score a goal. GOOD LUCK.
In the second game, you should complete the quiz and if you succeed you can play the game Rock, Paper, Scissors.
My pre-intermediate students are confused by all the different verb patterns. So the last two weeks I spent designing a mind map that would help them. It is in no way a comprehensive description of the grammar, but I feel quite happy about it. Looking for some rules I discovered that the pattern verb + to + verb is much more common than verb + verb-ing.
So my advice to my students is: “If in doubt, use TO + verb.” I hope this mind map will help you understand the verb patterns too.
To practise the verb patterns you can try the following games.
The first game is called Penalty Shootout. Your task is to choose the correct answer and then score a goal. To be able to play the game, you need to download the file and then open it in Acrobat Reader by Adobe.
To practise the verb patterns you can play the following game. Its name is En Garde. Your task is to choose the correct answer and then stop the target as close to the centre as possible. Hopefully, you will be faster and more accurate then your opponent. The game is in Flash and will play only if you download the file and open it in Acrobat Reader by Adobe.
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