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Infinitives Part 2

Commonly, an infinitive is used with the subject it. The sentence structure is “It is + infinitive.…” It refers to the infinitive. This expression is used in many ways.

  • It is time to do math.
  • It is common to think that way.
  • It is appropriate to keep a low profile.
  • It was nice to see you.
  • It was my pleasure to meet you.
  • It was my honor to have dinner with you.
  • It is good to see you.
  • It was great to go on a trip with them.

Both gerunds and infinitive phrases can function as nouns, in a variety of ways. Gerunds and infinitives can follow certain verbs but not others. You need to remember which verbs can be followed by only a gerund or only an infinitive.

Verbs that can precede only gerunds:
consider, suggest, enjoy, deny, avoid, miss, mind, practice, postpone, resist, finish, quit, give up, put off

Verbs that can precede only infinitives:
offer, decide, hope, attempt, promise, agree, afford, deserve, refuse, undertake, learn, fail, seem, appear, tend, pretend, choose, demand, desire, guarantee, claim, manage, determine, expect, want, wish

Verbs that can precede either gerunds or infinitives without changing meanings:

continue, like, love, begin, start, propose, neglect, stand, hate

Verbs that can precede either gerunds or infinitives but change meanings:

forget, remember, stop, try

  • I stopped watching the movie. (I no longer watched the movie.)
  • I stopped to watch the movie. (I stopped what I was doing to watch the movie.)

[Quiz 16.1]

Fill in the blanks.

1)I decided (leave) the job.
2)She pretended (know) me.
3)He desires (be) a professor.
4)The company considered (sell) its main building.
5)I expect (win) at this game.
6)Do you enjoy (take) care of your pet?
7)She hopes (go) on a vacation.
8)Did you fail (pass) the exam?
9)They want me (take) this position.
10)It is great (hear) that they agreed (share) the land.

[16.1] 1)to leave
2)to know
3)to be
5)to win
7)to go
8)to pass
9)to take
10)to hear, to share