Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Learn about Gerund - Grammar English


In the above passage we come across the use of verbs in two forms, ‘verb + ing’ (cloning) and ‘to +verb’ (to do). The form ‘verb + ing’ is called present participle and ‘to-verb’, to – infinitive.


Look at the following set of sentences:

I prefer swimming to walking.
Teaching is a noble profession.

The words ‘swimming’ and ‘teaching’ are used as object and subject respectively each in the place of a noun. The ‘v+ing’ forms function as nouns. So, they are known as verbal nouns or gerunds.

Gerunds have various uses. Some of them are illustrated in the following sentences:

1. Smoking is injurious to health. (Subject)
2. I hate waiting for the bus. (Object)
3. My favourite hobby is collecting photographs. (Complement)
4. I look forward to hearing from you. (after a preposition)
5. He is talking about winning a medal in Olympics. (after a preposition)

To – infinitive

Look at the following set of sentences:

. Teachers are trying to improve the communicative ability of the students.
.Paes wants to become a top-seeded tennis player.

For these sentences “to improve” and “to become” are complements (as noun equivalents) that complete the sense in these two sentences respectively.

Infinitives have various uses and some of them are given below:

1. It’s nice to talk to you. (complement)
2. To err is human. (subject)
3. His brother seems to be smoking a lot. (progressive infinitive)
4. I am pleased to have met you. (perfect infinitive)
5. There is a lot to be learnt about computers. (passive infinitive)
6. You are careless not to have locked the door. (negative form)

Whether to select a gerund or infinitive or either of the two, depends upon the use of certain verbs.

After like, love, hate, remember, prefer, etc., the gerund is used to denote habit and past actions and the infinitive for future actions.

I remember meeting your friend. (past)
I will remember to attend your birthday. (future)
The young people hate getting up early. (generally)
My mother hates to get up late. (all times/future)
I prefer to browse the Internet to watching a film on TV. (all times/ future)

Consider verbs followed by a gerund:

enjoy, admit, avoid, stop, give up, go on, etc.
We enjoyed visiting Manali.

Verbs followed by an infinitive:


The collector wanted to help the farmers.


TASK 1: Now read again the passage LICENCED TO CLONE, this time focussing on gerunds and to - infinitives and say how each is used. One in each category is done for you.


Cloning human embryos (Subject)

To - infinitives

To do (as complement)

TASK 2: State the difference in meaning between the paired sentences.

1. The child likes to ride a tricycle.
The child likes riding a tricycle.
2. We prefer going by train.
We prefer to go by train.
3. You ought to work harder.
You ought to have worked harder.
4. I saw the old man cross the road.
I saw the old man crossing the road.
5. He stopped watching TV.
He stopped to watch TV.

ACTIVITY 1:(Pair-work)Play roles in the following dialogue:

A. Why are you going on arguing with me?
Stop talking now.
B. I regret annoying you, sir
I was only trying to show I am sincere.
A. I know you; you don’t need to argue for that.
B. I’m extremely sorry, sir.

ACTIVITY 2: Write a dialogue using both to - infinitive and
gerund, get it corrected by your teacher and role-play it.

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