Sunday, 4 November 2012


to infinitive infinitive
-ing form
We want to go home (ir) They shouldn't eat so many sweets (comer) Smoking is bad for your health (fumar)
He was surprised to see you (ver) I'd rather go alone (ir) He's talking about buying a new car (comprar)
We use three different forms in English (to-infinitive, bare infinitive, -ing form) for one in Spanish (infinitive)

The -ing form of a verb can be used as a noun. In these cases in Spanish we use a noun or an infinitive:
Skiing can be a dangerous activity (Esquiar, El esquí ...)
  • Used as a noun can be the subject, object, complement of a sentence or object of a preposition
Writing in English can be complecated (subject)
I hate writing compositions (object)
One of my hobbies is skiing (complement)
He is afraid of making a mistake (object of a preposition)
  • We have to use the -ing form instead of an infinitive in the following cases:
1- After prepositions. The -ing form must be used when a verb comes after a preposition:
He walked away without looking back
John is good at cooking
I am tired of waiting for you
He is always talking about buying a new flat
2- We have to use the -ing form after certain verbs and expressions: avoid, be/get used to, can't help, can't stand, don't mind, enjoy, feel like, finish, imagine, look forward to, miss, practise, suggest.
I enjoy traveling
I feel like going for a walk
I avoided seeing him again
I don't mind getting a job abroad
She can't stand wearing gloves

The infinitive is the base form of a verb. It may be used with 'to' (the to-infinitive) or without (the base infinitive).
  • Infinitive with or without 'to' 
The to-infinitive is used:
  1. after certain verbs: want, promise, hope, learn, ask, refuse, manage, need, choose, offer, decide, persuade, deserve, plan, expect, wish, would like.
  2. after the auxiliaries to be, to have to, and ought to
  3. used with the structure: 'to be + adjective + to-infinitive'
  4. With the structure: verb + object + to infinitive. The commonest verbs used in this construction are: advise, ask, expect, intend, invite, oblige, order, persuade, recommend, remind, teach, tell, want. He wanted me to go (Not: *He wanted that I go)
He didn't want to buy that shirt
I hope to see you again
Do you promise to visit me more often?
It is not easy to learn a foreign language
You have to follow the rules
He asked me to lend him some money 
The infinitive without "to" is used:
  1. after most auxiliary verbs: can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, would
  2. after the verbs: make and let: make/let + object + infinitive
  3. after certain expressions: had better, would rather.
It might rain tomorrow
She lets her children stay up very late
They made him pay back all the money
I would rather go home by taxi

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