CAE :: Lesson 14

LOS CURSOS DE INGLES GRATIS PREFERIDOS POR LOS HISPANOHABLANTES

 

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Gerunds and infinitives

 

 

 

Now we will revise gerunds and infinitives...

COMPLEX GERUNDS AND INFINITIVES

We use a passive gerund (being done) or a passive infinitive (to be done) to describe actions which are done to the subject.

1.

She loves being told how pretty she is.

2.

I'm tired of being lied to. I want the truth.

3.

It's very difficult to get promoted in this company.

4.

My car needs to be serviced.

We use a perfect gerund (having done) or a perfect infinitive (to have done) if we want to emphasize that an action is completed or in the past. Often there is no difference between using a simple gerund or infinitive and a perfect gerund or infinitive, e.g. He denied stealing / having stolen the money. It was our fault. We were silly not to lock / not to have locked the car.

1.

He thanked them for having helped him.

2.

Having studied English before makes it easier to learn this course.

3.

How wonderful to have finished all our exams!

4.

By the time I'm 30, I hope to have started a family.

We use the perfect infinitive after would like, would love, would hate, would prefer, and would rather to talk about an earlier action. Compare: I would like to see the Eiffel Tower. = when I go to Paris in the future. I would like to have seen the Eiffel Tower. = I was in Paris, but I didn't see it.

1.

I would like to have seen your face when they told you you'd won the competition!

2.

We would rather have stayed in a more central hotel, but they were all full.

We use a continuous infinitive (to be + verb + -ing) to say that an action / event is in progress around the time we are talking about.

1.

I'd like to be lying on the beach right now.

2.

She seems to be coughing a lot – do you think she's OK?

OTHER USES OF GERUNDS AND INFINITIVES

We use the gerund after certain expressions with it or there, e.g. It's no use, There's no point, It's not worth, etc.

1.

It's no use worrying. There's nothing you can do.

2.

Is there any point (in) asking him? He never says anything useful.

3.

It's no good talking to my dad because he doesn't listen to me.

We use the infinitive with to after nouns formed from verbs which take the infinitive, e.g. agree, plan, hope, etc.

1.

We had an agreement to share the costs.

2.

Our plan is to leave on Saturday.

We use the infinitive with to after expressions with quantifiers, e.g. enough, too much, a lot, plenty of, etc. When we want to refer to the subject of the infinitive verb we use for + person or object pronoun before the infinitive. This can be used before any infinitive structure, e.g. after adjectives: It's very difficult for me to decide.

1.

You can't visit the Louvre in a day – there's too much to see.

2.

There wasn't enough snow for us to ski.

We use the infinitive with to after something, anywhere, etc.

1.

Is there anything to eat?

2.

There's nowhere to go at night.

We use the infinitive with to after question words (except why).

1.

I don't know where to go or what to do.

We use the infinitive with to after superlatives and first, second, last, etc, e.g. Who was the first person to walk on the moon?

1.

He's the youngest player ever to play for England.

On the next page you will be able to practise this grammar.

 
 

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