Grammar | Gerund or Infinitive Series

IELTS Lessons, written by Sam Morgan and Tom Speed

This is our second lesson on the topic of gerunds and infinitives. The first lesson dealt with using gerunds or infinitives after certain verbs whereas today we’re looking at using gerunds or infinitives after nouns and adjectives as well as verbs.
When should I use a gerund?
  1. After certain verbs such as ‘enjoy/admit/complete’: They admitted breaking the window.
  2. After a preposition: I’m interested in astronomy.
  3. As the subject of a sentence: Swimming is my favourite sport.
  4. After certain expressions such as ‘can’t stand/can’t bear/don’t mind/look forward’: I don’t mind studying.

When should I use an infinitive?
  1. After certain verbs such as ‘choose/want/agree’: she agreed to help me with my project.
  2. To express the purpose for an action: I am saving money to buy a new car.
  3. After it + to be + adjective/noun: It is fun to go to the cinema.

Now use this information in the quiz below.


Type the answer. Watch out for spelling and capital letters. When you finish, click ‘check’ to see how well you did.
1. (drive) fast can be really dangerous.
2. This is a traditional device used for (calculate) numbers.
3. I don’t mind (go) to the beach.
4. I’m sorry about (not invite) you to the party.
5. There is a lot of work (do) before the project is finished.
6. I can’t get used to (work) on a Saturday.
7. (hike) is a great way to get out and see the countryside.
8. Some pets are difficult (look after).
9. We managed (finish) the task by (help) each other.
10. They chose (hire) two part-time employees.
11. I can’t stand (do) housework.
12. It is hard (get) a higher band score in the IELTS test if you don’t study.
13. (sleep) is not a hobby!
14. It is late already. It must be time (go).
15. I’m looking forward to (meet) your new girlfriend.
16. I’m very keen on (paint) landscapes.
17. She is not very good at (speak) Chinese.
18. We were surprised (not hear) any new gossip from Jenny when we saw her.
19. That was a very impolite thing (do).
20. We agreed (not make) any noise between 10pm and 8am.

Notice anything interesting about question 15? That’s a special case (look forward to + verbing). 

So how did you do? Leave a comment and let us know.

Speaking Practice

​Record yourself answering the following questions. Listen back and analyse what your strengths and weaknesses are. Then rerecord yourself and listen for improvement.
  1. What are you good at?
  2. Have you ever had a pet that was hard to look after?
  3. What subjects at school weren’t you keen on?
  4. What jobs at home or in the garden can’t you stand doing?
  5. What are you looking forward to in the near future?

​Now listen to the IELTSTutors, Tom and Sam, answer the questions. Are our answers similar to yours?

Gerund or Infinitive 2.mp3
File Size: 1105 kb
File Type: mp3

Download File

We hope you enjoyed this quiz. Now let’s move on to Gerund or Infinitive Quiz 3.