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Capstone Multilingual Writing Tip of the Month Blog: Blog

September 2019: Verb Forms 2: Gerund or Infinitive?

by Paul Lai on 2019-09-03T08:35:33-05:00 | Comments

Last month’s tip of the month was on some common usage of gerunds and infinitives. This month, let’s dig a little deeper into gerund and infinitive usage.

Some verbs can be followed by either a gerund or an infinitive and the meaning of the sentence does not change. Examples of these verbs include begin, continue, hate, like, love, and start. For example,

  • I continue developing as a scholar practitioner.
  • I continue to develop as a scholar practitioner.

 

  • She likes teaching.
  • She likes to teach.

However, for some other verbs that can be followed by either a gerund or infinitive, the choice of the gerund or infinitive creates a difference in meaning. Examples of these verbs include forget, remember, stop, and try. For example,

  • I stopped recording the interviews. (I no longer record the interviews.)
  • I stopped to record the interviews. (I stopped what I was doing in order to record the interviews.)

 

  • Participant 2 did not remember visiting the second research site. (He may have visited the second research site, but he does not remember doing so.)
  • Participant 2 did not remember to visit the second research site. (He was supposed to visit the second research site, but he did not do so.)

Revision Tip: Look back through your most recent draft of your capstone document and check for correct gerund and infinitive usage. If you are not sure which is correct, look up the phrase in a corpus; see the SMRT Guide on Using a Corpus to Review for Grammar and Scholarly Voice. Make revisions as needed.


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