By | April 23, 2017
A few verbs or expressions can be followed by another verb in the gerund or the infinitive form, with no change in meaning.
These verbs include begin, continue, intend, and start.
For example:
✓ Mozart began playing/to play the piano when he was two.
Mozart iniziò a suonare il piano quando aveva due anni.
✓ I don't intend inviting/to invite Lisa to the party.
Non intendo invitare Lisa alla festa.
✓ He continued looking/to look at his mobile while I spoke.
Ha continuato a guardare il cellulare mentre parlavo.
✓ We started playing/to play better in the second half, but by that time it was too late.
Abbiamo cominciato a giocare meglio nel secondo tempo, ma ormai era troppo tardi.
Some verbs can be followed by a gerund or an infinitive, with a change in meaning.
This naturally is a little more complicated, so here are some examples:
forget + GERUND = forget a previous action:
✓ I'll never forget seeing the dawn over the Sahara.
✗ I'll never forget *to see* the dawn over the Sahara.
Non mi dimenticherò mai di aver visto l'alba sopra il Sahara.
forget + INFINITIVE = forget something necessary to do:
✓ Don't forget to call me when you arrive at the hotel.
Non dimenticarti di chiamarmi quando arrivi all'albergo.
go on + GERUND = continue with the same activity:
✓ He went on drinking until he fell off his stool.
Ha continuato a bere finché non è caduto dallo sgabello.
go on + INFINITIVE = change to a new activity:
✓ After a brief reference to the scandal, the Queen went on to wish the nation a Happy New Year.
Dopo un accenno allo scandalo, la Regina ha poi augurato un Buon Anno alla nazione.
regret + GERUND = regret something done in a previous moment:
✓ I regret telling Rob about my affairs - now everyone knows about them!
Mi pento di aver raccontato i miei affari a Bob - ora tutti ne sono al corrente!
regret + INFINITIVE = regret something at this moment:
✓ We regret to inform you that your application for a loan has been rejected.
Ci spiace informarla che la sua richiesta di un prestito è stata respinta.
remember + GERUND = remember a previous action:
✓ I still remember getting my first bike for Christmas.
Mi ricordo ancora di aver ricevuto la mia prima bici per Natale.
remember + INFINITIVE = remember something necessary to do:
Remember to put the cat out before going to bed.
Ricordati di mettere fuori il gatto prima di andare a letto.
stop + GERUND = stop an activity:
✓ I'm trying to stop smoking.
Sto cercando di smettere di fumare.
stop + INFINITIVE = the reason for stopping
✓ I stopped to smoke a cigarette and collect my thoughts.
Mi sono fermato per fumare una sigaretta e riordinare le idee.
try + GERUND = try as an "experiment" (to see if it has a result):
✓ Have you tried using nicotine patches?
Hai provato ad usare i cerotti alla nicotina?
try + INFINITIVE = try a difficult action:
✓ I tried to stop him, but he was too strong.
Ho cercato di fermarlo, ma era troppo forte.
Here are the two types of verb explained above in list form:
VERB + GERUND &/or INFINITIVE - no change in meaning: VERB + GERUND &/or INFINITIVE - change in meaning:
go on

Now try the quiz below! There are TWENTY answers. The pass mark is 90% (18 out of 20). Click on the blue arrows to go to the next or previous question. You can check your answers immediately or when you've finished the quiz.

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