Misuse of Infinitive


Use the gerund and not the infinitive:

 Fond of + -ing.

  1. Don’t say:  She’s always fond to talk.
  2. Say:  She’s  always fond of talking.

Insist on + -ing.

  1. Don’t say:  Simon insisted to go  to London.  
  2. Say:  Simon insisted  on going to  London.

Object to + -ing.

  1. Don’t say: I object to be treated like this.
  2. Say: object to being treated like this.

(a)  After prepositions or preposition phrases:

Without, etc. + -ing.

  1. Don’t say: Do your work without to speak. 
  2. Say: Do your work without speaking.

Instead of, etc. + -ing.

  1. Don’t say: He went away instead to wait.
  2. Say: He went away instead of waiting.

(b) After words which regularly take a preposition:

Capable of + -ing.

  1. Don’t say: They’re quite capable to do that.
  2. Say: They’re quite capable of doing that.

Note: Also incapable of; to + the infinitive follows able or unable: He is unable to do anything

Prevent from + -ing.

  1. Don’t say: The  rain  prevented me  to go.  
  2. Say: The  rain prevented me from going.

Succeed in + -ing.

  • Don’t say:  Paula succeeded to  win  the prize.

Think of + -ing.

  1. Don’t say:  1 often think to go to England.
  2. Say:  I  often think  of going to  England.

Tired of + -ing.

  1. Don’t say: The  customer got tired  to  wait.
  2. Say: The  customer got tired of waiting.

Used to + -ing.

  1. Don’t say:  She’s used  to get up  early.  
  2. Say:  She’s used to getting up early.

(c)  After  certain  verbs:

Avoid + -ing.

  1. Don’t say: You can’t avoid  to make mistakes.
  2. Say: You can’t avoid making mistakes.

Note: Also can’t help (= can’t avoid): I can’t help laughing.

Enjoy + -ing.

  1. Don’t say:  I enjoy to  play football.
  2. Say:  I  enjoy  playing  football.

Note: Use the gerund or to + infinitive after verbs meaning to like or to dislike: He likes reading English books, or He likes to read English books.

Go on (continue) + -ing.

  1.  Don’t say: The music went on to play all day.
  2.  Say:  The music went on playing all day.

Note: Also keep on: She kept on playing the piano.

Mind (object to) + -ing.

  1. Don’t say: Would you mind  to  open the  door?  
  2. Say: Would you mind opening the door?

Have another look at

 Excuse + -ing.

  1. Don’t say: Please excuse me to be so late.
  2. Say: Please excuse my being so late.
  • Or Please excuse me for being so late.

Finish -ing.

  1. Don’t say:  Have you finished to  speak?
  2. Say:  Have you finished  speaking?

Mote: to + infinitive or the gerund follow verbs meaning to begin: She began to speak, or She began speaking.

Use of the gerund

Use the gerund (and not the infinitive):

  • 1. After prepositions.

Examples:  He worked without stopping.  She played instead of working.

2. After words which regularly take a preposition, such as fond of, insist on, tired of, succeed in.

Examples:  I’m tired of doing the work again.  He succeeded in catching the rat.

3. After certain verbs, such as avoid, enjoy, finish, stop, risk, excuse.

Examples: They enjoy playing football. The wind has stopped blowing.

4. After the adjectives busy and worth.

Examples: Lena was busy writing a book. This date is worth remembering.

5. After certain phrases, such as it’s no use,  it’s no good, I  can’t  help,  would you  mind,  look  forward  to. 

Examples:  I think it’s no use trying again. I can’t help feeling  angry  about  it.

Use the gerund or the infinitive after certain verbs, such as  begin,  like,  dislike,  hate,  love,  prefer,

Example:  He began to talk or He began talking.

Practice + -ing.

  1. Don’t say:  You must practice to speak  English.
  2. Say: You must practice speaking  English.

Remember + -ing.

  1. Don’t say: I  don’t remember to have seen him.
  2. Say: I don’t remember seeing him.
  • Or: I don’t remember having seen him.

Risk + -ing.

  1. Don’t say: We couldn’t risk to leave him alone.
  2. Say: We couldn’t risk leaving him alone.

Stop + -ing.

  1.  Don’t say: The  wind has  almost  stopped to blow.
  2.  Say: The wind has almost stopped blowing.

Note: Also give up (= stop): He gave up smoking.

(d)   After   certain  adjectives:

Busy + -ing.

  1. Don’t say: He was busy to revise the exams.
  2. Say: He was busy revising for the exams.

Worth + -ing.

  1. Don’t say: Is today’s film worth to see?  
  2. Say: Is today’s film worth seeing?

(e) After certain  phrases:

Have difficulty in + -ing.

  1. Don’t say:  She has  no  difficulty to do it.
  2. Say:  She has no difficulty in doing it.


 Have the pleasure of + -ing.

  1. Don’t say: I  had the pleasure to meet him.
  2. Say: had the pleasure of meeting him.

Note Also take pleasure in  He takes great pleasure in helping others

It’s no use + -ing.

  1. Don’t say: It’s no use to cry like a baby.  
  2. Say:  It’s no use crying like a  baby.

It’s no good + -ing.

  1. Don’t say: It’s no good to get angry.
  2. Say: It’s no good getting angry.

Look forward to + -ing.

  1. Don’t say:  I look forward to  see  him soon.
  2. Say: I look forward to seeing him soon.

There is no harm in + -ing.

  1. Don’t say: There’s no harm to visit her now.
  2.  Say: There’s no harm in visiting her now.

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