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A gerund functions as a noun. A gerund or gerund phrase can be the subject of a sentence, a direct or indirect object, a subject complement, or the object of a preposition.
Living a balanced life is about integrating all parts of it. Subject
I love spending time with my family.
Direct Object
The best part of life is learning new things.
Subject complement
Here are some tips for getting a healthy perspective on life.
Object of a preposition
An infinitive also functions as a noun. An infinitive or infinitive phrase can be the subject of a sentence, but they are often considered awkward. It is more common to use an impersonal it as the subject.
To be honest isn’t always easy
It isn’t always easy to be honest.
An infinitive or infinitive phrase can be a direct object or a subject complement.
I want to feel less stressed
Direct Object
My favourite thing is to spend time with friends.
Subject complement
An infinitive or infinitive phrase can express a purpose.
Make time to relax.
Some verbs can only be followed by a gerund
admit, appreciate, avoid, can’t help, complete, consider, discuss, dislike, don’t mind, enjoy, finish, keep, like, mention, mind, miss, postpone, practice, quit, recall, recommend, resent , resist, risk, suggest, tolerate, understand
I suggest asking her if she can make it
Some verbs can only be followed by a an infinitive
Afford, come, hesitate, prefer, agree, consent, hope, prepare, appear, continue, hurry, pretend, threaten, arrange, dare, incline, ask, decide, intend, promise, attempt, deserve, learn, prove, volunteer, begin, refuse, want, can’t afford, say.
You should expect to be there by early afternoon
Some verbs can be folloed by a gerund or an infinitive with no change in meaning He likes listening to jazz
He likes to listen to jazz
Some verbs require an object before an infinitive He reminded me to call my mother
Some adjectives can be followed by an infinitive He was surprised to get the promotion
GRAMMAR FOR WRITING: Parallelism with gerunds and infinitives
A common error in formal written English is mixing gerunds and infinitives when listing items in a series. A list of items should either be all gerunds or all infinitives.
When I take time off from work, I prefer relaxing at home, spending, time with my family and getting things done around the house.
When I take time off from work, I prefer to relax at home, spend, time with my family and get things done around the house.

Complete each sentence with a gerund or infinitive form of the verb.
  1. We were delighted _______________ (find) out that we had won the contest.
  2. Be sure to thank your father for _______________ (help) me get that interview
  3. She goes to the gym five times a week _______________ (stay) in shape
  4. Don’t be surprised if he refuses _______________ (cooperate) with them
  5. _______________ (ask) other people for help is sometimes hard to do
  6. They definitely won’t permit you _______________ (carry) that on board
Rewrite the following sentences, using an impersonal it as the subject of the sentence.
  1. To pass the examination is not the easiest thing in the world.
It isn’t the easiest thing in the world to pass the examination
  1. To speak English fluently is my greatest wish
  1. To live in an English-speaking country might be an exciting experience
  1. To know when to use an infinitive and when to use a gerund is pretty confusing
Correct the errors in parallelism in the following sentences
  1. After she arrived in London, she began to write long letters home and calling her parents at all hours of the night.
  2. There are two things I really can’t stand doing: speaking in front of large audiences and chat with people I don’t know at parties.
  3. Right before midnight, everyone began to sing, dance, and to welcome in the new year.
  4. There’s no question I prefer using, all my vacation time and take a long vacation.
Complete each sentence with a gerund or infinitive form of the verb.
  1. I would suggest _______________ (fill) out the form immediately and _______________ (make) a copy for your records.
  2. Did you remember _______________ (turn) off the stove, _______________ (close) the windows, and _______________ (look) the door before you left?
  3. It’s obvious form her e-mails that she really loves _______________ (experience) the culture, _______________ (meet) new people, and just _______________ (be) there.
  4. I don’t think they permit _______________ (take) photographs or _______________ (use) a recorder.
  5. I really wouldn’t mind _______________ (take) them out to dinner or showing them around if you’d like me to.
Infinitive or Gerund
Write the correct form (infinitive with or without to or gerund).
  1. We managed ___________________ in time.                                     (arrive)
  2. We asked her ___________________ her question.                         (repeat)
  3. He insisted on ___________________ the bill.                                   (pay)
  4. I used ___________________ up early.                                                               (get)
  5. I am used to ___________________ up early.                                    (get)
  6. I spent a lot of time ___________________ the essay.                      (write)
  7. Why should they ___________________ this?                                   (do)
  8. I am looking forward to ___________________ from you soon.     (hear)
  9. You had better ___________________ the bus.                                 (take)
Infinitive or Gerund
Write the correct form (infinitive with or without to or gerund).
  1. On 17th February 2003, a congestion charge for (drive) ___________________ in central London was introduced.
  2. The aim was (reduce) ___________________ the number of vehicles in London's City.
  3. People now have the choice between (pay) ___________________ the charge and not (drive) ___________________ into the City.
  4. The charge has proven very successful in (turn) ___________________ away traffic from the City.
  5. As the traffic has been reduced by about 20 percent, journey times in the City tend (decrease) ___________________.
  6. According to an opinion poll, more than 50 percent of Londoners say that it is okay (charge) ___________________ people for (drive) ___________________ into the City.
  7. They are relieved (find) ___________________ the traffic (flow) ___________________ more easily.
  8. Before (introduce) ___________________ the charge, average speed in the City was about 10 mph.
  9. Now, people who decide (pay) ___________________ the charge can (travel) ___________________ at a higher speed, approximately 20 mph.
  10. Many Londoners, however, have chosen (go) ___________________ by bus as delays to buses are now down by half.
  11. London's buses have seen passenger numbers (raise) ___________________ by 14 percent.
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