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What is the difference between "gerund" and "infinitive"? I do not understand the differences.Can you explain them?

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When should a verb be followed by a gerund instead of an infinitive? is a useful reference. – Scott Jun 10 '14 at 15:32
An infinitive is to do something. A gerund is doing something. – Ollie Ford Jun 10 '14 at 15:36
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Taken from Gerunds and Pronouns on this blog:

Gerunds and Verbal Nouns: Because they are noun-like, we can think of gerunds as names. But rather than naming persons, places, things, events, and the like, as nouns generally do, gerunds, because they are verbs in form, name activities or behaviors or states of mind or states of being.

A gerund is derived from a verb by adding the suffix -ing. The result is still a verb, and it exhibits ordinary verbal properties, such as taking objects and adverbs.

Example: In football, deliberately tripping an opponent is a foul.

Here the verb trip occurs in its gerund form tripping, but this tripping is still a verb: it takes the adverb deliberately and the object an opponent. However, the entire phrase deliberately tripping an opponent, because of the gerund within it, now functions as a noun phrase, in this case as the subject of the sentence. So, a gerund is still a verb, but the phrase built around it is nominal, not verbal.

Infinitive phrase : An infinitive phrase is the infinitive form of a verb plus any complements and modifiers. The complement of an infinitive verb will often be its direct object, and the modifier will often be an adverb.

Example : He likes to knead the dough slowly.

The infinitive verb is to knead. The complement is its direct object (the dough). The modifier is the adverb (slowly).

More examples of Infinitive Phrases:

He helped to build the roof.
The officer returned to help the inspectors.
She tells you to dance like no one is watching.

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On ELL, we don't mind you citing other sources to answer a question (in fact, that practice is encouraged). However, you need to say where you got quoted material from; otherwise, this amounts to plagiarism. Some of this answer is taken word-for-word from this blog, and other examples are copied from here. Please update this answer by either citing your sources, or else modifying the examples to be your own. – J.R. Jun 11 '14 at 11:19

A gerund is the present participle of a verb.

To swing == swinging

The non-action part is known as the infinitive: to swing.

Infinities will typically begin with the word to. Though, that to can easily be replaced with a conjugated auxiliary or helping verb.

To shower, to eat, and to live are infinitives.

Showering, eating, and living are the respective gerunds.

An infinitive is a verb that is not conjugated.

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